Lew Rockwell


Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses Ron Paul’s ability to explain and popularize libertarian ideas, the large number of Americans seething about the economy, how William F. Buckley, Jr. spearheaded the purging of antiwar rightists from the Conservative movement (and how Ron Paul is putting them back in) and how the hidden inflation tax allows the government to fund wars and avoid popular outrage.

MP3 here. (27:50)

Lew Rockwell is the founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political Web site LewRockwell.com. He served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.

37 thoughts on “Lew Rockwell”

  1. It is interesting that Lew said that we will know that liberty had won when Scott Horton replaces Rachel Maddow. I was thinking about this recently and thought that Angela Keaton should displace Madow and Scott should replace Glenn Beck.

  2. Lew is the greatest! I wish you would have him on more often. He has audio interviews occasionally at his website, but it's never enough.

  3. The U.S. Government is a failed government. It’s lawless at home and abroad. It doesn’t give a damn for Joe & Jane Sixpack, but it’s the devoted servant of Wall Street, Israel, and the military welfare complex.

    Political parties? Why the plural? There’s only one party, the DemoPublican Party. It has two wings (Democrat and Republican), but that’s just to create the illusion of “choice.”

    Best regards to Rockwell and his boys at LewRockwell.com.

  4. Scott, as an old Viet vet lefty, I know little about
    the libertarian policy. I agree with much of what I know.
    The economics and their anti-war stance stand out.
    I would like to know, how do they replace Social Security?
    Our economy is a war based economy, how do we
    replace those jobs. Social Security worked quite well
    until Tip O'Neil and Reagon made it a part of the annual
    federal budget. It would be great to have a society that we
    didn't need any social programs, but that has never been
    possible in any society. How do you get people like me into
    the libertarian movement? I haven't voted for a Dem or Pub
    for president since 1972. What makes Paul's ideals better
    than Nader's? I am curious.

    1. Well the thing is that SS is bankrupt already. There is no way to make it sustainable with the worker/retired(ing) ratio the way it is without just payroll taxing the hell out of the working class and/or paying out checks for worthless dollars – inflation being another regressive tax. Ron Paul's plan is to end the empire, pay off those who've already paid in, but let the young opt out and encourage them to save.

      Sennholz is great: http://mises.org/daily/1686

  5. Social Security isn't bankrupt, it gets stolen from. If it were taken back out of the
    annual federal budget, it would once again produce surplus. That aside,
    it seems libertarians want to scrap all social programs, that would be fine
    with me if I knew that libertarian policy would lead to providing employment
    with a living wage, not a slave wage. How do the libertarians plan to down size
    the military ind complex, all 435 districts , in one form or another are dependent
    on this spending, the designers of the system purposely did this. We are
    already talking about at least 10% unemployment right now., how do we
    turn this around.. I whole heartly agree in shutting the empire down, NOW!

    1. Social Security passed the break even of payouts versus collections recently. It does not, as of the last few months, produce a surplus. The gap between collections and payouts will increase with time.

  6. I do have thoughts on this, once again becoming a more agarian society,
    However, that means land reform which I imagine libertarians are against.

  7. I also see the Obama health care fraud for what it is…
    I would like to see everyone have access to health care.. without insurance co except catostrophic.
    How do we make doctor visits affordable.
    My ex-wife 52yr old, makes just enough to disqualify for medicaid but
    not enough even for a regular docter. She has many health problems
    she cannot afford to address, as do many., how do the libertarians plan
    to address this national problem??? The dems and pubs didn't, they made it worse.
    I know, not a repub voted for it, that was show, they love this new bill.

  8. Our judicial system is very unfair, made that way by both
    dems and pubs,, how do the libertarians plan to address
    the institutional racism in our judicial system.
    If the libertarians had a good fix for this, it would go a long
    way in picking up the minority vote,
    I believe that it is the dems that are fanning the racism flames
    that really aren't there except for some extreme elements that wil
    always be with us, unfortunatly. I believe they are doing this
    to keep the minority vote that they deserve no more than the pubs.
    Neither deserve their vote.

  9. Baboon,
    You have a lot of good questions…which deserve good (and thoughtful) answers. In addition to mises.org, I would suggest a visit tohttp://www.cato.org. They have done a great deal of work in many of the subject areas you have mentioned.

