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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7512/the-early-1960s-from-right-to-left/

The Early 1960s: From Right to Left

December 6, 2007 by

Murray Rothbard discusses a turning point in American ideological history, through events in his own life:

My total break with National Review and the right wing, my final emotional divorce from thinking of myself as a right-winger or an ally of the Right, came around 1960. The break was precipitated by Khrushchev’s visit to the United States in late 1959. During the torpid Eisenhower years of the late 1950s, when foreign affairs were in a frozen deadlock and when the American Left had all but disappeared, it was easy not to put the peace issue at the forefront of one’s consciousness. But the Khrushchev visit was, for me, an exciting and welcome sign of a possible detente, of a break in the Cold War dike, of a significant move toward ending the Cold War and achieving peaceful coexistence. Hence I enthusiastically favored the visit; but at the same time National Review became hysterical at the very same possibility, and in conjunction with the still-secret John Birch Society, tried desperately to whip up public sentiment to disrupt the visit.



Andrew December 6, 2007 at 3:39 pm

As someone who has designed a black-and-gold anarchocapitalism flag and posted a page about it on my website some time ago, I was fascinated to read the paragraph toward the end of this chapter about a very similar flag being unveiled at that “Phrontistery” back in 1963-4.

I would be very interested to know whether any more information exists on who exactly “some of the group” were, and whether this flag saw any life outside this one meeting.

It’s a geeky footnote in ancap history, I know … but, hey. It’s MY geeky footnote.

Paul Marks December 6, 2007 at 4:11 pm

I already knew that Murry Rothbard was pro Soviet and anti British – but I did not know that he regarded Khruschev as less bad than Winston Churchill.

Of course in 1960 there was still widespread resistance to the Communists both in the Ukriane (where Communist rule had been responsible for tens of millions of deaths) and in the Baltic nations.

In “World War I and World War II” Britain faught against the conquest of Europe by Germany, but not just Europe.

That the evil of Nazi Germany had to be faught is accepted by most people, although Murry Rothbard and others did not agree, but Imperial Germany also had world wide dreams – from example the rule of Latin America (starting with Brazil).

Ludwig Von Mises well understood the ideology pushing Imperial Germany and he also well understood the evil plans for world domination of both the Nazis and the Communists.

Sadly the institute that carries his name seems to lack his insight.

Parrotocracy December 6, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Then again, Rothbard wrote back in 1954 in “The Real Aggressor”:

“What we really have to combat is all statism, and not just the Communist brand. To take up arms against one set of Socialists is not the way to stop socialism – indeed it is bound to increase socialism as all modern wars have done.”

Yes, that would mean Rothbard would be against Khruschev et al, and especially Churchill. Would there have been a WWI and WWII without Winston and people of his sort?

Jim December 6, 2007 at 5:50 pm

How is it that “Under the guise of regulations “against monopoly” and “for the public welfare,” Big Business has succeeded in granting itself cartels and privileges through the use of government.”? If true, surely most voters would not choose Left or Right. This is obviously true where, as in the US, many of those entitled to vote, don’t.

It is less obviously true where “run-off” elections purport to deliver a Left or Right candidate as the choice of a majority. In fact it is that arm of Big Business. Big Media, that [while proclaiming to be upholding and defending democracy] conceals evidence of the illegal use of “ballots to defeat the franchise” of the majority who resent the undue influence of Big Business”.

Sadly even many Misesians seem to have fallen for the line that democracy has failed rather than examine the evidence of a sinister complicity of Big Media in the illegal use of “ballots to defeat the franchise”.

Hunden December 6, 2007 at 11:01 pm

This is final proof that “The Betrayal of the American Right ” to which Murray Rothbard referred was his own.

This is not just silly, it is loony. And all that predicated on the absurd premise that you could “define” an a priori libertarian foreign policy, in spite of the fact that some states are run by worse thugs than others.

At least Ayn Rand, who came from the worst possible state into the least oppressive, knew the difference.

Brainpolice December 7, 2007 at 2:02 am

I agree with Rothbard’s premises about the political spectrum and big buisiness being collusive with big government. I don’t see why they should be so controversial, especially at this site. What’s the big deal? The political climate has flip-flopped many times so that left and right have practically reversed roles or “traded hats” in many significant ways. And of course a significant portion of big buisiness has been colluding with the government for a long time.

Ayn Rand’s political views on foreign policy (as well as her politics in general) violated her own ethical philosophy (I believe that the implications of her philosophy points to anarchism, not her confused notion of “subscribed government” minus competition). Many of her modern day followers (what I like to refer to as “Randroids”) appear to support a foreign policy more aggressive and interventionist then even what most neo-conservatives would be willing to support.

George P December 7, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Rothbard never appreciated the harm his naivete caused the Right. Typically, his rhetoric is overbearing for if there was any betrayal it was his. Nevertheless, I would not call what he did betrayal. I would call it foolish, naieve but not treacherous(maybe even looney). I wish he had used the same restraint in his rhetoric.

Niccolò December 7, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Paul Marks,


Goodwin’s Law.

Find a new bad guy, the Germans are really too easy to pick on.

Niccolò December 7, 2007 at 6:57 pm


“This is not just silly, it is loony. And all that predicated on the absurd premise that you could “define” an a priori libertarian foreign policy, in spite of the fact that some states are run by worse thugs than others.”

Yes, some thugs are worse than others, whatever, not really something I’m concerned with, purge ‘em all.

Even so, however, you’re dead wrong if you think stinky, crumbling, Mother Russia was near the threat the Americans are to life, liberty, and property.

In a world where the most advanced machine is the gun, you know the living standards, morality, and capability of invading other countries are low.

Niccolò December 7, 2007 at 7:08 pm

For everyone calling Rothbard a loon, give me a break.

You’re spoiled Americans, or American sympathizers too absorbed in your own beliefs in American exceptionalism to realize the facts behind your queens in the Republican party of America.

The Soviets may have been idiots following an evil ideology, but the Americans are just evil, period. They utilize the very bear minimum of liberty to generate tax revenues for themselves, never allowing man to fulfill himself, never giving him enough room to adequately spread his wings. Man’s will to power was hampered by Soviets, but only because their philosophy required them to be inefficient; however, the Americans hamper man’s will to power because it allows for the parasitic class to stay on top of the entrepreneurial one just by dangling the illusion that a better life exists for him.

It doesn’t.

Vanmind December 9, 2007 at 2:21 pm

“It doesn’t.”

It would without the intervention of dirty socialism.

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