Final Words

Not that it really matters let me say just a few words (for the record) concerning Senator Mark Hatfield who “anarcho-capitalist” Murray Rothbard said he would enthusiastically endorse for president if he ever chose to run.

When I was a college student at the University of Tulsa (from 1972-75) I spent a great deal of time in the TU Library doing research for classes but also doing my own personal research. One day I came across a periodical/report from some outfit, the name escapes me after almost 50 years. In this item it profiled members of Congress, having the people present their political philosophies, motivations, and beliefs in their own words.

The one for Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon was unlike anything you would ever expect to read. It was not the usual BS or pabulum, but one of the most intelligent, thoughtful statements of his personal beliefs. Hatfield was an evangelical who traced his firm beliefs directly to his religious faith, that of the individualistic anti-statist strain of Baptists such as Roger Williams, who he saw in the American classical liberal/libertarian tradition in opposing government and ecclesiastical tyranny, defending individual liberty, especially liberty of conscience.

He went on for several pages outlining in powerful lucid passages I thought at the time were comparable to something Murray Rothbard would have written.

Hatfield had made some praiseworthy public remarks concerning Rothbard’s book, Power and Market, which outlines the case for the total absence of government intervention of any sort in the economy. This from a United States Senator.

Rothbard met with him in the Summer of 1969. Hatfield called himself a libertarian and stated he wanted to work championing this philosophy which he saw as totally consistent with and derived from his deep faith. No wonder Rothbard was enthusiastic about the guy.

In a later 1972 interview Rothbard talks about Hatfield, about what he said at that 1969 meeting, and how he was great on foreign policy issues but that his voting record was not totally consistent to his earlier remarks (or I might add, to his principles stated in the profile I described above). In other words, the guy was human and not perfect. But he was singularly exceptional for that day and could have easily been included in an updated reissue of JFK’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, about such American statesmen.

Neither is Governor Kristi Noem perfect but compared to the other current egregious crop of statist governors and other politicians devoid of principles and only motivated by “libido dominandi,” an unabashed hubris and aggrandizement of power, she is refreshing and candid.

We must always look at the long term perspective of history and civilizational progress, particularly noting that pantheon of courageous individuals who spoke truth to power. For freedom remains the genius of American civilization. Other great nations were born in obeisance to the power of the state. Ours was born with the Declaration of Independence and the enshrining of the inalienable natural rights of man. Tragically the Framers’ vision of a decentralized federal republic of sovereign independent states would meet its final demise at Appomattox Court House during Abraham Lincoln’s Coercive War for National Unification.

Yet at LRC, Ron Paul’s daily message to each of us is powerful testimony to that enduring legacy, demonstrating that freedom can indeed bring us together. It remains our answer and our hope. Dr. Paul demonstrates how he has always been singularly dedicated to the principles of liberty and justice. Daily he forthrightly speaks truth to power, exposing those dark subterranean forces which actually control the destiny of America, sinister forces which observers across the political spectrum today describe as the deep state. Candor, courage, consistency, and compassion define this man who will go down in the annals of history as America’s greatest statesman (.pdf)

For twenty years Lew Rockwell has been a daily inspiration and profound mentor to me with his heroic activities at the Mises Institute and LewRockwell.com. But I must sadly (and with some regret) bring a major facet of our relationship to a close. It is something I have been contemplating for some time now. I recently had breakfast with a long time close friend and it was refreshing that we neither discussed current events, politics or other contentious matters. The recent unmerited attacks on me at LRC by Becky Akers was the final nail in the coffin. There is too much rancor and ill spirited division going on right now everywhere so I am going to retreat serenely into political quietism, take a sabbatical, enjoy my retirement, reading and reflection, and spending time with my family. So after 2000+ articles and blogs I am accordingly going to cease my writing contributions at LRC.

As Voltaire said in the dramatic conclusion of Candide:

“Let us cultivate our garden.”

Or as one of my favorite authors, Albert Jay Nock observed in a powerful passage I first read about fifty years ago (and which I never forgot):

“The only thing that the psychically-human being can do to improve society is to present society with one improved unit.”

I am going to focus upon that from now on.

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11:20 am on March 4, 2021

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