The Betrayal of the American Right by Murray N. Rothbard

by | Oct 14, 2007 | Stress Blog | 3 comments

Attention Ron Paul Revolutionaries! (A bit of internal education):

Did you know the Right used to be liberal-Left? That liberal used to mean individualist and capitalist? That the Republicans have always been fascists and the Democrats too, since the 19-teens and especially the 30s? That the liberals became “Rightists” in opposition to the progressive, socialist, communist, conservative, fascist, New Deal-World War “consensus”? That the name “conservative” didn’t get conflated with the Right until the mid-1950s when the Left had outpaced even the conservatives in their statist collectivism? Confused? is serializing The Betrayal of the American Right by Murray N. Rothbard. So far they’ve published chapters 1-5 with the rest coming along in the next few days. A taste:

Only the few laissez-faire liberals saw the direct filiation between Hoover’s cartelist program and the fascistic cartelization imposed by the New Deal’s NRA and AAA, and few realized that the origin of these programs was specifically such Big Business collectivist plans as the famous Swope Plan, spawned by Gerard Swope, head of General Electric in late 1931, and adopted by most big business groups in the following year. It was, in fact, when Hoover refused to go this far, denouncing the plan as “fascism” even though he had himself been tending in that direction for years, that Henry I. Harriman, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned Hoover that Big Business would throw its weight to Roosevelt, who had agreed to enact the plan, and indeed was to carry out his agreement. Swope himself, Harriman, and their powerful mentor, the financier Bernard M. Baruch, were indeed heavily involved both in drafting and administering the NRA and AAA.

The individualists and laissez-faire liberals were stunned and embittered, not just by the mass desertion of their former allies, but also by the abuse these allies now heaped upon them as “reactionaries” “fascists,” and “Neanderthals.” For decades Men of the Left, the individualists, without changing their position or perspectives one iota, now found themselves bitterly attacked by their erstwhile allies as benighted “extreme right-wingers.” Thus, in December 1933, Nock wrote angrily to Canon Bernard Iddings Bell: “I see I am now rated as a Tory. So are you — ain’t it? What an ignorant blatherskite FDR must be! We have been called many bad names, you and I, but that one takes the prize.” Nock’s biographer adds that “Nock thought it odd that an announced radical, anarchist, individualist, single-taxer and apostle of Spencer should be called conservative.”

Also recommended: Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement by Justin Raimondo.

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