Talk:Murray Rothbard

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This Economists related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.



For those enemies of the Birthland who are interested: [1]: "There was a time - before the Internet - when Skepticism/Rationalism wasn't just about total deference to received wisdom from scientific priesthoods. Sadly, that time is long past and it has become just another religion."--MonarchofascistBulgarian M36 Helmet side view.jpgС нами Бог! 20:28, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

There's nothing "received" about scientific wisdom. Anyone can look up the math that verifies it (and even understand it, given training), and scientists have this strange tendency to provide evidence, and always use falsifiable claims. If anything, it's the Austrian school followers who are deferring to "received wisdom", given that Von Mises declared that his theories were unfalsifiable (rather simple when you base your entire economic theory on a tautology, and reject several sciences out of hand). In short; Австрийская школа очень глупая.ChrisB (talk) 04:39, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Irrationality on rationalwiki?[edit]

Rothbard reminds us that reasoning completely from first principles and paying attention only to the means rather than the ends can lead to truly batshit heights of insanity, envisioning the wonders of a "free baby market"

From this I conclude that pure reasoning can lead to insane ends. So what... should we therefore be content with irrationality as a means to achieve a desirable end? Would that not beg the question of why that's desirable, or are we to function on dogmatic whims and emotion?

And what exactly is this batshit insane end? Was it that a "free baby market will bring such 'neglect' down to a minimum"? Or perhaps the insanity is giving child rights over themselves?

The whole criticism is on the same level of fundamentalist Christians wanting to outlaw abortion and recreational sex to protect unborn children.— Unsigned, by: ThomasTheIdealist / talk / contribs

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! (Also, please sign your posts.) --ZooGuard (talk) 09:08, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
My comment has nothing to do with opinion. The excerpt I quoted is literally saying that something is "batshit insane" because it uses logic and reason as its means to conclusion (while disregarding the ends). That is, by definition, bashing rationality and consequently supporting irrationality because it provides a favorable end somehow. If you use reason to come to a conclusion, that conclusion must be rational. ThomasTheIdealist (talk) 23:25, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Uh, no. Well, if you're talking about rationalism in a strictly Cartesian sense, I suppose, but "reasoning completely from first principles" didn't do very much for Descartes either. I can reason that homeopathy is a working cure for cancer and therefore chemotherapy should be banned, but this conclusion is, basically, batshit. Blue Talk 23:31, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
It's only batshit to the extent that it can be reasoned and demonstrated to be false. So if the point is that Rothbard had faults in his reasoning, that's understandable and likely true somewhere. But I don't understand the rationality of the dogmatic categorization to "batshit insane" without addressing the faults of his reasoning. Seems to me that "free baby market" is simply an example used to discredit Rothbard as having ideas contrary to stigma and preconceived notions that most people have. But there is nothing rational about stigmas or preconceived notions. ThomasTheIdealist (talk) 00:03, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
You're confusing the rationalism on rationalwiki with continental rationalism. Unlike Rothbard, we don't believe one can solve an entire social science through pure introspection. --Frybread (talk) 05:40, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Rothbard believed in human action, which is much more than introspection; quite a passive activity, at least in a physical sense. Burkean (talk) 19:16, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Argumentum ad lapidem[edit]

Rothbard reminds us that reasoning completely from first principles and paying attention only to the means rather than the ends can lead to truly batshit heights of insanity, envisioning the wonders of a "free baby market"

It seems like someone here is committing the ad lapidem fallacy, because Rothbard's arguments are being dismissed as absurd without any proof of their absurdity. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

The history of selling children and the resultant slave trade type abuses seem to form fairly self-evident proof of absurdity. We already have an adoption system; knowing Rothbards economic preferences as I do, his imagined market would be one with no regulatory oversight whatsoever. So essentially, an adoption system without any of the regulatory structures that prevent it from becoming a slave market.ChrisB (talk) 04:29, 6 May 2013 (UTC)


Are you fucking serious? This is the worst article in a wiki I have ever read. So full of misinformation and lies. and just very unscientific!— Unsigned, by: ‎ / talk / contribs

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! ClothCoat (talk) 15:54, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Ridiculing your opposition? How very rational! --Norman (talk) 21:36, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
You... you do realize you're responding to a very old comment? And yes, low-effort complaining from drive-by BoN's deserves ridicule. Typhoon (talk) 21:49, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
So do irrational comments from a little over a year ago, at least when they are in accordance with the official policy of a site that has the word "rational" in its title. --Norman (talk) 00:16, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! (oh god, my liver) Typhoon (talk) 00:20, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
It was a stupid response a year ago and it's a stupid response now. --Norman (talk) 06:48, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you have any legitimate criticism, or just more of the general "This article sucks! I hate it! I hate you! You are all wrong!" ad hominems? Noisemobile (talk) 06:58, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey Norman: R U FUCKING SERIOUS? Are you fucking serious? This is the worst response to a response in a wiki I have ever read. So full of misinformation and lies. and just very unscientific! ALSO I WANT A COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSE TO MY RESPONSE or else you're being irratinal FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 07:12, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the OP was stupid, we can agree on that. However, your drinking game is even more stupid, simply because ridiculing your opposition is never a rational way to argue. --Norman (talk) 07:16, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree. So, with that in mind, do you have a particular criticism of the article in question? Noisemobile (talk) 07:23, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Thomastheidealist already did that. And both in the article and on the talk page, there's a lot of "we already know this and this is bad so we don't have to prove it because one time this happened." Burkean (talk) 07:31, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Insufferable asshole[edit]

