The Robert Wenzel Show: Lew Rockwell, Against The State

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ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Robert Wenzel Show. Please stand by for Robert Wenzel.

WENZEL: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Robert Wenzel Show. I’m Robert Wenzel.

Today, I have a very special guest for the show, Lew Rockwell.  I consider Lew Rockwell my intellectual godfather.  Right from the very beginning, a very long time ago, when I was introduced to Libertarianism, Lew Rockwell was there behind the scenes.  I became a Libertarian after reading a book by Harry Browne called How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation, and Lew was the editor of that book.  Then a few years later, Lew started something called the Mises Institute from his kitchen table and started publishing something called The Free Market, which I subscribed to, which was more influence from Lew.  Then Lew hooked up with Murray Rothbard and started publishing The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, and of course I subscribed to that.  And now, in addition to the Mises Institute being a major organization discussing Austrian economics and Libertarian theories, Lew has the website, which I follow religiously on a daily basis.  And so from a very, very early age, Lew has always been around.  Now he’s got a great new book out that we’re going to be talking to him about, called Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto

So, Lew, welcome to the show.

ROCKWELL:  Bob, it’s great to be with you.  And of course I’m a big fan of your site and of your writing.  So it’s a pleasure to be with you.

WENZEL:  You know, let’s get into it.  Let’s start off really basic.  What is Anarcho-Capitalism?

ROCKWELL:  One way you might define it and the simplest way is it’s the view that it is never moral, never legitimate to initiate violence or to make a threat of the initiation of violence against the innocent.  Now when you say that, I would say virtually everybody says, well, of course that’s right; what’s the controversy.  But of course it’s hugely controversial because while I think we all would accept that, every decent person, every non-criminal person would accept that as proper conduct in our personal lives, most people exempt the state.  They think, well, of course the moral law doesn’t apply to the state.  The state can steal your money — and of course they call it taxation, but it still is theft — and it’s, again, with the threat of violence or the application of violence if you don’t go along.  The most violent state activity is of course its wars, its mass murders.  Just having this sort of view, it really is a red pill — the idea that the moral law applies to the state is another way, in a sense, to define Anarcho-Capitalism — and therefore, the state can initiate violence or threaten violence.  And they do it with everything.  If you don’t pay your library fine, and you sufficiently resist paying the library fine, they claim the right to kill you.  Well, that really is not good conduct.  It’s not a humanly healthy thing.  It sure doesn’t make for humans flourishing, if we’re concerned about that.  So I would say the state is the great earthly enemy of mankind.

But again, if you want to start to see this, all you have to do is just think of the moral laws that apply in my personal life and in my business life, my family life, my relations with my neighbors, organizations I might belong to.  If somebody is initiating violence at the Boy Scouts, it’s criminal.  It’s a criminal offense.  Maybe it’s a young boy punching somebody else; then obviously you treat it differently.  But if an adult is initiating violence or threatening the initiation of violence, and somebody does what he wants, we know right away there’s something deeply wrong with that.  And that’s whether it’s the mugger on the street or whomever.  But again, people tend to exempt the government, especially if somebody is in a government costume of some sort; that the moral law doesn’t apply to them.  They can shoot you and just take all your money.  And they get to decide how much of your money they’re going to take every year.  You have nothing to say about it.  You get the order and if you don’t comply — and I must say, I always comply because I know that I’m sort of on the list.  I don’t want to give them that additional weapon to use against me.  But it’s really no different than the mugger.  As Murray Rothbard famously said, “The state is a gang of thieves, writ large.”  So if we don’t like the idea of a gang of thieves stealing peoples’ property, killing people, threatening people, just because they call it the government, it doesn’t change its nature.  In fact, government puts any private criminal gangs in the shade in terms of its depredations.

Let’s just take the U.S. government.  How many millions of innocent people have the U.S. government killed in its very long career of warfare?

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  I’d like to have somebody actually give me — to the extent such a figure could be documented.  It’s certainly millions of people.  Al Capone never did that.  I don’t want to smear Al Capone.  I mean, he mostly –


WENZEL:  That’s right.

