• Our Anti-Imperialist Heritage

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    Introduction

    Murray
    N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was just one man with a typewriter, but
    he inspired a world-wide renewal in the scholarship of liberty.
    During 45 years of research and writing, in 25 books and thousands
    of articles, he battled every destructive trend in this century:
    socialism, statism, relativism, and scientism – and awakened
    a passion for freedom in thousands of scholars, journalists, and
    activists.

    Teaching
    in New York, Las Vegas, Auburn, and at conferences around the
    world, Rothbard led the renaissance of the Austrian School of
    economics. He galvanized an academic and popular fight for liberty
    and property, against the omnipotent state and its court intellectuals.

    Volumes
    one and two of his magisterial history of economic thought appeared
    just after his death, published by Edward Elgar. Whereas other
    texts pretend to an uninterrupted march toward higher levels of
    truth, Rothbard illuminated a history of unknown geniuses and
    lost knowledge, of respected charlatans and honored fallacies.

    A large
    collection of Rothbard’s best scholarly articles appears later
    this year in the publisher’s "Economists of the Century"
    series. In addition, there are unpublished manuscripts, articles,
    and letters to fill many more volumes.

    Like his
    beloved teacher, Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard wrote for the public
    as well as professionals. "Civilization and human existence
    are at stake, and to preserve and expand it, high theory and scholarship,
    though important, are not enough," he wrote in 1993. "Especially
    in an age of galloping statism, the classical liberal, the advocate
    of the free market, has an obligation to carry the struggle to
    all levels of society."

    Rothbard’s
    theory was his practice. He was involved in nearly every political
    and social development of his time, from Robert Taft’s presidential
    campaign to the 1994 elections.
    His last article, appearing in the

    Washington Post
    , warned that Newt Gingrich is more likely
    to betray the revolution than lead it.

    Q: Why,
    in your view, is isolationism an essential tenet of libertarian
    foreign policy?

    A: The libertarian
    position, generally, is to minimize State power as much as possible,
    down to zero, and isolationism is the full expression in foreign
    affairs of the domestic objective of whittling down State power.
    In other words, interventionism is the opposite of isolationism,
    and of course it goes on up to war, as the aggrandizement of State
    power crosses national boundaries into other States, pushing other
    people around etc. So this is the foreign counterpart of the domestic
    aggression against the internal population. I see the two as united.

    The responsibility
    of trying to limit or abolish foreign intervention is avoided
    by many conservative libertarians in that they are very, very
    concerned with things like price control – of course I agree
    with them. They are very, very concerned about eliminating taxes,
    licensing, and so forth – with which I agree – but somehow
    when it comes to foreign policy there’s a black out. The
    libertarian position against the State, the hostility toward expanding
    government intervention and so forth, goes by the board –
    all of a sudden you hear those same people who are worried about
    government intervention in the steel industry cheering every American
    act of mass murder in Vietnam or bombing or pushing around people
    all over the world.

    This shows,
    for one thing, that the powers of the State apparatus to bamboozle
    the public work better in foreign affairs than in domestic. In
    foreign affairs you still have this mystique that the nation-State
    is protecting you from a bogeyman on the other side of the mountain.
    There are "bad" guys out there out trying to conquer
    the world and "our" guys are in there trying to protect
    us. So not only is isolationism the logical corollary of libertarianism,
    which many libertarians don’t put into practice; in addition,
    as Randolph Bourne says, "war is the health of the State."

    The State
    thrives on war – unless, of course, it is defeated and crushed
    – expands on it, glories in it. For one thing, when one State
    attacks another State, it is able through this intellectual bamboozlement
    of the public to convince them that they must rush to the defense
    of the State because they think the State is defending them.

    In other
    words, if let’s say, Paraguay and Brazil are going to get
    into a war, each State – the Paraguayan government and the
    Brazilian government – is able to convince their own subjects
    that the other government is out to get them and loot them and
    murder them in their beds and so forth, so they are able to induce
    their own hapless subjects to fight against the other State, whereas
    in actual practice, of course, it is the States that have the
    quarrel, not the people. The people are outside the quarrels of
    the State and yet the State is able to generate this patriotic
    mass war hysteria and to call everybody up to the colors physically
    and spiritually and economically and therefore, of course, aggrandize
    State power permanently.

    Most conservatives
    and libertarians are very familiar with – and deplore –
    the increase in State power in the American government in the
    last 50 or 70 years, but what they don’t seem to realize
    is that most of these increases took place in giant leaps during
    wartime. It was wartime that provided the crisis situation –
    the spark – which enabled the States to put on so-called
    "emergency" measures, which of course never got lifted,
    or rarely got lifted.

