On State-Strengthening Wars: Part I

In my last two columns on Murray Rothbard, I named a couple of books as important contributions to a Rothbardian analysis of the connections between statism and war. One is Martin Van Creveld’s The Rise and Decline of the State (1999), around which the Ludwig von Mises Institute is organizing a scholarly conference to take … Continue reading “On State-Strengthening Wars: Part I”

Murray N. Rothbard on States, War, and Peace: Part II

I promised last week to go further into what the late Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) teaches us about foreign policy, peace, and war. Those who keep up with such things will have noticed that there exists a colossal and ever-growing body of writing on "what Marx really meant." I wish these folks good luck. In a … Continue reading “Murray N. Rothbard on States, War, and Peace: Part II”

Who Could Deplore Peace Prospects?

I had called Leon Hadar, the libertarian Cato Institute‘s resident expert on the Middle East, to get some comments on the death of Syrian dictator-for-life Hafez-al-Assad, and he gave me plenty of information. But he kept pushing the conversation in a more interesting direction – namely, who is it these days who simply can’t stand … Continue reading “Who Could Deplore Peace Prospects?”

Murray N. Rothbard on States, War, and Peace: Part I

The sheer amount of writing done by the late Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) continues to astound. The quality of his work accounts for the impact it has had, and the attention it now draws, but its volume cannot have hurt, either. Rothbard spread the word about Austrian School economic theory, furthered those ideas, and helped … Continue reading “Murray N. Rothbard on States, War, and Peace: Part I”

Defending General McCaffrey

General Barry McCaffrey now has some defenders of the actions during the Persian Gulf war for which Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker had criticized him. The more usual approach has been to ignore the Hersh allegations and act as if they had no credibility or held no interest. However, while Mackubin Thomas Owens, a … Continue reading “Defending General McCaffrey”

Onward and Upward

A WORTHY TRADITION? Many foreigners have written books about American culture, life, politics, foreign policy, and the like. Many of these works have been rather awful and, therefore, rudely received this side of the water. The exceptions would include those of Alexis de Tocqueville and Lord Bryce, writing in the early and late 19th century, … Continue reading “Onward and Upward”

Israel and the Candidates: Uncoditional Love

What’s the use of being the world’s only superpower when we allow ourselves to be bullied, threatened, and spied on by a country the size of Delaware? I’m talking about Israel, the country we give billions in tribute to each year, the single highest recipient of US foreign aid dollars: a nation led by ingrates … Continue reading “Israel and the Candidates: Uncoditional Love”

John Taylor of Caroline (1753-1824), Federalism, and Empire

JEFFERSONIAN THEORIST PAR EXCELLENCE Progressive historian Charles A. Beard called John Taylor of Caroline "the most systematic thinker" of the Jeffersonian Republican party. Taylor was an American exponent of republican theory as developed by English opposition movements in the 17th and 18th centuries. A successful lawyer and planter – and, yes, of course, a slaveholder, … Continue reading “John Taylor of Caroline (1753-1824), Federalism, and Empire”

In Memorium–For the Old Republic

Memorial Day in America, a day in which we honor the perished heroes (and heroines) fallen in past wars, has really gone out of fashion. There was a time, before the end of the cold war, that Memorial Day parades were major affairs all across America: I remember in the early sixties going to the … Continue reading “In Memorium–For the Old Republic”