ROCKWELL:  He mostly gave people things they wanted: beer and liquor and so forth, gambling.  So private gangs, private criminals, they’re miniscule as compared to this vast apparatus that we’re all taught in the government schools, through the government-affiliated media and government academia and big business, by crony capitalists connected with the state that they really are superior to us.  It is far worse of a crime to kill a government employee than to kill a mere taxpayer in this view.  But I, of course, reject all of that.

And I want to mention that I’m just simply attempting to emulate Murray Rothbard.  I dedicate the book to him.  None of this is original to me.  Everything originates with Murray.  And I urge everybody to read Murray Rothbard.  Read my book, too, of course, but read Rothbard.


WENZEL:  Right.  Now, Lew, it seems like, in certain ways, the government has gained the upper hand in the realm of propaganda.  And you mentioned the schools, I mean, they start us off very early learning the government themes.  And it seems like most people have a very, very difficult time trying to envision a world where government isn’t involved in so many parts of the economy and other areas of our life.  For example, I remember before there was Federal Express when I argued that there wasn’t any need for a U.S. Post Office.  I mean, most people thought it was outrageous at that time.  You know, how could parcels and letters and anything be delivered without the government doing it?  And now that sort of barrier to understanding is falling apart thanks to FedEx and UPS.  But talk a little bit about the propaganda that government is.

ROCKWELL:  Well, certainly, human beings tend to accept what is, and sometimes without thinking.  For example, if shoes and sneakers were a government monopoly and you couldn’t buy — it would be illegal — this of course is the way the government operates — it’s illegal and a jailable offense if anybody was making or selling sneakers or shoes on their own, and we should have the Federal Shoe Administration.  If such a thing existed, people would think, and Bob Wenzel has explained, we don’t need government provision of shoes.  We’d have much better designs.  The prices would be much less, much more easily available.  A lot of people would say, “That’s just nuts.”


ROCKWELL:  So it’s very, very important to, again, have people take the red pill because the propaganda is so fantastically prolific.  And at every stage of life — too many churches, for example, tell people they should obey the government.  Of course, I find they don’t think that Iraqis should have obeyed Saddam Hussein, for example, right?  So they don’t make that a general rule.  Or that the Communist people in Russia, they shouldn’t have obeyed Stalin, or the Germans should have obeyed Hitler, they don’t argue for that.  Although, why not, if they’re going to argue that we all have our religious duty to obey the state?  So, I would argue that of course one always has to be prudent, especially if you have a family and you want to have a decent life and you don’t want to end up in some gulag.  You have to treat this very, very dangerous gang of thieves like the very dangerous gang of thieves it is.

But undermining its moral authority, that is, telling the truth about it, that is the most powerful plan.  And it is possible to change peoples’ minds.  I guess most people are not changeable.  But everything, it seems to me, for good or ill in human history is done by motivated minorities.  We don’t actually need the majority.  We’d love to have the majority but it’s sort of the democratic myth that somehow the majority makes things.

David Gordon, the philosopher, always makes the point that nobody ever argues for anything.  It’s just assumed.  And he had written in one great article saying that everybody assumes democracy is proper and moral.  He said, you can’t find an argument any place in any of the political science literature, philosophical literature that makes an argument about why the majority should be able to rule the minority.  We all might tend to think, well, that makes sense because of course, again, it’s something we’re propagandized with.  But it doesn’t make any sense.  And when you stop to think about the vast majority of what the government propaganda is saying — I’d actually argue 100%, but I think we can all agree the vast majority — that there’s something wrong with it.  It’s lies.  It’s distortions.  It’s intimidation, of course.  So it’s so important to try to get people to — by telling them the truth, those who are interested, of course.

And the great Leonard Reed used to point out, in the tradition of Albert J. Nock, there’s no point in going up to somebody and, in effect, shaking them by the lapel and saying, hey, now, listen to me.  Unfortunately, there have been people in the Libertarian movement like that.  Leonard felt, following Nock, that you first have to make yourself an expert.  You first have to read.  You have to learn some Austrian economics.  You have to learn some real history.  You have to learn some real political philosophy and other sorts of philosophy.  At some point, then people will come to you.

This is the case with you, Bob.