    I felt like you were channeling me when you mentioned conservatives who 'found' Ron Paul, and realized, "Wait…you mean I don't have to support the war to support the troops?!" I'm embarrassed that nonsense like that used to carry some value for me, but I'm free at last! Thank God, thank Ron, thank antiwar.com, and thank lewrockwell.com.

    Peace be with you.

  10. Austrian Economics is a brand of fascism that emerged in Austria roughly around the same time as National Socialism. Economists of the Austrian school, often abbreviated as simply "Austrians," believe that all human rights originate from property ownership, and that all property ownership should be private. Thus, in an Austrian economic system, only the capitalist and landowning classes enjoy any rights, as only they have real title to property.

    Austrian economists are dedicated to the elimination of democratic governments world-wide, to be replaced with "private security firms" who would protect only those able to afford their services. Austrians also oppose Central Banking, because it theoretically could allow for non-oligarchic inputs into the economy. Austrians believe that money should instead originate exclusively from elites with large hoards of gold, which they refer to as a 'gold standard.'

    1. Austrian Economics doesn't explicitly support any of the things you mentioned. There are notable Austrians who support, in part, some of the things you mentioned, but many of them were and are Jewish and certainly did not, and do not, support the case for fascism. Advocation of property rights isn't even within the realm of economics, as it belongs in a text on ethics – exactly where you'll find it.

      Many, if not most Austrians support free-banking, and a market determined standard for money, whatever form that would take. And they oppose central banking because according to their business cycle theory it creates massive distortion in the allocation of resources.

      They (those that even address the issue) also do not advocate to "replace" The World's mobocracies with anything. Security agencies/corporations already exist and would continue to serve any private interest capable of paying. Enslaving and/or oppressing large numbers of the poor would only occur if a sufficient number of their customers would be inclined to patronize such an organization. I've met very few authentic psychopaths, so the prospect of this doesn't worry me – at all, and I'm almost completely destitute.

      I'm gonna finish this up with some dubious statements, since you seem to be comfortable with those. Only someone whose psyche demands that others serve him could possibly appreciate democracy, since the inevitable result of it is always the oppression of his fellow man – whether in minority or majority.

      I hope at some point in your life you're forced to be 'charitable'. It would be ironic.

  11. I was on my way to becoming a libertarian until I read a nutty article by Gary North advocating the auctioning off of our national parks. Then i realized libertarianism is the same as anarcho-capitalism.

  12. Me too, I have been flirting with the libertarian thought myself since never plan to vote
    either major party again for anything. With Ron Paul, it means that I would have to vote
    republican, which won't work for me, it would be the same problem as the Dems are having
    "who is the good repub, who is the bad one.", if I wanted to play that game again, I would stay
    a left wing dem. However, I never intend to vote either major party, so paul would definetly have
    to break with the Republican Party to show me he is serious, and I don't see that happening,
    plus all the other questions answered. I like Paul a lot , but I don't like snake oil at all.

  13. And when I wrote a critical response to his nutty article he reacted like a spoiled child and began heaping insults onto me. I guess it was okay with Lew Rockwell since he doesn't pay North.

  14. Baboon, think logically and support Ron Paul beased on what he stands for, and has consistently stood for during the past 20+ years. He runs as a Republican only because it's virtually impossible to win elections unless affilated with one of the two party one establishment monoply.

    As long as Ron Paul consistently represents truth and real solutions, you should be happy that he is affilated with one of the two BS parties so as to have more exposure and a better chance of getting elected..

  15. I gave a detailed account of how Hillary Clinton and Robert Balke her current assistant who was the former ambassador to Sri Lanka with the help of the Federal Reserve Bank notes that were given to former Army General Sarath Fonseka were trying to unseat Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and that we must End the Wars and "End the Fed". I wrote things Israel and those pander to Israel may not like others to know. Who are the people in your staff? Have Israel placed her agents in your group as well? I know Zionist Jews spy on everything I do. Are they watching you too?

    1. Yes, we are all being observed and if you snatch an apple you could end up in the dock, but the CCTV footage of the Pentagon strike is AWOL… Go figure….!!! Who IS in CONTROL here..??

  16. Social Security is unsustainable and always was. It began with a 1% tax and now it's 7%, 14% if we include the employer's portion. There is no way to make it attractive for current retirees while sustaining it over the long-term. Is is also incredibly regressive, taking from the poorest age demographic and giving to the richest. It's also racially unfair, since blacks die earlier and do not collect nearly as much in benefits as whites do. This plan was created by rightwing Prussian dictator and cynically adopted by warmonger FDR, and was soon made into a pay-as-you-go system destined for bankruptcy.