    Even the
    war of 1812 – seemingly a harmless little escapade – was
    evil, and also in the domestic sense, in that it ruined the Jeffersonian
    Party for a long time to come, it established Federalism which
    means monopoly State-capitalism in essence, it imposed a central
    bank, it imposed high tariffs, it imposed domestic federal taxation,
    which never existed before, internal taxation, and it took a long
    time to get rid of it, and we never really did get back to the
    pre-War of 1812 level of minimal State power.

    Then, of
    course, the Mexican war had consequences of slave expansion and
    so forth. But the Civil War was, of course, much worse –
    the Civil War was really the great turning point, one of the great
    turning points in the increase of State power, because with the
    Civil War you now have the total introduction of things like railroad
    land grants, subsidies of big business, permanent high tariffs,
    which the Jacksonians had been able to whittle away before the
    Civil War, and a total revolution in the monetary system so that
    the old pure gold standard was replaced first by greenback paper,
    and then by the National Banking Act – a controlled banking
    system. And for the first time we had the imposition in the United
    States of an income tax and federal conscription. The income tax
    was reluctantly eliminated after the Civil War as was conscription:
    all the other things – such as high excise taxes – continued
    on as a permanent accretion of State power over the American public.

    The third
    huge increase of power came out of World War I. World War I set
    both the foreign and the domestic policies for the twentieth century.
    Woodrow Wilson set the entire pattern for foreign policy from
    1917 to the present. There is a total continuity between Wilson,
    Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson and Nixon – the same thing
    all the way down the line.

    Q: You’d
    include Kennedy in that?

    A: Yes Kennedy,
    right. I don’t want to miss anybody. Every president has
    been inspired by Woodrow Wilson. It was reported that Richard
    Nixon’s first act when he came into the White House was to
    hang a picture of Woodrow Wilson in front of his desk. The same
    influence has held on domestic affairs. As a matter of fact if
    I had to single out – this is one of my favorites pastimes
    – the biggest SOB in American history in the sense of evil
    impact – I think Woodrow Wilson is way, way at the head of
    the list for many reasons. The permanent direction which Woodrow
    Wilson set for foreign policy included the permanent collective
    security concept, which means America has some sort of God-given
    role to push everybody around everywhere and set up little democratic
    governments all over the world, and to suppress any kind of revolution
    against the status quo – that means any kind of change in
    the status quo either domestic or foreign. In the domestic sphere
    the corollary was the shift from a relatively laissez-faire economy
    – corrupted as it was by the Civil War subsidies it was still
    and all a relatively laissez-faire capitalism – a deliberate
    shift to in essence a so-called corporate state, what openly became
    a Corporate State in Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany.

    Q: As
    of what time?

    A:
    Well, the Progressive period begins around 1900 with Teddy Roosevelt
    and so forth. Woodrow Wilson cements it with his so-called reforms
    which totally subject the banking system to federal power and
    with the Federal Trade Commission, which did for business what
    the Interstate Commerce Commission did for the railroads. In other
    words, he imposed a system of monopoly capitalism, or corporate
    state monopoly, which we now call the partnership of the government
    and of big business and industry, which means essentially a corporate
    state, or we can call it economic Fascism. It culminated in World
    War I economic planning, for the war consisted of a totally collectivized
    economy headed by the sainted and revered Bernard Mannes Baruch,
    head of the War Industries Board.

    The economy
    had a central board and each industry was governed by a committee
    from the industry – say the iron and steel industry was governed
    by the Iron and Steel Board, the heads of the board were deliberately
    selected from the biggest firms in that particular industry and
    they would negotiate with committees of industry set up by the
    government, and the government would encourage trade associations
    in the industries to set up committees and negotiate with these
    boards.

    So what you
    have is the so-called commodity sections – the government
    boards selected from the biggest businessmen in the industry and
    they fixed prices and production and priority and everything else
    with other committees set up by the same big firm, and everyone
    loved it. Big businesses loved it, the government loved it and
    the Progressive intellectuals – as they were called then
    – said, this is a magnificent third way, a "middle way"
    as they called it – to battle the old laissez-faire capitalism
    on the one hand, and the new Proletarian Marxian socialism on
    the other.

