Friday, April 07, 2006

Recommended weekend reading

Roderick T. Long’s extraordinary 2006 Rothbard Memorial Lecture (“Rothbard’s ‘Left and Right’: 40 Years Later”), which he delivered at last month’s Austrian Scholars Conference, is now available in text form. Here’s a taste:

“If you want to call the free market a left-wing idea, or a right-wing idea, or a neither-left-wing-nor-right-wing idea, or a left-wing-in-sense- 37-but-right-wing-in-sense-49 idea, whatever, go for it — so long as you make clear how you’re using it. I like calling the free market a left-wing idea — in fact, I like calling libertarianism the proletarian revolution — but terminology is not the fundamental issue. The crucial point is to track when one of these labels is being used in an authoritarian sense, or an anti-authoritarian sense, or a mixed sense, and not allow any particular preconceived stereotype of ‘left’ or ‘right’ to occlude one’s thinking as to where one’s natural allies are to be found.”

You can find the transcript of the entire lecture right here.


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