Happy Birthday Murray Rothbard

Today, March 2nd woud be Murray Rothbard’s birthday, were he not dead and all. Rothbard was the man when it came to both austrian economics and libertarian philosophy. The man’s works speak for themselves and I want to take a few seconds to recommend some of his best works (in my opinion).

Man, Economy, and State was his treatise on economics. Originally intended to be a study companion for Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action, it ended up being a full blown economics book where Rothbard even managed to correct some of Mises discoveries. If you want a deep understanding of economics this is the book to read.

On the topic money Rothbard wrong the excellent What Has Government Done to Our Money? In it Rothbard explains monetary theory (in other words how money is nothing more than a commodity to facilitate trade) including how money came into use, why commodity based money is the only valid monetary system, and how the government fucked us all over by forcing us to use their fiat currency that they manipulate in such a fashion as to steal our purchasing power.

Speaking of fiat money we should look into the Federal Reserve and its origins, which Rothbard did in The Origins of the Federal Reserve. In it he explains the history of the Federal Reserve from the fateful meeting of bankers at Jekyll Island to its actual establishment.

When it comes to libertarian philosophy Rothbard had two excellent titles. The first was For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto and the second was The Ethics of Liberty. For a New Liberty looks at libertarianism as an escape from our current state of tyranny and gives justification. In The Ethics of Liberty Rothbard explained the ethics behind libertarianism. Both books are excellent reads.

Rothbard made great contributions to the libertarian movement and it’s sad that he’s not more well known, even in libertarian circles. I would argue that he was one of the greatest minds to ever contribute to libertarian philosophy and economics. All the material I mentioned is freely available at the links I provided. You would be doing yourself a great service to checking out at least one or two of his books, especially if you consider yourself a libertarian or are curious about libertarians and their beliefs.