Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Prophetic Rothbard

Murray Rothbard’s political insight — always filtered thorough his unique brand of Power Elite analysis — was never less than startling. And often prophetic.

Case in point: while I rummaged through old issues of Rothbard-Rockwell Report yesterday, I came across Murray’s postmortem on the 1992 presidential election (“The ‘Watershed’ Election,” January 1993). How, Rothbard asked rhetorically, did William Jefferson Clinton, the smirking, insufferable punk from Arkansas, so effortlessly seize the White House from the grasp of George Herbert Walker Bush? After all, following the Gulf War, Bush had looked like a shoo-in for re-election. But he seemed strangely passive during the presidential debates, unwilling to fight his opponents. He was holding back. For someone known as a gut fighter, Bush was struggling on the ropes. Why? Murray offered this theory:

Here I must advance the hypothesis, the fascinating possibility, that Bush deliberately threw the election. This possibility must not be ruled immediately out of court merely because “conspiracy” analysis is not fashionable. ...

Consider this possible scenario: George Bush enters the palatial office of David Rockefeller, Senior, the Godfather, capo di tutti capi of the Rockefeller World Empire.

“Sit down, George,” David says in the gravelly voice made famous by Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.

“George,” David begins, “let me tell you something: You are going to lose this election.”

“But Godfather,” protests George, “haven’t I been a good and faithful servant of the Family?”

“Yes, you have, George,” Rockefeller assures him, “but conditions have changed. Our multicultural friends demand another Leap Forward. So you’re going to lose; but George, it’s important that you lose with dignity, with honor. Nothing negative against Clinton. We don’t want to spoil his Administration.

“George, I can assure you,” Rockefeller tells the shaken Bush, “if you lose with dignity, your children will prosper. If not...” Rockefeller makes a cutting gesture across his throat.

All right: if this scenario is untrue, answer me this: Why was George Bush so darned happy on Election Night? Why were we depressed, but he, the ostensible loser, happy? The answer is that he was “relieved” that the whole thing was over doesn’t account for his joy. How about: relief that he hadn’t blown the deal and actually won the election?

Two years after Murray wrote this, Bush son George W. was elected governor of Texas. Four years after that, son Jeb became governor of Florida. And two years after that, George W., in a still-controversial election, became president in one of the tightest races in history. And then, unlike his father, won a second term (in another relatively tight race).

“George, I can assure you, if you lose with dignity, your children will prosper.”

Anyone else feel a chill?

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At 11:29 PM, Blogger freeman said...

Heh... that's pretty wild that Rothbard mentioned Bush's children in such a fashion!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger J. Neil Schulman said...

Please. It didn't take a prophet to figure out that one or more of the adult sons of a U.S. president might have their own political aspirations -- with the examples of the Kennedy family and Al Gore as prominent examples.

Here's the question I want to ask my fellow libertarians who for my entire tenure in the movement have been shoving this scenario at me of Doctor Evil -- er, Rockefeller -- secretly running the world and issuing orders to presidents as if they're employees.

David Rockefeller has such a meeting with a U.S. president. The president decides that this constitutes a threat and orders his Secret Service detail to arrest Rockefeller. Do you seriously think the agents will hesitate for a second to put the handcuffs on, or that the U.S. Attorney General will release him just because he's rich? Yeah, that really saved Ken Lay's buttocks.

Or say the president gives an order to the military as Commander in Chief. Do you think David Rockefeller can countermand that order?

Get real. We live in a country with many influential individuals and lobbyists, but -- as Mao pointed out -- power comes out of the barrel of a gun. In such a meeting as Murray Rothbard fantasized about, what would have prevented President George Herbert Walker Bush to quote a previous U.S. president and ask, "Tell me, how many troops do you have at your command?"

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Administration of the Wretched Nixon is remembered today for the conspiratorial inepitude revealed by the WHITE HOUSE TAPES. The Wretched Nixon was one of the most intelligent men ever to become President. His taped conversations and musings reveal a man who has thought profound thoughts about political power and yet is unable to marshal the conspiratorial skills intuitively mastered by the average junior high school girl. He could make himself President and realign the power vectors of the Earth, but he was unable devise and operate a conspiracy that would save himself from having his name ever associated with the adjective: DISGRACED. The only truly effective political conspiracies are tacit in nature-- The parties recognize their own sought advantages and rely upon the same level of insight from their differently situated fellows in the processes. The conspiracy that brought down the Wretched Nixon was a tacit conspiracy of the intellectuals and the mass media. They coordinated their efforts with signals broadcast by the mass media. The result was a bloodless coup that has rendered the American Empire an expensive nullity. Now wise men will prepare for a resumption of President Carter's Malaise in a more virulent form.


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