Rothbard on Myths about Libertarianism

In keeping with my previous post, I thought this might be informative. Late Chicago economist Murrary Rothbard has a good article, called “Six Myths About Libertarianism” dispelling the misguided beliefs that some people have about libertarianism.

1) Libertarians believe that each individual is an isolated, hermetically sealed atom, acting in a vacuum without influencing each other.
2) Libertarians are libertines: they are hedonists who hanker after “alternative life-styles.”
3) Libertarians do not believe in moral principles; they limit themselves to cost-benefit analysis on the assumption that man is always rational.
4) Libertarianism is atheistic and materialist, and neglects the spiritual side of life.
5) Libertarians are utopians who believe that all people are good, and that therefore State control is not necessary.
6) Libertarians believe that every person knows his own interests best.
Click the link above to read Rothbard’s answers to these myths.

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One response to “Rothbard on Myths about Libertarianism

  1. Mark

    Thanks, Ian.

    I haven’t read it all, but from a brief perusal, it appears Rothbard does a fine job of answering these questions. I’ve bookmarked it for future reading.

    As libertarians, our ideas may be perceived as radical. But thats just the shock or the initial cut of the “edge”. Once people get past their first reaction, we find that it really makes “sense” and is actually very reasonable after all.

    Ron Paul’s Q&A session at google’s HQ was an interesting example of how libertarianism can be presented in the public forum. Here you have a Republican Congressman from Texas presenting pure free-market libertarianism to young Bay-area citizens working for a progressive company, and he seems to command a great deal of respect from the host and the audience. One kid flew in from their Seattle office flew in order to personally hand him a donation.

    As people grow up having, more than ever, a bird’s eye view of the history of the Left and Right dance, it seems they may just wake up, especially since much of the burden will fall to their future. Perhaps they’ll realize that in regard to our social system, TANSTAAFL (“There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”, a famous acronym from Robert A. Heinlein’s Science Fiction).

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