    They
    didn’t like the idea of Marxian socialism because it was
    messy, emphasized class struggle, and led to a revolution perhaps.
    What they saw here was a new order – and this was a vision
    held by Baruch and Hoover and all sorts of Progressive intellectuals
    from the universities and so forth – they saw a beautiful
    new order with big government controlling the economy, regulating
    it, subsidizing it, largely staffed by big businessmen in collaboration
    with unions, which were deliberately encouraged as disciplinary
    agents for the labor force, and which were practically created
    by the war labor system. All this of course was staffed and apologized
    for by the Progressive intellectuals, who acquired prestige, power,
    and a great sense of accomplishment pushing people around in their
    government bureaus.

    So we have,
    then, this unholy partnership of big government, big business,
    big unions, and intellectuals, and it was developed so much in
    World War I planning that the business leaders and the government
    leaders who pushed the thing were very reluctant to see it end.
    They saw in it not just a wartime measure; this was the model
    they wanted for the permanent peacetime economy. They wanted to
    end all messy competition. As one big business writer said, "As
    General Sherman said ‘war is Hell, competition is war, and
    therefore competition is Hell.’" They wanted to eliminate
    competition, and to establish a system of industrial "cooperation"
    monopolies. And they were very sorry to see the War Industries
    Board scrapped when the war was over.

    As a matter
    of fact, it almost wasn’t scrapped. Wilson finally decided
    to scrap it, but it was touch and go. Then afterwards the same
    people – Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Bernard Baruch, all
    the people who had earned their stripes in World War I mobilization
    planning – for the rest of their lives tried and then succeeded
    in reestablishing World War I planning – it was known as
    war collectivism – as a permanent peacetime set up. Herbert
    Hoover during the 1920s was trying to use the power of the government
    to encourage and support trade association cartel agreements,
    and Franklin Roosevelt also. When Roosevelt and the New Deal got
    in, they used not only the same agencies as World War I collectivism,
    but the same people.

    In case after
    case the people were brought back to do for the economy what had
    been done in war, to treat the depression in a military manner,
    and then World War II, of course, finishes it. In World War II,
    we have another big quantum leap – enormous government spending
    and military-industrial pump priming, and the permanent cold war,
    and so we then have the plans for a permanent peacetime welfare-warfare
    state – a corporate state – pushed through of course
    by partnership of these powerful forces plus intellectuals, done
    by means of wartime crisis.

    Q: The
    notion of collective security is something that many Americans
    today take for granted as desirable and essential.

    A: Well I
    think the concept of collective security is (1) a disaster and
    (2) anti-libertarian. Viet Nam again brings this thing to the
    fore, in the sense of masking imperial interventionist policy
    on the part of the American government in the rhetoric of the
    cloak of righteousness and moralistic pieties. Let’s take
    two hypothetical states – this is the technique von Mises used
    to use, I think, with good effect – take the hypothetical states
    of Ruritania and Waldavia, somewhere off in the Balkans or whatever.
    The Ruritanian State invades the Waldavian State. The collective-security
    view is that this constitutes aggression, it’s evil per se
    – an evil State attacking a victim State, the Ruritanian
    State being the aggressor in this case, and then it becomes the
    duty of every other State in the whole wide world – the United
    States being somehow the divinely appointed chief and almost sole
    pourer out of resources in this effort – to step in to defend
    the so-called victim, and crush the aggressor.

    Now this
    has very many important consequences. One is that every crummy
    little interstate conflict anywhere in the world becomes escalated
    and maximized into world wide global conflict. With this kind
    of policy it means that no dispute anywhere, however trivial,
    can ever be kept trivial or kept isolated to the parties of the
    dispute, as they become globalized and bring everybody else into
    the holocaust. The second problem is that the whole idea of the
    aggressor State and the victim State is based on the phony analogy
    of the individual citizen – individual person – suffering
    an aggression against him.

    You remember
    the big argument President Truman used about Korea – he said,
    "We are not engaged in a war, we are engaged in a police
    action, a UN police action against the North Korean aggressor."
    Now when he said that he was not just using peculiar and phony
    rhetoric. The rhetoric came out of the Wilsonian collective security
    ideology, which was: if you see armies crossing frontiers somewhere,
    this constitutes aggression. It means that in the same sense as
    if he sees Jones beating up Smith on the street, the policeman
    on the block rushes to his defense, and so therefore the United
    States and the United Nations become the policemen rushing to
    defend the victim.