So people come to you, they want to read you, they want to hear what you have to say because you know what you’re talking about.  So if somebody wants to advance the cause of liberty, if they are dedicated to it, the first thing you always have to do is read.  Read, read, read.  Read the great Austrians.  Read the great Libertarians.  Once you know, then people in your family, in your social circle, at work, are going to come to you when something is bothering them.  You know, what’s going on in Iraq?  Why is the Fed doing thus and so?  Why are prices going up so quickly even though the government is lying about it?  So there’s vast areas to talk about.  But, again, not only the best way, I would argue that the only way to combat the government lies is through truth.  So Libertarians do have the truth on their side.  And we have so many great revisionist historians and Austrian economists and great philosophers that we have just a huge amount of ammunition to make use of. 

And sometimes it seems like we’re facing an impossible task.  But it can’t be impossible when they’re the empire of lies and we’re the guerrillas telling the truth.  So as is happening right now in Iraq, for example, we see that small guerilla armies are able to defeat vast state armies.  This became evident in Vietnam, and actually before that.  It doesn’t mean one side is right and the other side is wrong, but this is just a fact.  The great Israeli military historian, Martin Van Creveld, C-R-E-V-E-L-D, has written a lot about this, about why guerrillas are unstoppable.  And it’s a very tough thing for the state.  Of course, this has happened.  The U.S. has been defeated in Afghanistan by a relatively few number of guys with ancient rifles.  And the U.S. has vast technology, vast spending, vast numbers of troops and mercenaries, but they can’t beat a few guerrillas.

So this also applies to sort of our own desire for freedom, guerrillas.  They’re the massive army.  They’re marching by in vast array.  As Nock said, it always reminded him of the ants moving to another location to see a military parade.  So they’re marching by and we’re up in the hills and we’re taking a pot shot occasionally.  And, you know, it has an affect.

So I think it’s had a special affect with young people.  Ron Paul, in the work he’s done not only in this country but with young people all over the world, we have young people questioning what the heck is going on.  He’s got them questioning the wars, the inflation, the central banks, the government regulations, the police state, the surveillance.  All the horrible things that government is doing to us, kids are questioning it.  They’re also of course worried about their own economic futures.  Maybe they’ve got vast debts for useless degrees and that sort of thing.  But even if they don’t, they’re worried about getting a job.  They’re worried about what the future holds for them.

So Ron is so correct in directing peoples’ anger and concern and truth-seeking against the government.  It’s the government and all the people who live off the government, the parasites, the Military-Industrial Complex, the Health Complex, I mean, go down — the Agricultural Complex, I mean, all these vast and private interests that are in cahoots with the state against the rest of us.  They seem impenetrable.  They seem undefeatable.  But I don’t think that’s true at all.  And, again, we have the truth on our side.

Even though the propaganda is vast, I think we all eventually learn, don’t pay attention to what they’re saying on television, FOX or MSNBC or CNN.  They’re nothing but lies.  Except for Judge Napolitano, of course.  But nothing but lies from the beginning of the day to the end of the day.  Virtually, ever newspaper in the country is nothing but a lie sheet.  So we all know we have to — thanks to the Internet, we’re able to look at foreign sources, very diverse sources within our own country.  And through experience and through reading, you’re able to get to know — and there are people you trust that you read — you get to know what’s actually happening.  You’re able to analyze the situation.  You’re able to influence other people.

And, again, this is a worldwide movement.  This is not an American movement.  It’s always important, I think, not to be nationalist in that sense.  So this is a world movement, it’s an international movement, the freedom movement.  And I think it’s very exciting, even though these are horrendous times, in one sense, to be living.  And as you have said so eloquently, obviously, there’s economic problems ahead for us, too.  But nevertheless, I think the long term — I’ll just quote Rothbard again — “There’s every reason to be a short-term pessimist, every reason to be a long-term optimist.”  And I agree with that. 

So I think the government propaganda is being undermined.  So we’re not quite at the state where Yuri Maltsev, who was one of the last defectors from the Soviet Union, said what shocked him when he came to this country was, he said, “Everybody believes the media and the government.”  He said, “In Russia, if they said it was going to rain tomorrow, they assumed it was going to be sunny.”


