Anthony Gregory on Rothbard on Left and Right

by | Nov 17, 2012 | Stress Blog

“Nothing is deadlier than the pursuit of liberal ends through conservative means.”

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Anthony Gregory from the Independent Institute and the Future of Freedom Foundation about Rothbard’s great essay Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty.

Well now he’s written a new essay developing his arguments further for the C4SS: “The Carnage in the Middle of the Road.”:

Within the United States, it was not so much communism, but progressivism, that wedged itself between Jeffersonian liberalism and Hamiltonian conservatism to become the middle-of-the-road American ideology, dedicated to libertarian goals through rightwing means. In Wilson, FDR, and even the modern Democratic Party, we see some libertarian rhetoric persist and most of the collectivist rhetoric is about elevating the common person, the worker, the poor and middle class, against the royalist rich. Yet a radical reading of American history demonstrates that just as in the rest of the world, the middle-of-the-road ideology yielded some of the worst authoritarianism and state violence ever perpetrated by the U.S. government. Those who could plausibly be called progressive Democrats (or modern liberals) were principally responsible for U.S. entry into World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam. The American progressives and their New Deal and Great Society successors have had a dismal civil liberties record, from the Palmer Raids and Sedition Act to Japanese Internment and surveillance on the antiwar movement, from FDR banning marijuana to Obama’s kill list and indefinite detention. The corporate state was at least as much the darling of the middle-of-the-road progressives as it was the design of America’s more consistent conservative statists.

Read the rest here.

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