The Enemy Is Always the State

By Lew Rockwell, Mises Institute

The web loves nothing more than a good brawl, so people often write me to ask me to respond to a critic of LRC or the Mises Institute. There’s certainly no shortage of them, and they come from the Left, the Right, and everything in between. My first thought on the request is that the archive speaks for itself, and a response would amount to little more than reprinting. And yet the criticisms in themselves are interesting because often they come from people who liked one thing we said and then felt betrayed by another thing we said, so we get praise for the first thing and attacked for the second.

There is a response to make that covers all these critics, but first let me give you a better feel for what I’m talking about. Let’s say that we run an article exposing how the corporate elites are working in league with the government to make profits from war and destruction. The Left cheers. The next day we attack the idea of a new tax on corporations or some antitrust action, and come to the defense of big business. The Left screams betrayal and announces that our side of the debate has sold out.

On a much lower level, the same happens concerning party politics. We attack Republicans and Democrats cheer. Then we attack Democrats and they scream at us for failing to back the party line to the end.

The same happens on the Right. One day we attack the organized victim lobby for pushing for government privileges for blacks or gays or women or for using “multiculturalism” as a moral imperative to curb the right of free association. The Right celebrates that we have enlisted in the culture war! The next day we attack Christians for demanding coerced prayer in coerced school or for backing surveillance in the war on drugs. Then the Christian Right says that we have sold our souls to the Devil.


Categories: Anarchism/Anti-State

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