So that’s the kind of attitude I think more and more people do have.  Again, the old British saying about, “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.”  My own view is: Assume everything they say is a lie.  Everything!  The official media and certainly everything the government, every politician says, assume it’s a lie until proven truthful, and you will be virtually always right.  I don’t say they are 100% lies, but they’re close to being 100%.  So always mistrust them.  Always make fun of them.  They can’t stand being made fun of, by the way.  Hobbs the evil statist, said the prince can stand any kind of opposition; he can’t stand being ridiculed.  And I think that’s correct.  They hate being ridiculed so, therefore, very, very important to make fun of them.  That’s fun for us, too.

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  So I think this is the way to undermine the propaganda.

WENZEL:  You know, you bring up Rothbard, and I think it’s very important to read Rothbard, not only for the theoretical stuff that he writes about economics and liberty and all that but also his style of writing and the way he sort of viewed things.  I mean, in the old days, before the Internet, I couldn’t wait until the next copy of Libertarian Forum or The Rothbard-Rockwell Report came in the mail because Murray would just look at things from such a different perspective that it just really opened your eyes to the way that things could be looked at so differently than the propaganda you get every day from mainstream thinking.  So that needs to be something that should be looked at in Murray’s writing also.  It’s just great stuff.

And, you know, another point you make, Lew, with regard to — you were just speaking truth and things like that, and I found that, in my own experiences, sometimes you tell something to somebody and it may not register with them right away, but it might be 10 years later or something like that and they come back to you, and they remember things that I don’t even remember discussing with them.  Way back when I was reading Harry Browne’s book — of course, he was very bullish on gold and things like that.  And I had a part-time job at a Sears at the time while I was going to school, and I would talk to the guys across the aisle who were the vacuum cleaner salesmen, and repeat what Harry had said about gold.  And 10 years later, I walk in the store just visiting it, and some of those guys were still there, and I had forgotten I had discussed gold with them, but they remembered and brought it up right away because gold had done so great since then.  And more recently, when gold was trading around $300 an ounce, I could see the inflation that was developing and that gold would go up.  This was about three months ago, I ran into a lawyer who I had discussed that with, and he goes, “Boy, your call on gold was really right on.”  And what happens is, when they start to see you say things that really happen, they will pay more attention to you on other topics down the road.  So you’re making some points there that really resonate with me here.

Let me ask you, so, Lew, you’re an Anarcho-Capitalist?  I think one of the best chapters in your book — I mean, it’s a great, great book — but I really like that last chapter when you discuss what an Anarcho-Capitalist society would be like.  Can you explain that?  Because I think for the average person out there, there’s an immediate knee-jerk reaction, thinking, well, you can’t possibly have a society without a government, that people will be shooting each other and burning down buildings and all that.

ROCKWELL:  The government does shoot people and burn buildings down.  So of course this is, again, where we’re propagandized from the earliest age.

But I think it’s clear, if we think about just how we function in our regular life, not only are we not burning anybody’s house down or shooting them or threatening to kill somebody if they don’t do what we want, but that’s not how we operate in our private lives, that’s not the way a business functions, it’s not the way a church functions, any kind of charitable institution, our own families.  Everything is voluntary.  And people only do the things that they voluntarily agree to do.

So first of all, you sort of bring that to their attention about the way they live.  And then you have, again, this vast apparatus of compulsion-and-control ruling society, and you have to begin to say, just think about anything the government does.  You can make a utilitarian argument.  Think about anything the government does; it’s a mess.  It’s vastly more expensive than it needs to be and things aren’t done well.  And there’s wonderful writing on this of course in Rothbard, and go back to Molinari and many others, subsequently.

Do we actually need government police?  I mean, do people actually, if they see the police in their neighborhood, are they’re thinking, oh, thank goodness I’m safe?  Or are they thinking, holy smokes, are they going to taser me?  Are they going to shoot me?  What’s going on?  So is it possible to have the policing function handled by a private market where actually people are security guards?  Just think about how security guards treat you versus how the police treat you.  It’s a very, very different situation.  And there can be private security companies.  We already have private security companies.  So who would you rather have protecting your house?

Of course, the Supreme Court has ruled the police have no duty to protect you or your house or any of your property of any sort.  They have a duty to try to shoot the guy that kills you.  Well, thanks a lot.  But they have absolutely no duty to prevent anything.  But private security companies would have a duty to try to prevent anything.  That’s what they would be selling you.  And would you rather have that or would you rather have the government doing it?  It is possible for people to think about whether there should be private security companies.

