Rothbard’s Fear: How the Libertarian Party Betrayed its Greatest Influence

Murray Rothbard, the man who coined the term “anarcho-capitalism”, and potentially the most important libertarian in history, would be distraught to see what has been done to his precious movement.

Rothbard himself spoke at the 1981 Libertarian Party convention and had lauded the idea of a political party.  He claimed that it offered many opportunities to spread and legitimize the movement and to convert new libertarians. He was clearly not opposed to the existence of the Libertarian Party (LP), but that doesn’t mean he would tolerate what it is now.

Rothbard explained in multiple speeches that the problem a growing movement presents is that the means and the end can become flipped. For example, when once the LP may have raised money in order to advance a libertarian ideal, it now advances what is popular in order to raise money and grow itself. The growth of the Libertarian Party was intended to spread freedom and dismantle the State, but it has now come to pander to not only non-purists, but even people who have no semblance of what it means to be a libertarian.

How can one who supports taxing churches, supports anti-discrimination laws for business, supports government welfare, and claims Ron Paul was not libertarian be a libertarian? Someone who holds these beliefs is no friend of liberty, yet you’d find it quite easy to find a large number of people in the LP who do.

The leadership of the LP no longer carry the Rothbardian tradition. It has abandoned principle in the name of political expediency. A most ostentatious move for a party that purports to be “The Party of Principle”.

How to Promote Rothbardian Libertarianism

The largest and most influential vehicle for the ideas of liberty has been hijacked, and the prospects for its advancement have been crippled. The only way to keep this movement alive is to read, study and discuss these ideas, the theories behind them and strategy for their usage.

A smaller movement comprised of educated, informed and enthusiastic individuals is much preferable to a large movement with no purpose and no principles.

Instead of renewing your LP membership, take to social media and any other means of communication you have to spread liberty.