For the record I am deeply proud of The Mises Institute and all it stands for. It is the heart of libertarianism, standing up for what is right against forces that are much larger than it, with much larger budgets, and much more power.
This is me at the Mises Institute standing next to a bust of the brilliant (though not infallible) Murray Rothbard.
The Mises Institute is one of the leading lights of liberty and a standard bearer for the only successful libertarian revolution in history (to date), The American Revolution.
Of course the statist The Washington Post doesn’t like an organization that believes people should be left alone and that the everyday person deserves dignity in the eyes of the state. Generally The Post is a proponent of the philosophy busybodiness (which in time morphs into totalitarianism) and certainly holds much of everyday America in contempt.
Mises is on the right side of history. The Post? It continues its slow death.
Thus, imagine my lack of surprise when The Washington Post this week published its latest screed against libertarians in general and the Mises Institute in particular.
The Post publishes a new one of these every year or so, trotting out the same examples over and over to illustrate how libertarians — who might seem to be harmless to the untrained eye — are really part of a dark underbelly of white-supremacist militarism.
The article is all retreads, including the insinuation that Murray Rothbard was a racist because he saw no problem with right-wing anti-tax positions. Even worse in the minds of WaPo editors is the fact that Rothbard concludes that government regulations “trample on the property rights of every American” and are a bad thing.
It is here where libertarian derangement syndrome most rears its head. Rothbard was against using government coercion to boss around private citizens and business owners, telling them whom to hire and what to pay employees. Therefore, he must be targeted for destruction by the official outlets of respectable opinion. Since Rothbard can’t be quoted actually advocating for any act of aggression or oppression against anyone, we must therefore draw the conclusion that he was secretly a white-supremacist militant because he held certain anti-tax, anti-regulation opinions in common with some racists. This is a bit like condemning vegetarianism because Hitler was a vegetarian.
By the end of the article, however, the author tips his hand and admits that the real problem is libertarianism in general, not with any particular alleged sin of Murray Rothbard or his associates at the Mises Institute. The evils of libertarianism, we are told, revolve around its “abstract notion of self-interest” which lends itself to all sorts of violence and sinister leanings.
Unfortunately, WaPo can’t even get this right since libertarianism is not based on “self-interest” at all. The author may be confusing libertarianism with the philosophy of Ayn Rand — who specifically hated libertarians and condemned them. Libertarianism, rather, is based on the idea that it’s wrong to initiate violence against other people. The end.
Obviously, an ideology such as this is directly at odds with white supremacists or anyone else who walks around threatening others or committing acts of violence.