    Doctor visits were affordable, even housecalls were common, and free clinics and hospitals helped those in need in virtually every city and town in America before the federal government moved in and began increasing the costs of health care to benefit a small sector of the health industry in bed with the government. The health care crisis of the last couple generations is a creation of government meddling, licensing, Medicare, Medicaid, the FDA, the HMO Act, insurance regulation and taxes.

    It's true there were wars before central banks, but modern wars of permanent occupation and mass casualties, wherein civilians are treated as targets of war, have come about with the advent of central banking. All the biggest modern U.S. wars would have been impossible without central banking.

    Austrian economics was founded by Karl Menger in 1871 — far before the Hitler's National Socialism. By the time of Hitler's rise to power, the Austrian economists had already critiqued Marxism, predicting the fall of the Soviet Union, predicted the 1929 crash as a result of the 1920s boom policies of central banking, and warned about the dangers of total statism in the form of fascism. The top Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, was a classical liberal Jew who left Austria for Switzerland and then, fearing for his life in a Europe terrorized by the Nazis, fled to the United States in the late 1930s.

    Hardcore libertarianism is anti-state, so the National Parks would have to be handled by environmental interests, and would probably be better cared for that way than by the government. It's the government that nationalizes land and then, socializing the costs of building roads and so forth, leases it out to strip-miners and clear-cutters for devastation that would not be profitable in a free market.

    Taxpayers shouldn't be thankful to the state for small tax cuts, since the money doesn't belong to the government in the first place.

  17. Many good things in this interview, but one distortion: Obama did not say the tax protesters should be "thanking me" for "paying taxes." What he said was they should be thanking him because he cut their taxes. The Stimulus plan was about 1/3 tax cuts, mostly concentrated on small business and middle-class tax cuts. That means the Tea Partiers benefitted most from those tax cuts. Please don't discredit your otherwise progressive positions with gratuitous distortions of Obama's statement that is so easily exposed as mistaken.

  18. This was an inspiring interview and the discussion in these comments is instructive and helpful. I just finished interviewing Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers, a group that is growing spectacularly among the military and police. We will have increasing numbers of libertarian police! I know those are the cops I want in my town.

    It really does seem that the Paulites are taking the steam out of the warmonger engine. Young conservatives are not consistently pro-war as their parents' generation were. And Leftists such as me are seeing that government programs are not the best solution to social problems.

    The problem with libertarian or Austrian economics for me is that the present means of production are so huge and so mobile that their owners easily accumulate billions (from selling to the world) while paying workers almost nothing (because they can shop the globe for the cheapest labor.) So the middle class is disappearing. There have to be some limits on corporate power. If not from government, from whom?

    It's so inspiring that we're even having this discussion. If we really want a Left/Right "realignment", we have to work these issues out. Thanks, Scott and everyone.

    1. The market determines what workers should be paid. If an employer underpays them, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. Thus, it is not in the employer's best interest to underpay the workers.

      When an employer finds cheaper labor in another part of the world, both the labor force there (through increased standard of living) and the consumer 'at home' (through cheaper prices) benefit. Tariffs retard these benefits.

      You'll find through history that tariffs (implemented by the state) have served to protect certain 'established' enterprises. Monopolies almost always arise from government 'regulations'. Natural monopolies (rare as they are) only exist as long all parties in the transaction (the employer, the laborers and the consumers) are satisfied. When governments impose tariffs and other regulations they serve to prevent/curtail competition. This allows for the traditional monopoly to arise, or a natural monopoly to persist beyond the function of the market–where all parties are satisfied. Ultimately, it's this sort of flawed market model that destroys the middle (productive) class, not the other way around.

      You must realize that everything that is good in this world has come from private enterprise. It is a fallacy to believe otherwise.

      1. Please, FL. If you substitute "Jesus" for "private enterprise," you'd be Jerry Falwell. No i don't believe for a minute that "everything that is good in the world has come from private enterprise." That's crazy. Do you think the Internet is good? Or highways, or hydroelectric power? Or senior citizens not having to live on cat food? Thank governments for those.

        I'm not saying private enterprise is bad, but in the modern economy, where machines do much of the work, there has to be another means to move wealth from machine owners to other people.

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