As far as I can see, the only thing making Rothbard an asshole was him being racist, and he's already in that category. Unless someone can show me a smear-essay he wrote or something, I don't see how he belongs in this category anymore than all other racists out there. --Norman (talk) 09:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I would say his views on children qualify him for assholism. I don't know of anyone but assholes who think that child labor laws should be rescinded. Then there was his "tough on crime" stance, which is generally consider extreme and rather authoritarian (even by libertarians), and his rather xenophobic attitudes later in life which placed him out of step with mainstream libertarianism on border issues.
Not included in the article, but well documented elsewhere, was his delight in antagonizing people deliberately, simply because he felt like doing so. I definitely call that being an asshole. --Castaigne (talk) 21:51, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
His xenophobic attitudes already place him in the category for racists, and I'm not sure whether his ideas about child labor laws make him an asshole considering he seems to have the interest of the child at heart, it's just that his premises are different from the premises of pretty much everyone else, including many libertarians. I, for one, don't share his views about children. The part about him liking to antagonize people, on the other hand, should qualify him as an asshole, whatever one might think about his theories. --Norman (talk) 22:09, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Rothbard's views on the homeless and his "solutions" for dealing with them in favor of the rich and more fortunate also go above and beyond to show how much of an uncaring jerk he was. If you read the page, there's a section devoted to that aspect of his character which is really horrific and inhumane. That alone is grade A asshole material on par with Ayn Rand.Old Schooler (talk) 01:31, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Lets not also forget his views on a "Free-baby market". S.H. DeLong (talk) 17:19, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Have you read this page? Burkean (talk) 07:32, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry, that I haven't reply to this sooner, so I will now. I have read the page about Rothbard and his views on the "free baby market". He makes it quite clear that he believes that children, should be able to sold on the market. So yes I do believe his views on the "Free-baby market, qualify him as an insufferable asshole.S.H. DeLong (talk) 02:49, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Crankery and libertarian wingnuttery will suffice, I think. An asshole in the limelight is not pretty. They enjoy making people squirm and suffer way too much. And I don't get that impression from Rothbard. Plutoniumboss (talk) 02:56, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

On child labor laws[edit]

This from Bill Kauffman, lifelong democrat, intimate of Gore Vidal. Burkean (talk) 07:36, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Holocaust Denial[edit]

Rothbard was a champion of the work of holocaust deniers like Harry Elmer Barnes and James J. Martin and supported 'historical revisionism', this really needs to be added. LamontCranston (talk) 03:08, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

On the poor and homeless section:[edit]

We have to first draw in the context of where Rothbard said those aforementioned things in this section. - this is where the quote came from Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society." 1. Rothbard has seen his hardline libertarian ideas ignored for most of his lifetime. He then began turning to more desperate options, trying to do anything to advance liberty (in his mind). 2. We can see that the excerpt was particularly provocative from this quote at the end of the article: "So far: every one of these right-wing populist programs is totally consistent with a hard-core libertarian position. But all real-world politics is coalition politics, and there are other areas where libertarians might well compromise with their paleo or traditionalist or other partners in a populist coalition. For example, on family values, take such vexed problems as pornography, prostitution, or abortion. Here, pro-legalization and pro-choice libertarians should be willing to compromise on a decentralist stance; that is, to end the tyranny of the federal courts, and to leave these problems up to states and better yet, localities and neighborhoods, that is, to community standards." 3. Rothbard during the tail end of his lifetime tended to write more interesting works, so I feel like its unfair to judge his career based off those aforementioned provocative quotes or comments. Also: right wing populism as mentioned in that article is not representative of anarcho-capitalism itself, rather a compromising subset strategy, to pragmatically achieve it in Rothbard's eyes. They viewed private defense agencies having to intervene aggressively, to mitigate property violation, so that was where the thought comes from. I'd suggest editing the article with the context added, as to avoid smearing Rothbard in this light.--Libertarianandy (talk) 18:31, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Although I disagree with most of your points and despise Murray Rothbard, this article can be improved as its current state is just a rant. Keep in mind that most of the articles on economics were written six or seven years ago by users that aren't active anymore, so most of them aren't very good. Stuff like "He then began turning to more desperate options trying to do anything to advance liberty" is, however, very hard to prove and IMO a form of whitewashing. You're correct that Rothbard's views are quite different than what Ayn Rand, who had a more Spencerian "survival of the fittest" approach, believe. (though even her supported some private welfare). I'll read your post again tomorrow if I have time, though I won't be able to work on this article, at most, give some feedback. GeeJayK (talk) 21:52, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
People more familiar with Rothbards work (not me specifically though), can note a specific change in methodology in advancing liberty towards the tail end of his life, and we can see this with him aligning with lets say unfavorable figures., I can provide more evidence to help support that claim, I apologize for assuming that it was common knowledge beforehand. I recognize that RatWiki's articles on economics are quite, erm, interesting and I'll use all of my current limited knowledge of it to help the current state of it right now.--Libertarianandy (talk) 23:09, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
Oh, I'm well aware that he changed his mind on many subjects. A younger Rothbard was surprisingly closer to the libertarian left and even praised Che Guevara. On Mises biography, Hulsmann also narrates why Mises brokeup with Rothbard, mentioning how Rothbard was getting to close on the left. Later on his life was fully conservative , some people even said he abandoned the NAP and stuff like that, though as far as I know his ideas about the abortion among other subjects didn't change that much. GeeJayK (talk) 00:52, 25 June 2021 (UTC)