Category Archives: Murray Rothbard

Quotes from Murray Rothbard

The True Motivation Becomes Apparent

Posted March 3rd, 2014

“When we see that the most ardent advocates of the minimum wage law have been the AFL-CIO, and that the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.”

– Murray Rothbard (Making Economic Sense)

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To Insure The Dominance Of The New Statism Over Public Opinion

Posted August 17th, 2013

“To insure the dominance of the new statism over public opinion, to insure that the public’s consent would be engineered, the governments of the Western world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries moved to seize control over education, over the minds of men: over the universities, and over general education through compulsory school attendance laws and a network of public schools. The public schools were consciously used to inculcate obedience to the State as well as other civic virtues among their young charges. Furthermore, this statizing of education insured that one of the biggest vested interests in expanding statism would be the nation’s teachers and professional educationists. One of the ways that the new statist intellectuals did their work was to change the meaning of old labels, and therefore to manipulate in the minds of the public the emotional connotations attached to such labels. For example, the laissez-faire libertarians had long been known as “liberals,” and the purest and most militant of them as “radicals”; they had also been known as “progressives” because they were the ones in tune with industrial progress, the spread of liberty, and the rise in living standards of consumers. The new breed of statist academics and intellectuals appropriated to themselves the words “liberal” and “progressive,” and successfully managed to tar their laissez-faire opponents with the charge of being old-fashioned, “Neanderthal,” and “reactionary.”

– Murray Rothbard (For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto)

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Service To The State Is Supposed To Excuse All Actions

Posted June 25th, 2013

“Service to the State is supposed to excuse all actions that would be considered immoral or criminal if committed by “private” citizens. The distinctive feature of libertarians is that they coolly and uncompromisingly apply the general moral law to people acting in their roles as members of the State apparatus. Libertarians make no exceptions. For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their roles as “members of the government”) has cloaked its criminal activity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it “war”; then ennobled the mass slaughter that “war” involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it “conscription” in the “national service.” For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it “taxation.” In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

– Murray Rothbard (For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto)

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Withholding Is Involuntary Servitude

Posted May 25th, 2013

“The withholding feature of the income tax is a still more clear-cut instance of Involuntary Servitude. For as the intrepid Connecticut industrialist Vivien Kellems argued years ago, the employer is forced to expend time, labor, and money in the business of deducting and transmitting his employees’ taxes to the federal and state governments — yet the employer is not recompensed for this expenditure. What moral principle justifies the government’s forcing employers to act as its unpaid tax collectors? The withholding principle, of course, is the linchpin of the whole federal income tax system. Without the steady and relatively painless process of deducting the tax from the worker’s paycheck, the government could never hope to raise the high levels of tax from the workers in one lump sum. Few people remember that the withholding system was only instituted during World War II and was supposed to be a wartime expedient.

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Another Tried And True Method For Bending Subjects To One’s Will

Posted January 5th, 2013

“Another tried and true method for bending subjects to one’s will is the infusion of guilt. Any increase in private well-being can be attacked as “unconscionable greed,” “materialism,” or “excessive affluence”; and mutually beneficial exchanges in the market can be denounced as “selfish.” Somehow the conclusion always drawn is that more resources should be expropriated from the private sector and siphoned into the parasitic “public,” or State, sector. Often the call upon the public to yield more resources is couched in a stern call by the ruling elite for more “sacrifices” for the national or the common weal. Somehow, however, while the public is supposed to sacrifice and curtail its “materialistic greed,” the sacrifices are always one way. The State does not sacrifice; the State eagerly grabs more and more of the public’s material resources. Indeed, it is a useful rule of thumb: when your ruler calls aloud for “sacrifices,” look to your own life and pocket-book”!

– Murray N. Rothbard (For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto)

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