    Now there
    are several problems in this. One is that even in the case of
    Jones and Smith, the presumption is if you see Jones beating up
    Smith that you should rush to Smith’s defense. However, there
    might be certain mitigating circumstances. Smith might have just
    beaten up Jones’s kid, and Jones might be retaliating; in
    other words, Smith might have started the fight – you don’t
    know that without historical investigation so to speak of the
    Smith-Jones relationship.

    In the case
    of States, you have a completely different situation because this
    ideology assumes that the Waldavian State and Ruritanian State
    are somehow the rightful owners of all their territory, just as
    Jones owns his watch and Smith does, too, and then Smith beats
    Jones up or takes his watch away from him, this is aggression.
    The analogy then becomes, if Ruritania invades Waldavia, this
    means that Waldavian territory, Waldavian property, rightful property,
    has been taken away from them by the Ruritanian aggressor.

    Now the point
    is for the libertarian that none of these States have any rightful
    property, that the Ruritanian government does not properly and
    justly own the entire land area of the country – the property
    should be owned by individual citizens, the State apparatus has
    then no title, no just claim. So if the Ruritanian State crosses
    the frontier and fights the Waldavian State, this does not make
    the Ruritanian State any more of an aggressor than the original
    Waldavian State. Both of them are aggressors over their subject
    populations. Considering that and the whole idea that every other
    government should rush in and defend Waldavia means that not only
    is every small conflict escalated to a global scale – it
    also means that every small aggression is maximized in the global
    scale.

    In other
    words, since all governments aggress against their citizens through
    taxes, through conscription, through mass murder called war, the
    more governments that enter into the picture – the more the
    United States, Britain, or whatever rushes in to defend Waldavia
    – the more innocent civilians get killed, the more innocent
    people are forced to pay taxes, the more innocent people are conscripted.
    So the way to minimize aggression when you are dealing with States
    is to agitate and press for nobody to enter into any conflict
    at all – hopefully for no government to go to war with any
    other government – and if any government does go to war,
    for the third, fourth, and fifth party to stay the blazes out.

    Apart from
    all this, the boundaries of each State – Waldavian, Ruritanian,
    American, French, British – since they are not justly owned
    by any sort of process of capital investment or homesteading or
    anything else, since all State boundaries have always been the
    result of previous conquests – so in many cases the so-called
    aggressor state has a better claim than the so-called victim state.

    For example,
    suppose that Ruritania is "aggressing" and declares
    war on Waldavia and starts seizing the Northwestern part of Waldavia.
    Well, it’s very possible that the Northwestern part of Waldavia
    is ethnically Ruritanian, had Ruritanian customs, and that 100
    years ago, the Waldavian State had conquered it and now the Ruritanians
    were taking it back. This is a perfectly legitimate claim, so
    the point is, then, that all interstate wars intensify aggression
    – maximize it – and that some wars are even more unjust
    than others. In other words, all government wars are unjust, although
    some governments have less unjust claims in the sense that they
    might have. Well, let’s put it this way, in the case of the
    Ruritanian-Waldavian thing, when the Ruritanians are simply taking
    back ethnically Ruritanian territory and the Ruritanian masses
    were yearning to rejoin their homeland – then libertarians,
    it seems to me, would say that war would then be just if the following
    conditions were satisfied: (1) There were no taxes imposed; (2)
    No innocent civilians got killed; (3) Nobody got conscripted –
    in other words, it was a purely voluntary fight. Obviously to
    meet these conditions, it would be almost impossible but there
    are different gradations – you know, real life wars, approaching
    this. A "just war" would be for all these conditions
    to be met.

    Q: What
    is your view of the applicability of the concept of collective
    security to, say, a situation involving a private nongovernmental
    band of pirates?

    A: Well I
    wouldn’t call it collective security. First of all, I don’t
    like the word "collective." Collective implies some
    sort of nonexistent collectivity that acts – has a being
    and acts; only individuals exist, only individuals act. So that
    if private people get aggressed against by pirates I would certainly
    be in favor of and certainly support the right of these individual
    victims to defend themselves against piracy by banding together,
    or by hiring other agencies to defend themselves. I don’t
    like to call that collective, because collective implies some
    sort of coercive totality.

    Q: Let’s
    assume, then, you have some type of mutual defense pact entered
    into by private individuals to defend themselves against a band
    of private nongovernmental pirate. Let’s say that it would
    be probable that there would be innocent victims of the tactics
    that were most appropriate in defending private interests. What
    would be your view on the propriety of such tactics?

