The Rothbardian School


The Rothbardian School by Ryan McMaken

…Rothbard carried on the radically anti-interventionist economics of Ludwig von Mises who denied the value of government intervention in markets virtually 100 percent of the time. Rothbard takes this even further in his political economy, but for the educated layman, the economics of Mises and Rothbard will differ very little.

Hayek, on the other hand, was far more accepting of government interventions, even going so far as to speak well of tax-funded old-age pensions and government regulation of food production. Hayek was a great popularizer of many Austrian ideas, and he was the most famous critic of Keynes in his day, but his policy prescriptions are not what animate the reformers of today.

Note that I do not expel Hayek into the outer darkness for these sins, but it is nevertheless clear that this division between the Rothbardians and the Hayekians is one between radical reformers on the one hand, and those who are far more accommodating of the status quo on the other.

Given the rhetoric surrounding the libertarian mass movement today, however, it is clear that it is the Rothbardian branch and the Ron Paul movement that is the animating force behind the spread of the ideas of Austrian Economics…


One Response to “The Rothbardian School”

  1. Lord Keynes Says:

    Even Mises accepted a role for the state which he justified by utilitarianism, and he even accepted some limited government interventions, like Hayek:

    Economics neither approves nor disapproves of government measures restricting production and output. It merely considers it its duty to clarify the consequences of such measures. The choice of policies to be adopted devolves upon the people. But in choosing they must not disregard the teachings of economics if they want to attain the ends sought. There are certainly cases in which people may consider definite restrictive measures as justified. Regulations concerning fire prevention are restrictive and raise the cost of production. But the curtailment of total output they bring about is the price to be paid for avoidance of greater disaster. The decision about each restrictive measure is to be made on the ground of a meticulous weighing of the costs to be incurred and the prize to be obtained. No reasonable man could possibly question this rule. Human Action, p. 741

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