Murray Rothbard’s Take on Where Rand Paul Stands on the Political Spectrum

The Rand Paul phenomena vindicates Rothbard’s prescient warning against “right-opportunism.” He also warned against “left-sectarianism” (listen up, left-libertarians and social anarchists).

From the Economic Policy Journal

Dan Cotter emails:

I think Murray Rothbard laid out the best strategy for the liberty movement ever in this letter to F.A. Harper, George Resch. It appeared in Strictly Confidential and was titled “What Is To Be Done?”

Rothbard’s Confidential Memorandum to the Volker Fund,
“What Is to Be Done?”
July 1961
To: F.A. Harper, George Resch

I think he made the perfect distinction between Ron and Rand Paul in this letter and described why Rand Paul’s strategy will fail to create positive change.

He laid out three types of strategies.

1.The sectarian strategists (e.g., the current Trotskyite sects) are those who pass out leaflets on street corners, state their full ideological position at all times, and consider any collaboration in halfway measures as “opportunist,” “selling out the cause,” etc. They are undoubtedly noble, but almost always ineffective.

2.The opposite “deviation” is “opportunism”: the willingness to collaborate with any halfway measures or organizations, and, in effect, to abandon the true principles in the name of gradualist advance, “realism,”
“practical life,” etc. These are the real sellers-out of the revolution, and they almost always, in historical Leninist experience, end by turning “reformist” and abandoning—in fact and later even de jure—their
revolutionary principles. These people are ignoble, and, if they are at all effective, they are not effective in the proper, revolutionary direction.

{This is the group I see Rand in.}

3. But I believe that there is a third, “centrist” course—certainly hard to find in practice, but the broad outlines of which can be sketched, and then perhaps used as a guide for our future activities. This “middle way” (Ugh! How I hate that concept!) may, for convenience, be dubbed “centrist” or “Leninist,” and it runs,
I believe, roughly as follows:

{I see this as the group that Ron Paul is a part of}

Rothbard goes on to lay out the strategy and it is just a brilliant letter. I was extremely moved when I read this back when the book first came out. I think your readers would benefit greatly from reading this since there is so much debate over what Rand Paul has been doing.

You can find it here. (page 7)


Categories: Strategy

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