    A:
    I think – first, one of the points that I should have mentioned
    about wars, why I am opposed to all of them – is that in
    modern times the scale of weaponry that’s used is escalated
    so that it’s almost impossible not to murder innocent civilians.
    Part of the reason for this is not only the march of technology,
    the fact that if you use a bow and arrow you can pinpoint it against
    the enemy army, you can pinpoint it at the retinue of a king.
    If you use H bombs or B-29s or whatever, of course, you can’t
    pinpoint the warring soldiers and officers – you have to
    start the mass murdering of civilians.

    There’s
    another reason for this: the State apparatus gathers to itself
    the entire population of its territory. If you happen to live
    in France you as a French citizen, even though you might hate
    the war that France is conducting against Portugal, you are committed
    to it by the very nature of the state system. So that if the French
    government goes to war with the Portuguese government, the Portuguese
    government would undoubtedly bomb, if it could, the French civilian
    population. So, in other words, the very nature of interstate
    war puts innocent civilians into great jeopardy, especially with
    modern technology.

    However,
    if you didn’t have State war, if States were eliminated or
    if you are only talking about private marauders versus private
    defenders, then the situation completely changes. Then you don’t
    only have one state and one geographical area secure in its home
    base, and the other state somewhere else in its geographical area
    on its home base. In other words, to put it bluntly, you are not
    going to have either the marauders or the defenders bombing each
    other because they are only perhaps five blocks apart. So the
    result of this is that you only use H bomb and mass murder –
    commit genocide against an enemy – if they are way out there
    somewhere and you can’t see them. The beauty of nonstate
    – interprivate, if you want to put it that way, warfare is
    that it has to be pinpointed – it has to be, in order not to
    commit suicide in the process – and so that the scale of weaponry
    has to be reduced to, say, machine-gun level.

    In that situation,
    I don’t see why civilians have to be injured at all. After
    all, look at private crime now: suppose somebody beats somebody
    over the head and steals his pocketbook and runs down the street.
    The police right now do not spray machine-gun fire on the entire
    crowd in order to shoot down the criminal. The principle is that
    no innocent person can get killed, and if the criminal escapes,
    it’s tough luck, because the most important principle for
    the libertarian and among the domestic police is not to use force
    against noncriminals. There’s an ancient maxim that it’s
    more important to let a hundred criminals escape than to injure
    one innocent person, so (1) I would be totally opposed to injuring
    any non-criminals and (2) if you shift from State war – interstate
    warfare – down to private warfare, the likelihood of doing
    that, of pursuing this kind of libertarian non-injuring of civilians,
    will be greatly increased.

    Q: Do
    you care to comment on the view that the only war in which the
    United States has been involved which could be justified is the
    Revolutionary War?

    A: Yes, I
    agree 100% with that! The difference between the Revolutionary
    War and an interstate war is that, in the first place, an interstate
    war is a war of one government against another – it’s
    a war that aggresses against the innocent civilians of the opposite
    government, it’s a war that increases taxes at home, and
    conscription usually, to pay for it. Revolutionary war is a war
    against the state apparatus, a war from below by the armed public.
    It doesn’t have to injure innocent civilians, and it usually
    doesn’t. It often does not involve taxes or conscription
    – if it does, it does so on a very small scale.

    The American
    revolutionary effort didn’t have any taxation even on a state
    level for the first few years of the Revolutionary war. In other
    words, put it this way – when you have a revolutionary war
    against the existing state apparatus – say the American people
    against the British Crown and their collaborationists at home,
    the guerrilla revolutionary effort can pinpoint their attacks
    against the State apparatus. They do the pinpointing, and they
    have to do the pinpointing. They can do it and they have to do
    it – in other words, they don’t spray innocent people
    with machine guns, they don’t H-bomb if they have the H bomb,
    their object is to zap the forces of the existing government of
    the Crown – the Crown officers and so forth.

    On the other
    hand, the reason why they don’t injure civilians is usually
    not just from moral reasons, but from basic strategic ones –
    that is, that no revolutionary, no people’s war can succeed
    unless it has the broad support of the mass of the population.
    Mao tse Tung and Che Guevara, of course, enunciated this –
    as "The guerrillas are to the people as fish are to water."
    But actually Charles Lee saw this much earlier – he was the
    brilliant Revolutionary theorist who was the second in command
    to George Washington for the first few years of the American Revolution.
    He was a British soldier of fortune and libertarian and wandered
    all over the world picking up military insights. As soon as the
    American Revolution broke out, Lee rushed to the United States
    to help out in the war effort, and was made second in command.

