If there is anything a libertarian must be squarely and totally against, wrote Murray Rothbard, it is involuntary servitude — forced labor — an act which denies the most elemental right of self-ownership.
“Liberty” and “slavery” have ever been recognized to be polar opposites. The libertarian, therefore, is totally opposed to slavery.
An academic question nowadays, one might object. But is it really? For what is slavery but
- forcing people to work at tasks the slavemaster wishes, and
- paying them either pure subsistence or, at any rate, less than the slave would have accepted voluntarily.
In short, involuntary servitude is forced labor at below free-market wages.
Thus, are we really free of “slavery,” of involuntary servitude in present-day America? Is the prohibition against involuntary servitude of the Thirteenth Amendment really being obeyed?
In this week’s chapter of the audiobook presentation of For a New Liberty, Rothbard applies libertarian principle to the following areas:
- The Army
- Anti-Strike Laws
- The Tax System
- The Courts
- Compulsory Commitment
Chapter 6, “Personal Liberty” …
(And if you don’t want to wait for the free audio, you can always purchase the new, hardbound edition of Rothbard’s manifesto here.)