Rothbard Loved to Hate the State

by David Gordon

The anarcho-capitalism that Murray Rothbard favored differed entirely from the American system of government, and he saw the State as a gang of robbers. It by no means followed from this, though, that he was uninterested in politics. Quite to the contrary, he was passionately absorbed in it.

I have never known anyone with as great an ability to amass and retain information as Murray Rothbard. He not only followed presidential campaigns, but he had a detailed knowledge of Congressional races as well. He could take any Congressional district in the United States and tell you who was running and what the main issues in the district were.

This mirrored his approach to history. Like his mentor Joseph Dorfman, he studied historical movements by learning as much as he could about all the people, both major and minor, involved in events. He agreed with Harold Lasswell that politics is about “who gets what, when, how.”

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