Andy Duncan on Murray Rothbard.
Fortunately, to shorten your quest, I now know the next one you should read; Egalitarianism As a Revolt Against Nature. It was a long time in the finding, but I finally got there.
Where to begin? As Man, Economy, and State is to Human Action, so you might say that Egalitarianism As a Revolt Against Nature is to The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, though much expanded when compared in size to that tiny work of Mises, with perhaps a little soupçon of Hayek’s Fatal Conceit thrown in for taste.
Although the History of Economic Thought is still hard to beat, and perhaps remains the pinnacle of Rothbard at his finest, I think Egalitarianism has to be right up there challenging for that coveted top spot.
This collection of essays opens in predictable enough fashion:
“For well over a century, the Left has generally been conceded to have morality, justice, and ‘idealism’ on its side; the Conservative opposition to the Left has largely been confined to the ‘impracticality’ of its ideals. A common view, for example, is that socialism is splendid ‘in theory,’ but that it cannot ‘work’ in practical life.”
Pure music to your eyes, of course, as an aspiring Rothbardian. But later in the next chapter, after the usual glorious bubbling stream of sparkling Rothbard, there’s this:
“Or rather, to be more precise, there were from the beginning two different strands within socialism: one was the right-wing, authoritarian strand, from Saint-Simon down, which glorified statism, hierarchy, and collectivism and which was thus a projection of conservatism trying to accept and dominate the new industrial civilization. The other was the left-wing, relatively libertarian strand, exemplified in their different ways by Marx and Bakunin, revolutionary and far more interested in achieving the libertarian goals of liberalism and socialism; but especially the smashing of the state apparatus to achieve the ‘withering away of the State’ and the ‘end of the exploitation of man by man.’”
The relatively libertarian strand? Of Karl Marx?!?
Well, that’s what the Cato Institute would say too, perhaps, but if you persevere it works. It fits. Like a pearly piece of grit in an oyster shell.
And these pearls just keep being strewn throughout the book, explaining how socialism was the wrong answer to the right question of challenging the Old Order, and how this wrong answer has metastasised into the horrific creatures of IMF austerity and world global government that we see gathering around us today, as vampire squid elites keep foisting their socialist paper fiat nonsense upon us, to try to drag us back a few thousand years to some kind of horrific murderous New World Order (read, Old Order) and a borderless global Romanesque Empire.
Soon we will all realise that one of the important sub-definitions of money, perhaps the most important one of all, is that money should be a store of value, and that therefore printed-from-the-Brow-of-Zeus socialised ‘currencies’ are simply not money, but are more akin to Soviet ration tickets. When that shoe eventually drops, the Old Order may try one last throw of the dice with their IMF SDR gambit or their usual joker card, a global world war.
However, these efforts will also fail, claims Rothbard.
The revolutions of the last few hundred years, particularly the Industrial Revolution, have made the world too complex for the Old Order to rule over in the manner to which it aspires. Yes, it can rule agrarian non-industrialised societies, as it did with the Inca Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Athenian-dominated Delian League – though you’ll notice that none of these once-mighty edifices lasted – however the world’s population will no longer stand for such serfdom and penury, even if it currently tolerates a pelf-extraction rate of forty or fifty percent. The ratchet of liberty has clicked, and there’s no turning back the mass-industrial technological clock, says Rothbard.
Even if we claim to be socialists, and allow the state to continually extract a pelf ‘protection’ tax rate from us of forty percent, or more, we will only tolerate a society in which we can have our iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, along with foreign travel, exotic food, windsurfing opportunities, the potential of an exciting career, and most of all some fun in our lives, rather than the endless unendurable austerity, tedium, and deference, of terminal servitude to a ruling criminal oligopoly and its supportive caste of privileged bureaucratic and priestly technocratic tax eaters.