    Lee set the
    pattern for the American victory, not Washington – well,
    I won’t go into that, but Lee set the pattern by pointing
    out that the American Revolution could only succeed as a people’s
    war from below – a guerrilla struggle, it you will –
    against the superior fire power of the British government. The
    government’s lacking the essential popular support, the guerrillas
    therefore become the people, and people became the guerrillas
    in the old battle grounds of Lexington and Concord, which victories
    were the first great American guerrilla action. The British, just
    as the Americans now in Vietnam, had very great difficulty distinguishing
    between the peasants and the guerrillas. They say they all look
    alike – well, they are alike, they are them. In other words,
    peasants in the daytime pick up the guns at night and pop the
    British soldiers.

    Joey Rothbard:
    Not the British soldiers.

    A:
    Well, in the American Revolution, it was the British soldiers,
    in the Viet Nam war, it is the American soldiers, but the principle
    is the same. The interesting thing is that on the other hand,
    the counterrevolutionary forces, in other words, the Government
    battling against the Revolution, has to do just the opposite:
    they have superior fire power for various reasons, they have the
    official army, but they don’t have the support of the population
    – so in their kind of warfare, they have to amass genocidal
    terror against the civilian population, they try to break the
    morale of the civilians, try to cut their support off from the
    guerrillas and so forth. The Americans have done this with the
    infamous strategic hamlet policy in Viet Nam, herding the peasants
    into hamlets so that they couldn’t support the guerrillas;
    the British did it in the Boer War in the early 20th century;
    the American government did it in the Philippines in the early
    part of the 20th century; and I think the British would have done
    it in the Revolutionary war if they had had the resources to do
    so. The British actually did some of this, you know, though they
    had not carried counterrevolutionary warfare to its present height.
    But the principle is there so that if you have a revolution against
    the State apparatus, the revolutionary warfare – apart from
    the goals of the revolution or the counterrevolution – is
    almost necessarily libertarian and the counterrevolutionary warfare
    is almost necessarily genocidal or anti-libertarian.

    Q: What
    are the basic elements of a proper libertarian foreign policy?

    A: Well,
    the basic elements of any libertarian foreign policy is to pressure
    the government to do nothing abroad, just to pack up shop and
    go home. General Smeadly Butler, one of my great heroes, formerly
    of the Marine Corps, in the late 1930s proposed a constitutional
    amendment in The Woman’s Home Companion. His article was
    a sensation for awhile but of course the amendment never was adopted
    and has now been forgotten. But it was kind of a charming constitutional
    amendment – I recommend that everybody read it. In essence
    it says something like this: no American soldier, plane, or ship
    shall be sent any place outside America. In other words, complete
    abstinence from any kind of American military intervention and
    political and economic intervention.

    Q: You
    would be referring to American government planes, I assume –
    what about commercial flights?

    A: Oh yes,
    you know, abstinence from government intervention. It was the
    idea of isolationism. The sneer against isolationism always was
    that isolationists were parochial, narrow-minded characters who
    don’t know that there is a world out there and want to hide
    their heads in the sand. In fact it’s the opposite –
    the true principle of isolationism is that the government should
    be isolated, the government should do nothing abroad and people
    who trade, interchange, and engage in voluntary travel, migration,
    and so forth should be allowed to peacefully do so. The idea is
    to isolate the government, not to isolate the country.

    There’s
    another aspect, of course; this would apply to any government,
    but the thing is there is also an extra aspect – empirically
    it so happens that the American government since the days of Woodrow
    Wilson has been the main threat to the peace of the world, the
    main imperialist, the main embarker on a policy of meddling in
    every conceivable country every place in the world to make sure
    their government shapes up properly. So that the policy of American
    isolationism is more important for libertarian principle than
    any other country’s isolationism.

    ~ Antiwar.com:
    These edited extracts, from an interview in the February 1973
    issue of Reason magazine, first ran in the June 1999 issue
    of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, published by the Center
    for Libertarian Studies. The introduction is taken from "Murray
    N. Rothbard: A Legacy of Liberty," by Llewellyn H. Rockwell,
    Jr. and is reprinted with the permission of the Center for Libertarian
    Studies.

    Murray
    N. Rothbard
    (1926–1995) was dean of the Austrian School,
    founder of modern libertarianism, and chief academic officer of
    the Mises Institute. He was
    also editor — with Lew Rockwell — of The
    Rothbard-Rockwell Report
    , and appointed Lew as his literary
    executor. See
    his books.

    The
    Best of Murray Rothbard

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