Scott Horton Interviews Lew Rockwell

Scott Horton, September 01, 2010

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Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses how central banks print fiat money to pay for world wars that would otherwise be impossible to finance, the enormous resources at the U.S. government’s disposal to delay an economic reckoning, why WalMart is a net gain to society, the division between those who live off the state and those who support it (albeit unwillingly) and why more super-rich dynastic families are needed to compete for power with the state.

MP3 here. (43:20)

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 is the author of The Left, The Right and The State and served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.

44 Responses to “Lew Rockwell”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ron Paul News and AngelaKeaton, 'AntiWarProtesters'. 'AntiWarProtesters' said: RT @Antiwar2: Antiwar Radio Lew Rockwell: Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discus… http://tinyurl.com/28avapw [...]

  2. Rockwell!

  3. Thanks to Angela and Scott for having Lew Rockwell on. Political dynamite as always!

  4. BP and Goldman Sachs are good for you! Buy GOLD!

    What does this glibertarian nonsense about failed economic theories have to do with being antiwar?

  5. What a shock that central bankers fund wars with debased currency. I thought they were looking our for us little people but they really are the filth behind endless wars. Maybe the public should listen and demand that the gold of Ft Knox and Federal Reserve of New York submit to an audit. Also it would be nice to see how they are spending their money and maybe that secret plans of the federal reserve should not be secret. Give Peace a chance and Audit the Federal reserve. I really do not believe that their is any real reason not to audit unless they really are the face of death as would be indicated by the thought of they are the source of funding for wars.

  6. The Walton family provide great services to America??? This guy needs to cut down on his crack smoking. Is the Chinese government with whose complicity they produce their goods libertarian? Don't they murder labor activists? Aren't they responsible for some of the worst environmental degredation? Aren't the Waltons monopolists? Hasn't Walmart contributed to the degredation of the American manufacturing sector? What about the cultural implications? They do not deserve their billions any more than Bernard Madoff deserved his…and they know it. That's why they have a two billion dollar bunker for when the s**t hist the fan. Are they gonna take Lew in? Wake up!

  7. Hi Scott. You probably don't realize just how close your ideas are to Catholic social teachings. Have you ever read Rerum Novarum written by Pope Leo XIII in the 1880s? It is a denunciation of capitalist exploitation, but at the same time it strongly rejects communism. It also strongly upholds the principle of private property. Try these quotes on for size:

    "a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself"

    "the socialists, working on the poor man's envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies"

    "every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own"

    "that ideal equality about which they [the socialists] entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation"

    "the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit"

    What's lacking from Libertarian ideas is a sense of morality. This is an inheritance from Enlightenment thinking. You can see the results of these ideas in the French Revolution where morality was cut off from its Christian roots.

    The danger is in idealizing freedom to the point where we adopt a "cult of freedom". Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical titled "Libertas" ("liberty" or "freedom") in which he discusses the true meaning of freedom from a Catholic perspective. I have written some reflections on it which I think you'll find interesting: http://publicvigil.blogspot.com/2010/08/pope-leo-

    Without religion Libertarians risk becoming a tool of the Humanists. Humanism (the ultimate source of atheism, communism, deism, etc.) seeks to destroy religion. The reason you notice a change in the culture since the 80s when you grew up is that the influence of Christianity on American culture is waning. As individuals lose their morality, they become more egotistical and the result is a destructive form of unbridled competition and unbridled capitalism.

    If however you bind Libertarian and Christian principles then you have reasons to oppose not only war, but other evils such as drugs and pornography. That is what Catholicism does – believe it or not. Have I got you converted yet? :)

  8. Virtually every statesman and scholar; Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, Mckinley, Wilson, Kennedy, Napoleon, Smedley Butler, (the list is endless) have all agreed that the central bankers amass enormous wealth by funding wars, often both sides. People should take time to read about the history and activities of these opportunists.

  9. Thank you Lord Rockwell, The Dukes and Duchess of the Feudal states of America will reward your confused, befuddled musings on their behalf with your weight in High-Fructose corn syrup and ten Farmville surfs.

  10. Mr. Sulaimaan I am assuming you are referring to the Rothschild’s, Rockefellers, etc. those obscure tellers who hide behind the walls at the Federal Reserve. The list is endless, to a point.

  11. HOW DARE YOU INSULT LORD LEW, HIGH PRIEST OF THE AUSTRIAN CLOWN COLLEGE! HIS IMPASSIONED DEFENSE OF OLIGARCHS IS NOT UNDERSTOOD BY SIMPLE MINDS SUCH AS YOURSELF.

    TO TRULY UNDERSTAND THE PURE-STRAIN IDEAS OF THE BLESSED LORD LEW YOU MUST IMBIBE THE THE BLOOD IF THE LORD (Goldschläger ) AND THE BODY OF THE LORD (acapulco gold).