Hans Hoppe is one of those who argue so eloquently, as Rothbard and many others did, that we don’t need government defense either.  Of course, virtually nothing government does is defense; it’s all offense.  There would be a market function for private defense that people would want to pay for.  But I think just from taking a sampling of just our regular lives, private police — police to whom you would be a customer, not a victim, not just a bump in the road that they feel they can drive over, but a customer.  You’re a paying customer.  That relationship is so wonderful and so different from anything in the government.  Of course, that doesn’t exist with the government.

So is it possible to have the idea of private security?  I know in South Africa, for example, there’s a vast private security industry, obviously, because they need it and also because, thank goodness, the government hasn’t outlawed it.  So you can subscribe to a private security company.  And they are known, when there’s an alarm, of getting to your house — and these guys come in, in full body army and submachine guns and all that stuff, too — but they’re know for getting to your house in four or five minutes and protecting people.  They just are so efficient and far cheaper than any government police.  And of course people are happy to pay for them.  Even though, in South African, unfortunately, like every other place, they’re also being forced to pay for the government police.  So this vast apparatus of private companies provides super-duper efficient defense and where they’re not going to come in your house and shoot up your house and kill you.  You’re the paying customer and they love their customers, like any businessman does.  So it is possible to have that sort of situation.

As you pointed out, I think probably nobody now believes that actually a post office is necessary.  I’m going to mention my favorite post office story.  This was back when I was working for Ron Paul in Congress at the end of the Carter administration.  And at the request of the post office, the Carter people introduced a bill to outlaw fax machines.  I guess they sort knew what was coming in terms of technology.

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  So their proposal was that the only legal fax machine should be in post offices.  So if you wanted to send a fax, you go down to the post office, the post office would then fax your document to another post office, which would then deliver it to the person you wanted it delivered to.  Well, even the rotten Congress wouldn’t go along with that.


And I must say, the Carter people did it for the post office, but they weren’t actually enthusiastic about it otherwise.  But that of course is sort of peek into how the government operates.  They always want to grow.  They always want to stamp out competition, using violence.

But, again, you want a society where you’re a customer.  Where you’re a customer to the fire department.  Ben Franklin — I’m not a fan of Ben Franklin — but Ben Franklin set up very successful private fire companies in Philadelphia where you would pay in order to get fire protection.  This is the human, natural, capitalistic way.  This is the moral way, the voluntary way.  Nobody is being forced to anything they don’t want to do with a gun at their head.

The basic Libertarian principle is violence is only justifiable in defense.  If somebody is invading your house with their guns and they want to engage in burglary and rape and murder and everything else, do you have a right to defend yourself with violence?  Yes, of course, you do.  But that’s all you have the right to do.  Only in self defense.

But I think, again, if you look at any area of government provision — and especially, you need to understand some economics — which it is a very good thing for society and for yourself to understand some economics — and then you begin to realize why you don’t actually need all these vast government agencies regulating business for the alleged benefit for the consumer — ha, ha!   Of course, it’s not.  It’s for the benefit of the cronies.  So if you’re concerned about cronyism, if you’re concerned about government surveillance — and no private company, by the way, would be spying on everybody’s emails and phone calls and so forth.  Only the government would do that.  Only the government would engage in war.  Only the government would engage in tasing and shooting customers — of course, we’re not customers to the government — but the people who should be customers.

So I think it just requires, first of all, some introspection about how you live your own life, how you and your friends and family and your business associates live their lives.  They’re not muggers.  They’re not killers.  They’re not rapists and murderers.  There are people like that in society; you do need defense against them.  It’s a very important market function that could be handled so much more morally and efficiently and cheaply.  It would almost be science fiction, how wonderful it would be, as compared to the current situation where the police are of course our enemies — the FBI, the CIA, the DEA.

So I mentioned the DEA, the drug war is another reason to think that we don’t need government.  If good people start to think about this, maybe they’d start to accept medicinal marijuana first.  Mises makes this point in Human Action: If the government can’t tell you what to put in your brain, that is, what you read, why should they be allowed to tell you what to put in your body?  I mean, that’s your body, your life, your future, your decision, not some creep’s in Washington.  So I think more and more people are coming to this.  There’s far more opposition to the drug war today than certainly in my lifetime.  It’s very, very exciting.  And the nullification that’s going on in so many states against federal drug laws.  So I think people are beginning to see, but it’s the job of Libertarians, the job of free-market people, Anarcho-Capitalists to teach, to teach everybody who’s interested in this sort of thing, to make sure everything is in print.  One of the great things is Rothbard’s work and Mises’ work, it’s all available for free on the Internet, and very cheap prices in print.

