A couple of friends have been researching so-called anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard.
Per-Olof Samuellson started it, with the comment:
Murray Rothbard was a great economist, and a disaster when it came to politics.
And he’s right. Consider:
Unorganized, or street, crime, in contrast, is random, punkish, viciously aggressive against the innocent, and has no redeeming social feature.
Whereas, he says,
Organized crime is essentially anarcho-capitalist, a productive industry struggling to govern itself; apart from attempts to monopolize and injure competitors, it is productive and non-aggressive.
Sure, they might not have due process, but you want your neighbour whacked for pissing you off, then tell Don Corleone a good story -- and job done.
[T]the Soviets arrived early at what libertarians consider to be the only proper and principled foreign policy. As time went on, furthermore, this policy was reinforced … This increasing conservatism under Stalin and his successors strengthened and reinforced the nonaggressive, “peaceful coexistence” policy.
I’m sure the residents of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Lithuania et al would have been happy to hear that. If, that is, owning books such as Rothbard’s weren’t grounds for arrest, under the ever-peaceful Stalin.
Lenin, said Rothbard, was “far more congenial to the libertarian than that of Karl Marx,” since he represented “the smashing of the State apparatus to achieve the “withering away of the State.” This, of the man who founded the Cheka, and who unleashed Red Terror across his new regime.
And Stalin? He was a farsighted man of peace, who only accidently invaded Poland, with Hitler, to help start World War II. “So unwarlike was Stalin, in fact, that Germany was almost able to conquer Russia in the face of enormous odds.” That old peacenik, Uncle Joe. Who, perhaps, only inadvertently organised the purge trials and the starving into submission of the Kulaks.
Or, consider Rothbard on international terrorist and mass murderer Che Guevera – only a minor butcher compared to these other two, but still a popular one on teenage bedroom walls. “Che is dead, and we all mourn him,” said an older but still unwiser Rothbard in this obituary.
What made Che such an heroic figure for our time is that he, more than any man of our epoch or even of our
century, was the living embodiment of the principle of Revolution… The CIA might claim Che's body, but it will never be able to shackle his spirit.
This of a man who banned religion, speech, press, assembly, and protest; who put a bullet in the heads of thousands of Cubans he deemed an enemy of his state; and who had fervently hoped the Cuban missile crisis would lead to worldwide atomic war, declaring Cubans “a people ready to sacrifice itself to nuclear arms, that its ashes might serve as a basis for new societies.”
Murray Rothbard was a great economist, but a disaster when it came to politics.