  12. I generally agree with a lot of with what I hear on Antiwar-Radio, especially in regards to the analysis of US-foreign policy offered by the various experts on the show. But wow, economically…sorry, but I think I'll have to pass on the pro-rich, free market, anti-statist utopianism offered here by Lew Rockwell.

  13. Btw, it is pretty outrageous that Rockwell demonizes working Americans (teachers and postmen no less!?) as being part of the "ruling elite"… Right… if there were less teachers and postmen sponging off of us and more "rich and affluent", then America would be just grand… utopian, even! Too bad those evil teachers and postmen just didn't have what it takes to become rich… Also interesting how he wants more rich people less poor people…please let us know when you figure that one out.

    Regarding Mr. Rockwell's claims about Wal Mart being "good" for the US, I refer you this 2004 Frontline documentary:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wal

    Interesting how Mr. Rockwell supports a company which has sided with state-capitalist/former communist China against Americans. Very sound reasoning, I must say!

  14. Look, this thought model is floating in some layer of ether on a thin tether. The rich represent competition to the state? Walmart is good for us? It's essential to ask, WHY do "they" want to mass murder a bunch of people in another country? It is so that the privatizing of of resources, the dismantling of organized labor and any kind of local subsidies, all enforced by the international monetary fund, can force open markets. It's the Opium War over and over again. The reason this is neccessary is because corporations have grown transnational, bigger than many states. Corporations are institutions for the accumulation of wealth, and they need the mines of Yugoslavia, the cheap labor of Bengal, and the Bananas of Guatemala to continue to grow. Corporations are the central institution that keep the wealth coming for the rich, and the government makes use of it's monopoly on the use of force to keep this system functioning.

  15. Capitalism ITSELF does this stuff, even nice capitalism… which isn't very nice. Just let the stupid and the maladaptive die or shovel shit for those smarter harder workers…. Except, it's always those born losers who end up doing the hardest work. The enterprising, even if they never do it on war, always, always, always end up making others do the work, and merely being angry with them for it doesn't EVER improve the prospects for the workers — whether there's a state or not. Oligarchs happen.

    Abolish money.

    NOBODY should have to pay to live, to get all the benefit of human creation there is. If there is forever to be an oligarchy, it should fall to the wisest, most courageous, protectors of living things.

    I am a libertarian. Listening to smart men natter this obvious blather as though ridding us of the state could save us from the banksters, as though just getting angry and being our local information hubs would rid the people of perpetual exploitation by the few makes me feel like the room is spinning around me.

  16. Shouldn't the ultra rich be building spaceships or running antiwar commercials on primetime?

    Are they all too busy hosting degrading reality TV shows, buying sports teams, funding religious fanatics & neocon think-tanks and learning to speak conversational Mandarin?

    Excellent show! Please keep doing the occasional 40+ minute interviews – they have much more depth and insight. Scott Horton is the best interviewer I have encountered, for the past 3 years I have listened to him consistently ask tough, respectful, intelligent, passionate questions. Thank you.

  17. Scott Horton's Anarchy = skateboarding and bong-ripping

    Lew Rockwell's Anarchy = Holding you upside-down by your ankle until all the money falls out of your pockets, and then blame "the government".

  18. Yet another corporate totalitarian tool. The state, the state, the state. And not even a whisper about (careful now):

    the corporation.

  19. Your comment was a failure.

  20. The ruling elite is another concept for those who are politically powerful and earn money through political processes, not just being a "billionare." The main criterion to study is whether that wealth was acquired through voluntary means, or political means. Secondly, being "rich" can mean different things to different people and even then, no two persons value scales are alike so this criterion of being "rich" is meaningless. How is that you and other left-wing clowns can't realize this?

  21. Organized labor is a movement for itself, not workers.

  22. Stupid analogy, but ok, whatever you can type down.

  23. You would benefit from some simple public choice concepts.

  24. Lew Rockwell a corporate totalitarian fool? Without the state, corporatism would be non-existent. Mr. Rockwell has consistently condemned corporatism for decades. Please be careful before spouting false accusations upon other individuals.

  25. Oh yes, supporting the idea of people deciding their own money is that awful! The people in the central government NEED to power to create legal tender. How else would they achieve failed imperialist wars,trillion dollar Defense budgets, enlarging college administrations, subsidizing real-estate speculators, food stamp programs, agricultural subsidies, and failed inner-city welfare programs

  26. Excellent show, thanks. Interesting to hear the ad hominem “critiques”. If you have a valid critique, you don’t need childish name-calling, nor do you resort to screeching.

    If you can’t see what this has to do with anti-war then it can’t be explained to you because it was explained perfectly well.

  27. Let's not kid ourselves; if the criterion of being rich is so meaningless, then why does Rockwell bring it up and refer to it as something he wants to see more of in the US? I'm fairly certain Mr. Rockwell is a very intelligent man ( I don't agree with him, but I, unlike other people, won't presume to pass judgement on his intelligence) and I am fairly certain he chooses his words carefully and that he knows exactly what he is referring to when he says he wants to see more rich people and less poor people in the US (all the while defending the billionaire family which owns Walmart, despite their relations with foreign governments diametrically opposed to everything Mr. Rockwell claims to represent, and demonizing typical working Americans as spongers).