So, you know, I once engaged in an argument with a Cato guy who wrote for The Economist, and probably still does.  And he said, “You know, the Ron Paul movement has a lot to recommend it, but here’s the basic problem, they’re a bunch of Rothbardians.  What they really need to do is become Friedmanites.”  So I wrote a blog, taking, obviously, the opposite position, that the Rothbardian point of view was correct.  And I made the point just in passing that I thought Rothbard was the best-read economist in the world.  I’m including laypeople in that, too.  And somebody on the David Friedman blog said, you know, “This is an unfair point to make.  It’s an unfair argument, not a legitimate argument, because all of Friedman’s books are very, very expensive and difficult to get and Rothbard is for free on the web.”  [Laughing].

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  Well, you know, unfair, right?  So as you’ve mentioned, as I’ve mentioned, we both had the honor and the delight of knowing Murray Rothbard.  But he’s so compelling.  This is not like some horrible 20th-century novel you’re forced to read in high school.  Just start reading anything of Rothbard’s, whether it’s in history or economics, Libertarianism, culture.  One of the great movie reviewers ever, by the way.  This is all online for free.  Just start reading a couple of paragraphs and you will be hooked and you’ll want to read them all.  And that’s the best thing you could do for your own intellectual development and for the cause of freedom.

WENZEL:  Yeah, and actually, I think one of the best collections for a person to start to get familiar with Rothbard is to go to your site,, and click on the Murray Rothbard columns, because that’s a great archive there that introduces people.  They can sort of scroll down the headlines and see topics that they’re interested in and how Rothbard viewed them.  That’s, I think, one of the best ways to be introduced to Rothbard.

Now, I’ll tell you another thing, when you talk police, Lew, I think you’re absolutely right.  I think the idea that police protect you is just one of the myths of government.  I mean, they don’t.  I tend to live in big cities which are very, very dangerous at night in many places, and I don’t expect the police to be out there to protect me.  If I’m late at night, I’m always aware of what delis might be open, what buildings might have doormen, where other security might be around just in case.  If something happened, some dangerous situation might develop, I know where to go where there’s real protection.  And it’s not thinking the police are going to be there.

I was once in downtown Los Angeles late at night, up on Bunker Hill, near the Wells Fargo building, and I was walking.  There was this dark shadow sort of coming towards me, a very hulking guy, who just looked like he might be trouble.  And so I crossed the street and he crossed the street.  And then I crossed back to the other side and he crossed back again.  He was still a little distance away but I said, “Uh, oh, this guy is going to be a problem.”  And so I looked around and the Wells Fargo garage was there and the security guard was there, so I just went over and talked to him for a minute.  And he noticed this guy sort of coming towards us.  And he said, “Do me a favor and stay here.”  I mean, he was going to stand there and protect me.  But with two of us there, the guy just passed and sort of acknowledged us and that was it.  But that might have been trouble.  But looking for the police would have never, never helped me there.  It’s knowing who the real security is and who really protects you, and it’s not police who drive around after they’ve had their coffee and doughnuts every two hours.

ROCKWELL:  No.  And as Will Grigg, the great expert on the police, points out, don’t ever call 911, because there’s too much of a chance –

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  — they’re going to shoot you!

WENZEL:  Right.  Right.  Exactly.

ROCKWELL:  I mean — [Laughing] — you don’t want them around.

I remember once when I first read Malcolm X saying the police are occupiers, and I was too much of a conservative at that point and I thought, well, that’s ridiculous.  But of course, it’s true.  And especially, it seems to me, it’s obviously true these days.  They’re an occupying force on behalf of the government and the crony capitalists to protect their interests and to protect the control of the political class against us.  That’s their purpose.  It’s not to protect the people.

