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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9038/christmas-sale-on-conceived-in-liberty/

Christmas Sale on Conceived in Liberty

December 1, 2008 by


Jason December 1, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Very nice. It is worth noting that these books are available at a “public” library here in Utah. Odd. I sometimes wonder. :)



Alexander S. Peak December 2, 2008 at 3:10 am

I’m still hoping that someday the contents of Volume 5 will be made available.

According to Rothbard:

“After the Volcker Fund collapsed, I got another grant from the Lilly Endowment to do a history of the U.S., which I worked on from 1962-66. The original idea was to take the regular facts and put a libertarian assessment on everything. But once I started to work on it, I found many facts had been left out, like tax rebellions. So it got longer and longer. It turned into the five volume Conceived in Liberty, covering the Colonial period to the Constitution. … After Arlington House published volume four, they went out of business. Volume five, on the Constitution, was written in longhand and no one can read my handwriting.”

In the meantime, all I have is this from Mr. H.A. Scott Trask:

“Rothbard began but never completed the fifth volume to his American history series Conceived in Liberty. In the fascinating and brilliant fragment that remains, he suggests that the confederation Congress should have divided up the federal debt among the states according to their population. He cites the historian E. James Ferguson who points out, ‘The idea was supremely practical,’ and ‘it accorded with [confederal] nature of the Union and the predilections of the States.’ It even began to be carried out in practice. By the end of 1786, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland had assumed nearly $9 million of federal securities (by exchanging them for state securities), almost one-third of the total. The nationalists were not about to consent to such a resolution, for it would deprive them of the support of the investor classes. Ferguson again: ‘Congress would have been left with depleted functions and little reason to claim enlarged powers. Creditors would have attached themselves to the states, and no ingredients would have remained to attract the propertied classes to the central government.’

“Rothbard writes: ‘By the end of 1786, then, the Nationalist program was in full rout.’ Congress had failed to secure a federal impost or a navigation act. ‘Its requisitions were failing and its eagerly assumed public debt was rapidly being whittled away by the states, and it could not even meet any of the payments on its $10 million of foreign debt. Lacking independent federal revenue, the natural course would have been the disintegration of federal credit and power, and a full resumption of the decentralized policies that had been the initial consequence and the long-range promise of the American Revolution.’”

Alex Peak

Patrick December 2, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Thx for that Alexander. That’d be cool if that was published.

I think he might have been exaggerating when he says that “no one can read my handwriting.” I’m sure there’s people that could do it.

(8?» December 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Vol 5? Who do we have to bug?

I’m currently reading Vol 1, finding it to be the most interesting history book I’ve encountered. Here’s a synopsis of what I’ve learned in the first 60 chapters.

1. People manage to free themselves in some manner, bringing prosperity to their community, and their trading partners.

2. Other people seek to enslave them under government, in order to personally profit from monopolization of prosperous enterprises through the regulating, licensing and taxing of them, which ends up destroying the prosperity of the formerly free. (These people can be separated into officials and their cronies from previous monopolies seeking protection from competition.)

3. Consent of the governed becomes a real issue, as the government undermines its own legitimacy.

4. Return to Step 1.

As has been written before, the worst possible thing that can happen in an anarchistic state is the development of government, the primary tool of the plunder and enslavement of mankind. In other words, in a free state, freedom is all we have to lose.

I will be purchasing another set of these books to give to a home-schooling family I know. I can think of no better investment for our future. Well, other than making a donation to get Vol 5 published, or at least to get Rothbard’s draft scanned and put up at mises.org. Perhaps we (yes, I would volunteer) could collaborate online and get this volume digitized?

Eric December 2, 2008 at 11:11 pm

I’d *really* like to hear from the Rothbard scholars at Mises about the 5th volume. I remember a decades-old conversation to the effect that, by this time, Rothbard was dictating his manuscripts into a [ '70's era] tape-driven dictation machine for subsequent transcription. According to this version of the story, the tapes for the 5th volume were indecipherable due to some mechanical glitch.

But now Mr. Peak quotes Mr. Trask as saying that a) Rothbard wrote the volume, but never finished it, and that b) a fragment survives.

Inquiring minds want to know. I’d pay good money [i.e. gold] to see that 5th volume in print.

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