    Again, let's not kid ourselves, by propagating for the super rich and at the same time demonizing normal American workers as being part of the "ruling elite" ( and you can try to weasel your way out of that term all you want, but we are all very aware of who the "ruling elite" are and who they are not) is, for a lot of people, repulsive (and I'm not just referring to us "left-wing clowns" here).

    But then again, perhaps I haven't been steeped enough in "libertarian" (if that is what such ideas are supposed to be considered) ideology and utopianism to see the immense wisdom of such, in my opinion, abhorrently distorted and perverse class views. However, condemning those with relatively little and defending those who have everything (despite the fact that most Americans don't belong to this class and never will) does have a typical (and reoccurring) "All-American" ring to it.

    I would attribute such absurdities to people not knowing what their political/economic interests actually are (along with also having an extremely distorted view as to which class they actually belong to) but then again, such are the opinions of "left-wing clowns".

  28. Of course the government failed on Katrina. The Republicans who were in office believed that government always fails. If I said that bicycles are dangerous and then drove my bicycle into a brick wall to prove it would that prove that bicycles are dangerous? The truth is that government can do some good and free enterprise can do some good too. A cart has to have 2 wheels to work correctly. The problem is not that socialism is bad or that free enterprise is bad it is that they are always fighting each other. When they learn to work together for the good of all things will improve. Look at Sweden. Here there is too much veneration for the so-called free markets. A friend of mine once said that 'love is co-operation whereas sex is competition'. Well, competition is great and it is fun, but we need more love. More love, then there wouldn't be war. Our competitiveness is out of control.

  29. I'm an anarcho-syndicalist, so I hate the state too, but it's worth noting that Finland's public schools are the world's best.

  30. Perhaps in the next life I will be “taught” and “enlightened” by the desire for less education and huge private fortunes – but not in this one!
    “Greed is Good” is not my idea of a human society!

  31. Organized labor is ONLY for itself? NEVER for the workers? Utter nonsense. Where do you think the eight-hour day came from?

  32. Wake up @ http://lewrockwell.com http://mises.org

  33. Wow. There's way too many economic fallacies in this thread to respond to them one by one, so I'll just advise anyone with an open mind to read Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson", available for free at http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/Economics_in_one_les… or at http://www.hacer.org/pdf/Hazlitt00.pdf

    The book is over 60 years old, yet amazingly, the myths it is devoted to debunking still persist.

  34. I did follow the link and read some of this stuff. I wish you would be equally as open-minded and read "Open Veins of Latin America" by Eduardo Galeano, or Chomsky, or Parenti . . .. It's depressing to see you taken in by the nonsense you've asked us to read.

  35. Not a great performace by Lew. I normally enjoy interviews with Lew a great deal, but this time around he came across as a delusional feudalist when he was addressing the topic of the wealthy. Seriously, how can he sugegst that the rich can be persuaded to do the right thing after the recent finacial crisis, which was created by the rich?

  36. Sorry, pelase excuse teh double post.

  37. I've never read the Galeano book, but I've read plenty of stuff by Chomsky and Parenti. They're typical leftists, i.e. good at identifying problems, but hopelessly naive when it comes to solutions. The same government that is totally controlled by big business (as they're quick to point out) is apparently nevertheless fully capable of protecting the little guy from these very same corporate tyrants, if only it were tweaked so that it would be a little more "democratic", or some such nonsense. Particulary ridiculous is the "anarchist" Chomsky, who never saw a government welfare program he didn't like.

  38. [...] busy building a burgeoning organization dedicated to ending the Fed and ending the wars the Fed makes possible. Who would’ve thought?! That’s one reason I’m taking this tour, but another is to engage in [...]

  39. You had me thinking until you got to the drugs and pornography nonsense. Put people in prison for getting high? Criminalize a natural, God-given desire to enhance or alter one's consciousness?
    That's evil and satanic. Shame on you. And you call yourself a Christian, I suppose. Let's lock 'em up up for Baby Jesus. I mean, really?!?
    Pornography? If you don't like it, don't participate in the industry. Simple. But bringing law enforcement into the question is risible.

  40. [...] busy building a burgeoning organization dedicated to ending the Fed and ending the wars the Fed makes possible. Who would’ve thought?! That’s one reason I’m taking this tour, but another is to engage in [...]

  41. Pope Leo was railing for fascism….how the F did you just memorialize and bate your eyelids at fascism? Morality? We aren't for fascism, that's a good start!

  42. Hedge funds performed terribly last year. I don't think they are

    "hedged" at all. How are they different from mutual funds (other than

    charging an arm and a leg for their services)?

  43. The facts about the hedge fund industry is that Their returns over a sustained period of time have outperformed standard equity and bond indexes with less volatility and less risk of loss than equities.

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