Anti-State and Pro-Market

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 22, 2009 | Go to article overview

Anti-State and Pro-Market


Byline: William H. Peterson, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

So Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., founder-president-thinker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, opens his highly successful daily e-mail newsletter on literally the largest nonprofit Web site in the world. That opening features his own selected articles and speeches, reprinted now in The Left, the Right & the State, a book displaying a leading libertarian's taking on of critics of libertarianism.

For example, he cites then-Vice President Dick Cheney saying, one of the things that's changed so much since September 11th is the extent to which people do trust the government and value it, and have higher expectations for what we can do. Ha, says Mr. Rockwell, The triumph of hope over experience!

Or, notes the author, here is columnist George Will writing that Sept. 11 forcefully reminded Americans that their nation-state ... is the source of their security Events since Sept. 11 have underscored the limits of libertarianism.

Mr. Rockwell takes Duke University professor Francis Fukuyama to task for proclaiming the fall of the libertarians. Mr. Fukuyama says Sept. 11, not the market or individuals, reminds Americans why government exists, and why it has to tax citizens and spend money to promote collective interests, including fighting terrorists and screening passengers at airports.

Mr. Rockwell also quotes Albert Hunt of the Wall Street Journal as typical of this genre of commentary: It's time to declare a moratorium on government-bashing. And note that all this is before the arrival of Obamanomics. President Obama's name didn't even make the Rockwell index, though he became a U.S. senator in 2004.

Well, just who is this Llewellyn Rockwell whom money expert and investment adviser Gary North declares to be the nation's new top libertarian with the passing of Mr. Mises and Murray Rothbard? Mr. Rockwell has edited six books, including The Irrepressible Rothbard. In 2007, he published Mises: The Last Knight of [Classical] Liberalism by Jorg Guido Hulsmann, a 1,160-page definitive and riveting biography of Mr. Mises, 1881-1973.

Mr. Mises was the father of modern libertarianism, a towering economist in the 20th century, the man who, in 1920, predicted the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union and all other socialist states because of their critical lack of market-derived economic calculation. As collapse, or change, they rather suddenly did ... from East Germany to Red China just before the 20th century ran out.

But waves of state interventionism soft socialism ) have long since engulfed economies over the globe, especially the U.S. economy.

Here is how libertarian 10th-termer Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, who would terminate the Federal Reserve, endorses the Rockwell work on its back cover: We are threatened by statism from both left and right. Their plans all depend on inflationary finance. This is why Lew's book is a clarion call for the only way out: Freedom and sound money, which he defends with equal passion.

Item: Jailing Martha Stewart. Mr. Rockwell says her jailing was a national disgrace, that this great entrepreneur was guilty of nothing but being beloved, famous and rich; that when the U. …

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