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Libertarianism, The Good, Bad And Ugly

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 8:23 AM EDT

Most people don't take the time to understand Libertarianism, but they should. Libertarianism is a political movement with an economic school attached. That school is known as Austrian Economics. The Mises Institute, which attempts to bring libertarian/Austrian thought together in one place is located in Auburn, Alabama. It was founded by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard.

Before discussing the really disturbing three ugly issues regarding Libertarianism, here is a quick rundown of political and economic beliefs contained within the philosophy that fascinate many people.

As to the political, I have a brief opinion. That is, Ludwig Von Mises, 20th century thinker whose name is affixed to the institute, believed that limited government was best. Whether limited government is the best way forward, or not, Mises has advocated it, but has not advocated the complete elimination of government, which is known as Anarcho Capitalism. Murray Rothbard, who was the lead teacher of the Mises Institute, and whose work is archived there, did believe in the total elimination of government. Rothbard also advocated separation of the races, and Donald Trump is a likely disciple of Rothbard. 

Anarcho Capitalism advocates the elimination of the state in favor of the sovereignty of the individual and sovereignty of free markets. It is clearly what Murray Rothbard taught. There are major ethical and religious arguments against Anarcho Capitalism and against Libertarianism altogether. Rothbard appeared to hold some disturbing views regarding personal morality.

Political philosophers say lots of things, and write a lot of things. It can be hard to pin down what they say and people fight over what they say all of the time. However, I am confident that Mises said that the state must exist, albeit in limited form. There is a huge divide here between Mises and Rothbard.

As to the economics, the primary goal of Austrian Economics is to look at reality, and reject models. Since the Institute was founded in 1982, it pretty much preceded the mispricing of risk that lead to the housing bubble and subsequent economic crash known as the Great Recession.

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