12 May 2010

Rothbard Anecdote

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I am tutoring Vaughn Kraft on various Austrian books, and he just sent me this email:

Several libertarians in the 70’s wrote (Browne, Ringer, Tuccille, etc.) about Karl Hess’s wonderful disrespect for the state and his political jaunt through the whole political spectrum. So anyway, as Goldwater’s chief political speechwriter, Barry referred to Hess as Shakespeare—a writer par excellence. Hess and MNR became close friends and Murray taught him Austrian economics over one summer. While I was working in the Libertarian Party during the MacBride campaign of 1976, the LP had a casual party wherein I had the unique opportunity to speak to MNR and ask him questions. Now picture this if you can: next enters the most prolific mind of the 20th century, making his much anticipated entrance down the majestic stairway—all decked out in his faded and jaded flowered Hawaiian shirt, with an 11-cent black BIC pen, clipped to his shirt pocket—all decked out for a typical, casual California summer day. What an entrance!!! How could ANYONE not love the unassuming Rothbard.

Of course, MNR and Hess had parted ways by this time, but I was still enamored by Hess’s radicalism. Well, anyway, I asked MNR what he thought about Hess at this casual event, to which he replied: “Hess had the unique ability of writing things once without having to go back and edit them.” Whoa!!! I knew Hess had super talent, but after what Rothbard had related to me, Karl just hit 10 on my hero-meter scale for the one millionth time. In retrospect, I do agree with Rothbard’s final words as such, as Hess ended up a mere “hippie”. Let’s face it: Hess never landed. He just kept changing his political underwear.

Thanks for indulging me, no response required; just a minor tidbit of my 15 seconds of libertarian fame. Let’s face it: I was quite simply in the presence of Greatness! Just a short and sweet story about Rothbard and Hess that I thought you might appreciate.

One Response to “Rothbard Anecdote”

  1. Bob Roddis says:

    After twenty-one years of having this video, I find that my new version of REALPlayer has a video trimmer. I’ve trimmed a part of an 80 minute Rothbard speech from 1989 into a 5 minute clip where Murray gives his views on the Exxon Valdez and ex-Commies as environmentalists here.