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Murray N. Rothbard quotes Showing 1-30 of 145

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“It is clearly absurd to limit the term 'education' to a person's formal schooling.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Education, Free & Compulsory
“Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“It is easy to be conspicuously 'compassionate' if others are being forced to pay the cost.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal”
Murray N. Rothbard
“No action can be virtuous unless it is freely chosen.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“It’s true: greed has had a very bad press. I frankly don’t see anything wrong with greed. I think that the people who are always attacking greed would be more consistent with their position if they refused their next salary increase. I don’t see even the most Left-Wing scholar in this country scornfully burning his salary check. In other words, "greed" simply means that you are trying to relieve the nature given scarcity that man was born with. Greed will continue until the Garden of Eden arrives, when everything is superabundant, and we don’t have to worry about economics at all. We haven’t of course reached that point yet; we haven’t reached the point where everybody is burning his salary increases, or salary checks in general.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Power and Market: Government and the Economy
“To be moral, an act must be free.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“War is Mass Murder, Conscription is Slavery, Taxation is Robbery.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“The most sanctified figure in American historiography is, by no accident, the Great Saint of centralizing "democracy" and the strong unitary nation-state: Abraham Lincoln. And so didn't Lincoln use force and violence, and on a massive scale, on behalf of the mystique of the sacred "Union," to prevent the South from seceding? Indeed he did, and on the foundation of mass murder and oppression, Lincoln crushed the South and outlawed the very notion of secession (based on the highly plausible ground that since the separate states voluntarily entered the Union they should be allowed to leave). But not only that: for Lincoln created the monstrous unitary nation-state from which individual and local liberties have never recovered.”
Murray Rothbard
“A robber who justified his theft by saying that he really helped his victims, by his spending giving a boost to retail trade, would find few converts; but when this theory is clothed in Keynesian equations and impressive references to the “multiplier effect,” it unfortunately carries more conviction.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
“Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism. Not only are they compatible, but you can't really have one without the other. True anarchism will be capitalism, and true capitalism will be anarchism”
Murray N. Rothbard
“Whenever someone starts talking about 'fair competition' or indeed, about 'fairness' in general, it is time to keep a sharp eye on your wallet, for it is about to be picked.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the society.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“And, indeed, what is the State anyway but organized banditry? What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked, scale? What is war but mass murder on a scale impossible by private police forces? What is conscription but mass enslavement? Can anyone envision a private police force getting away with a tiny fraction of what States get away with, and do habitually, year after year, century after century?”
Murray N. Rothbard, For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
“Scratch an egalitarian, and you will inevitably find a statist.”
Murray N. Rothbard, The Irrepressible Rothbard : The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard
“Moreover, in the system of criminal punishment in the libertarian world, the emphasis would never be, as it is now, on "society's" jailing the criminal; the emphasis would necessarily be on compelling the criminal to make restitution to the victim of his crime. The present system, in which the victim is not recompensed but instead has to pay taxes to support the incarceration of his own attacker — would be evident nonsense in a world that focuses on the defense of property rights and therefore on the victim of crime.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“Libertarians make no exceptions to the golden rule and provide no moral loophole, no double standard, for government.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“Briefly, the State is that organization
in society which attempts to maintain a
monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only
organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for
services rendered but by coercion.”
murray rothbard
“We may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely—those against private citizens or those against itself?

The gravest crimes in the State’s lexicon are almost invariably not invasions of private person or property, but dangers to its own contentment, for example, treason, desertion of a soldier to the enemy, failure to register for the draft, subversion and subversive conspiracy, assassination of rulers and such economic crimes against the State as counterfeiting its money or evasion of its income tax.

Or compare the degree of zeal devoted to pursuing the man who assaults a policeman, with the attention that the State pays to the assault of an ordinary citizen. Yet, curiously, the State’s openly assigned priority to its own defense against the public strikes few people as inconsistent with its presumed raison d’etre.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
“Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
“I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“In this century, the human race faces, once again, the virulent reign of the State—of the State now armed with the fruits of man’s creative powers, confiscated and perverted to its own aims. The last few centuries were times when men tried to place constitutional and other limits on the State, only to find that such limits, as with all other attempts, have failed. Of all the numerous forms that governments have taken over the centuries, of all the concepts and institutions that have been tried, none has succeeded in keeping the State in check. The problem of the State is evidently as far from solution as ever. Perhaps new paths of inquiry must be explored, if the successful, final solution of the State question is ever to be attained.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
“If the bulk of the public were really convinced of the illegitimacy of the State, if it were convinced that the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large, then the State would soon collapse to take on no more status or breadth of existence than another Mafia gang.”
Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty
“The concept of life and perfection is incompatible. BUT so is death and perfection”
Murray N. Rothbard
“Once one concedes that a single world government is not necessary, then where does one logically stop at the permissibility of separate states? If Canada and the United States can be separate nations without being denounced as in a state of impermissible ‘anarchy’, why may not the South secede from the United States? New York State from the Union? New York City from the state? Why may not Manhattan secede? Each neighbourhood? Each block? Each house? Each person?”
Murray N. Rothbard
“While liberals are in favor of any sexual activity engaged in by two consenting adults, when these consenting adults engage in trade or exchange, the liberals step in to harass, cripple, restrict, or prohibit that trade. And yet both the consenting sexual activity and the trade are similar expressions of liberty in action.”
Murray N. Rothbard
“The State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State
“The General Theory was not truly revolutionary at all but merely old and oft-refuted mercantilist and inflationist fallacies dressed up in shiny new garb, replete with newly constructed and largely incomprehensible jargon.”
Murray N. Rothbard, Keynes The Man

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