Rothbard Writes the Dixiecrats

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370 Central Park West New York 25, N.Y.

Headquarters, States Rights Democrats Jackson, Miss.


The New York Times this morning carried a report which, if true, is just about the best political news of the year. Indeed, it may be the most significant development since the advent of the New Deal.

Although a New Yorker born and bred, I was a staunch supporter of the Thurmond movement; a good friend of mine headed the Columbia Students for Thurmond, which I believe was the only such collegiate movement north of the Mason-Dixon line.

My support, however, was not extremely enthusiastic, because, although I agreed wholeheartedly with the platform and Thurmond's campaign speeches, I felt that it was keyed too much to purely Southern interests. Sure, the Civil Tyranny program must be combatted, but what about the myriad invasions of states rights in other fields by the power-hungry Washington bureaucracy? In other words, while you always claimed that yours was a national movement, by talking only of the Civil Tyranny program you threw away any attraction to Northern and Western voters.

I have always felt that it is imperative for the States Rights movement to establish itself on a nation-wide scale. Obviously, we are now living in a one-party system, a party of Socialists in fact if not in name, and only courageous Southern Democrats in Congress have so far blocked their program. But as far as Presidential elections go, the Republicans are through – the Socialist Administration has too much power to bribe voters with wild promises. If things go on as they are, it is only a question of a few years for the socialist program to go through and destroy this land of liberty.

Therefore it is essential to form a new party, of States Righters, consisting of Southern Democrats and real Republicans (omitting the me-too Republicans) to launch a dynamic offensive against National Socialism in this country before it is too late. I am greatly elated over your new platform because I believe it points in that direction.

Would you please send me a copy of your new platform and constitution? Do you plan to start a newspaper of nation-wide circulation? This would be of great help in establishing a national States Rights movement.

I would like to add that, as an economist, I enthusiastically support your proposals on national debt and taxes – in fact, taken all and all, from the news reports I would say that your new platform is one of the best in American history. Indeed, it is one of the finest political statements in America since Calhoun's Exposition.

It could grow into a mighty movement if you have the will and vision. There are millions of Americans throughout the country, Republicans and Democrats, who would flock to your banner. They are weary of being led by the nose by New Deal politicians of both parties – they are tired of being deprived of their votes because there is no anti-socialist and pro-liberty party to which they can turn.

You, gentlemen, can be a means of succor for these millions – and not only these, but America itself. National Socialism has always meant poverty, tyranny, and war. America is slipping down the road and has already gone far; it must be restored to the right path if the great dream of our forefathers of a nation dedicated to liberty is not to vanish from the earth. Yours can be that mission.

Sincerely yours, Murray N. Rothbard

Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995), the founder of modern libertarianism and the dean of the Austrian School of economics, was the author of The Ethics of Liberty and For a New Liberty and many other books and articles. He was also academic vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the Center for Libertarian Studies, and the editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report.

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