WENZEL:  Which –

ROCKWELL:  When I lived in Oklahoma City, there was the last big national police strike, and it was hilarious, because of course in Oklahoma City, like in other wonderful parts of the country, every guy is armed.  I mean, everybody’s got a gun in their house.  So when the police went on strike, the governor sent in 50 state troopers, and the crime rate plummeted because of course every single criminal thought, boy, everybody is on a hair trigger and they’re all carry guns –

WENZEL:  Right.  Right.

ROCKWELL:  — and they all have guns in their house.  And I’m convinced that one of the reasons the strike ended much sooner than anybody had predicted was the police were embarrassed by the fact that the crime rate plummeted when they were on strike.

WENZEL:  Wow.  That’s a great story.  That’s awesome.

ROCKWELL:  They engage in robbery and all that, too.

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  But even leaving that aside, we’re not benefitted by having occupiers.  A lot of them are guys who have been damaged by having been veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq.  And by having them riding around in cars, armed to the teeth, and looking at us as potential terrorists, I mean, that’s not a recipe for civic happiness.

WENZEL:  You’re point on 911, I mean, the other danger with calling 911 is you can become a suspect.  I mean, look at what happened to the guy in Atlanta, Richard Jewell.  I mean, that was terrible what happened to him.  He’s reporting the crime, what he sees, and they consider him a suspect, put him under all — and the mainstream media of course follow along with that.  I mean, it was terrible.  So it’s very, very dangerous to call 911.

ROCKWELL:  Yeah, it’s actually true.  And of course I don’t want to shock anybody but all the cop shows on television are lies from beginning to end.

WENZEL:  Right.

ROCKWELL:  It’s a bureaucracy.  They don’t want to do any work.  They do everything possible to avoid work.  When they’re out at night, they park under a bridge and go to sleep and that sort of thing.  And they always pick the easy guy to prosecute and suspect and attack.  And poor Richard Jewell.  And there are many, many other instances of this.  And a lot of innocent people are in prison.  Of course, a lot of people who shouldn’t be in prison because they’re — I’m not a fan of the prison system in any sense, but certainly the majority of people in there shouldn’t be in prison.

WENZEL:  So, Lew, who are you aiming this book at?  Who should be reading your book?

ROCKWELL:  Well, you know, you can think of it as sort of an introduction to Anarcho-Capitalism.  Murray said that he thought that Anarchism reached its fulfillment in Capitalism; Capitalism reaches its fulfillment in Anarchism.  So I’m trying to show that we don’t need rulers, that society does not need a ruling class that of course vastly rips us off.  They all earn far more than the average poor schnook who is the taxpayer.  The cops, the firemen, the public school teachers, all vastly over paid.  Of course, if they get a dime, they’re over paid.  But vastly over paid in every sense.  But we don’t need a ruling class murdering people by the millions, oppressing us, controlling us.  You know, it’s not necessary.  It’s actually a terrible situation.

But this is purely introductory.  There’s of course a vast amount of literature that’s similar, which I mentioned in the book.  There’s a whole bunch to read and to learn from.  So this is just like an introductory manual for people who — maybe there’s something wrong with the current system and they want to consider something different.  And I hope young people will find it interesting.  But it’s for people of all ages.  If you’re unhappy with the present political situation in this country, if you’re unhappy with the size and the reach and the scope and the viciousness of the government, you think maybe there’s an alternative, take a look at the book.  It’s available on, both as a Kindle book and as a paperback.  And take a look at the reviews.  And if you think you might be interested, I would of course be very grateful if you bought the book.

WENZEL:  Yeah, great.  I also want to urge people to visit  It’s very addicting.  There’s a new page every day, Monday through Saturday.  And it’s a great new perspective on how to look at the world, how to look at government, how to look at liberty, and ways to understand the economy.  It’s well worthwhile.  Check into that.

Again, Lew’s book is Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto.

Lew, thanks very much for coming on the show.  Appreciate it.

ROCKWELL:  Bob, it’s an honor.  Thanks for having me.

WENZEL:  Take care.

ROCKWELL:  Thank you.

WENZEL:  Thank you for listening to the Robert Wenzel Show.  This is Robert Wenzel.  Be sure to check out my website,, where I blog seven days a week about economics, finance, politics and liberty.  Executive producer of the Robert Wenzel Show is Chris Rossini.  Head of editing and mastering is John Daubert.

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