Randy Barnett, Part II

Here is Randy Barnett, Part I:

Randy Barnett Mis-assesses Murray Rothbard – LRC Blog

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 11:58 AM

To: ‘Mike

Subject: RE: your LRC Blog item about Murray/Barnett

Dear Mike:

What a lovely letter. Thanks.

Yes, Murray and a lot of his early followers and friends of his fell apart from each other. But, in my experience, he never broke with them. Rather, they broke with him.

Several of my own former students have done off to the dark side. Became beltway, as opposed to Rothbardian libertarians. Some broke with me, to my great unhappiness. But I follow Murray on this as on most things: I never broke with them, nor have any intention of ever doing so.

I’m a big tent kind of guy. Even the beltway libertarians are on the same side as us, at least compared to the Bidens of the world.

Best regards,


From: Mike

Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 10:54 AM

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: your LRC Blog item about Murray/Barnett


You are absolutely correct in your response to Randy Barnett’s claim (in 2004!) that Murray demanded complete agreement with him or would somehow reject further contact.

One of the guiding aspects of libertarians is that we all sometimes disagree on various points.

While in some academic debates or strings of argumentation one might finally decide to abandon a forum or reply, just to focus on other things, Murray certainly didn’t require agreement to be in his circle or be considered worthy of debate.

I personally had several disagreements with him (mainly over political direction -*- of libertarians) yet we remained cordial and in contact to his very end.

He could be very sharp in argumentation and didn’t suffer fools lightly (at times, other times he delighted in spotlighting them) so some who were thin skinned didn’t take to his contrary opinions with much grace.

I am not sure why Barnett’s nearly two decade old view is worth rebuttal at this point. There was and is no “Rothbard cult” and he would have been the first to reject such a silly notion.

(-* -) – The two which stand out to me are 1) whether or not the LP was a good idea, I was pro and he was initially con, and 2) the idea of an organized Republican Party political caucus; he was initially negative, I was working on it. Subsequently Murray became an LP member and served on the LNC. He never formally endorsed the Republican Liberty Caucus but was the main speaker at the initial 1992 RLC convention in Houston. Also a huge supporter of Ron Paul’s return to politics.

PS – I recall him telling me the story of the time in Las Vegas when a student was arguing about some issue and claiming that the student’s view was the “Rothbardian” one. Murray cackled when he told me, “But I am Rothbard!”

Best regards,


Katy TX


5:42 am on January 28, 2022