progress was quite different from that ofrnthe self-serving neoconservatives whornmade tlie short and safe journey fromrnStahnism to Trotskyism, while denouncingrnthe friends and relatives who were capablernof loyalty, at least, to Uncle Joe.rnMurray’s mother seems to have been, atrnworst, a sentimental liberal, and his father,rnDavid Rothbard, was, as Raimondorndescribes him, a man who had brokenrnout of the ghetto, a “strong believer inrnscience and rationalism,” who had (asrnMurray wrote in a high-school essay)rn”risen from an impoverished immigrantrnto a citizen of value and responsibility.”rnfar from wanting to break with his fatherrnas the central act in some Freudian psychodrama,rnRothbard viewed the developmentrnof his economic and philosophicalrnindividualism as the tribute a loyal sonrnowes to an honorable father.rnRothbard displayed the same loyalty tornthe eoiuitr)’ that had adopted his family.rnUnlike so many leftists (and some libertarians),rnhe did not swear fcalt)’ to an ideologicalrnAmerica he had invented or borrowedrnfrom a textbook. In fact, Rothbardrnloed the gritty details —the deals andrnswindles, the crackpots and conspiratorsrnwho give American history a richer texturernthan, say, an Ayn Rand novel or thernBo Scout oath.rnWhen Rothbard broke with thernconservative movement on the issuernof Vietnam and the Cold War, hisrnformer allies at National Review attemptedrnto portray him as an unstable crackpotrnand a cultural leftist, and NR’s obituar’ ofrnMurrav’ represents, along with Mr. Buckle’rns attack on the dead Ayn Rand, thatrnmagazine’s moral nadir. Rothbard was arngood hater, but he was a better friend,rnand he v^as willing to forgive most of hisrndisloyal followers, so long as they wererndoing something worth doing, fie forgavernhis disciple ‘Williamson Evers forrnsupporting the global-trade-regulationrnracket called NAFTA, and he even forgarnc Jirstin Raimondo for betraying himrnin the Libertarian Part}’.rnWhat, in the end, is Rothbard’s legacy,rnapart from several good books and acresrnof pointed polemics and ideological trailblazing?rnFor one thing, he was—despiternhis somchmes eccentric individualism —rnan institution builder. Neither the CatornInstitute nor the Libertarian Party wouldrnbe conceivable without Murray, to sayrnnothing of the John Randolph Clubrn(which Murray cofounded with hisrnequally cranky counterpart on the OldrnRight), the Ludwig von Mises histitute inrnAuburn, Alabama, the Center for LibertarianrnStudies, and perhaps the most successfulrnproject (established several yearsrnafter Rothbard’s death), thernwebsite that has made Justin Raimondornthe best known of Rothbard’s living disciples.rnRaimondo suggests that Rothbard hadrnbeen looking all his life for an ideologicalrnentrepreneur to be his partner in crimesrnagainst the state. He thought he had finallyrnfound such a person in Ed Crane,rnbut they broke —for reasons that Raimondorndescribes with admirable delicacy.rnNear the end of his life, he foundrnanother entrepreneurial collaborator inrnLlewellyn Rockwell.rnIt would take a Rothbard to do justicernto Rothbard, but Justin Raimondo (whornis, perhaps, the most faithfid of all ofrnMurray’s disciples) has made a very goodrnstart. Unlike many Rothbardians, Raimondornsees his mentor as a philosopherrnwho practiced polities, who crafted (inrnLord Acton’s definihon of liberalism) “arnphilosophy seeking a policy.”rnA urore critical reading of Rothbardrnwould require a closer scrutiny of his unexaminedrnassumption that moral decisionsrnare made by autonomous individualsrnwho are possessed of that strangernmanna known as “rights.” Wlien we beganrncollaborating, Murray made it clearrnthat he wanted to avoid any discussion ofrnfirst principles: We were forming an alliance,rnnot coalescing into a unifiedrnmovement. As time went on, however,rnhe began to understand that there mightrnbe other means for defending liberty thanrna theor- of rights; and once, after dinner,rnhe burst out in an explosion of enthusiasm:rn”I get it: Wlien you talk about naturalrnduhes (e.g., of parents), you are alsornmaking a rahonal argument for protectingrnpeople from state inter’ention.”rnI am not suggesting that Murray Rothbardrnwas about to abandon his philosophyrnof rights. He did come to realize,rnhowever, that there is nrore than one wayrnto protect human liberties.rnRothbard was at his best as a critic ofrnsocialism (including the socialism of thernRepublican Party), and even though I oftenrndisagreed with his language and theoreticalrnapproach, I rarely, if ever, was disturbedrnby his most radical proposals.rnOnly small minds cannot conceive of privatelyrnowned roads, and one major Romanrnhistorian (Ernst Badian) has defendedrntax farming (private corporations thatrnreceive contracts for collecting taxes).rnWe struck a bargain from the beginning:rnAlthough I believe that the commonwealriirnis a natural and necessar)’ part ofrnhuman social life, I nevertheless agreedrnwith Murray that about 90 percent ofrnwhat urodern states do is evil and destructive.rn”When we get to the last ten percent,”rnI said, “it will be time for us tornquarrel.” The offer stands open to anyrnlibertarian who wants to work with us forrnthe common good (if tiiat phrase is notrntoo “.socialistic”).rnWlrere Murray’s tiieories fell short wasrnin describing the “good life,” whose pursuitrnis the natural and proper end of man.rnHe took good things (such as conventionalrnmorality, the family, innocent pleasures)rnfor granted and even understoodrnthat liberh’ can only thrive under certainrncultural conditions. Where he failed —rnwhere all philosophers fail—was in notrnspelling out what those conditions were.rnThis is wJiat made our collaboration sornfruitful: Between his anarcho-libertarianrncritique of the state and Chronicles emphasisrnon the culture of Christendom, wernhad assembled (at least potentially) thernftise and the dynamite. We were waitingrnfor circumstances to provide the match.rnAnd then he died, and so many of ourrngaudy visions fell to the ground in pieces,rnlike the piirata at yesterday’s partv’.rnAnyone who wants to understand thernmind of Murray Rothbard, libertarianrnprinciples, and the histon,’ of the Anrericanrnright should buy, read, and take notesrnon this book. crnWh en in Rockford,rnEat atrnLee’srnChinesernRestaurantrn3443 N. Main StreetrnDECEMBER 2000/31rnrnrn