I’m not sure if I already posted this? Anyway it was from last summer for an Independent Institute event.
Slow and steady wins the race. That and poisoning your opponents while they eat and drink at their victory parades.
Murphy, I was wondering what your thoughts are on a post I recently submitted on another site:
“Off topic, but incidentally, in Rothbard’s chapter 12.5 of Vol. 2 of his critique of Marx’s class analysis and theory, which is the source of OP’s “criticism I heard”, Rothbard’s analysis seemingly accepts the validity of the theory of “two great social classes” in the political sense, i.e. rulers versus ruled, state versus citizen, etc.
The reason this is interesting to me, is that in reality, there is no two class system here either. Just like in reality there is a multitude of economic classes, I submit that so too is there a multitude of political classes. Sure, you have the obvious examples of say a politician, and a taxpaying citizen. Ruler and ruled. But what about a “private” contractor that is both influenced by and influences both politicians and taxpayers, for better or for worse? I as a private citizen with the income and influence I have, am more powerful in the political sense than a minimum wage earning public library employee or intern. And just like there is internal conflict between capitalists themselves, and between workers themselves, so too is there conflict between federal institutions. It is not as if every government agency are in perfect harmony and agreement. There is murder and backstabbing and power struggles there too. Just look at the conflicts taking place within the Presidential election.
Can there really be a sweeping revolution of “ruled” against “rulers” in the political sense? I would argue no, the same reason there can’t be any on a free market like ancapistan.
I think Rothbard took a misstep here. It seems to me that the same logic and argument used to dismiss Marx’s two class economic theory, can be and should be used to dismiss the whole two class political theory that Rothbard accepted in his critique of Marx’s theory.
So where does this leave us? Are we really addressing Marx’s theory here by pointing out something about Rothbard’s views on political class struggle? Not directly, but I would venture that Rothbard’s criticism may not be the “total demolition” it appears to be. If his own political theory suffers from the same issues as Marx’s economic class theory, then perhaps the way to respond to this is not to insist that the ball be in the Marxist’s court, but rather to take a step back and analyze the meaning of classes such, that is, all classes.
Perhaps both Marx and Rothbard were wrong about classes. Perhaps the problem goes much deeper.
Perhaps…wink wink…conflict is not between groups of people, but has always been between individuals, and we just sloppily view the world as between squabbling groups. I say sloppily because we casually dismiss the conflicts between say soldiers in the same army, and within an alleged definable state, and between and among the “ruled”. How can the “ruled” in the political sense rise up and overturn the rulers, if they are killing themselves and attacking ezch other daily?
There is competition between free traders, and there is competition between murderous dictators and within political parties.
Mises once remarked that someone should develop a theory on human action in a framework of violence and coercion, similar to how he did so for individuals in cooperation. If anyone does this, I think it should be developed out of methodological individualism.”
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