Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shoulder, Meet Chip. Chip, Meet Shoulder.

For some of the folks at the Mises Institute, life is one giant conspiracy denying them and theirs credit. For instance, I'm doing some work on Nozick at present, and ran across this:

"Many of us felt Nozick's book drew heavily upon Murray Rothbard's work without sufficient credit — indeed, that the whole work was intended as a limited-governnment response to Murray's anarcho-capitalism — though Nozick did grudgingly recognize Murray in the book's 'Acknowledgements.'"

OK, first of all, in the "Acknowledgements," Nozick says that it was a long conversation with Rothbard that inspired him to think about individual anarchist theory at all. What the heck is "grudging" about that? Was there a little smudge of grudge on that page of Blumert's copy of Anarchy, State, and Utopia?

Secondly, what about the charge of insufficient credit in the rest of the book? Well, Rothbard is in the index six times. That is more than Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Hegel combined. Oooh, what a dis!


  1. Ya - forget that Rawls guy. Clearly it was all about Murray.

  2. It was well known in libertarian circles that Murray Rothbard had overcome a list of phobias. It took a great deal of effort, but poor Murray could now deal with airplanes, tunnels, and bridges, but, one fear remained — he was not about to enter an elevator in a skyscraper; a moving, sealed coffin that propelled a body over 100 stories in a few seconds.

    Given the recent horrid event on 9/11 at that very site, Murray's "phobia" now seems quite understandable.


  3. It's been awhile since I've read Anarchy, State and Utopia, but my recollection is that it approached the subject from a Rothbardian baseline, that Nozick fully acknowledged that, and that he then went off into the issues that interested him (how that baseline stood up against a Rawlsian theory of justice, etc.).

    For some people, anything except, or beyond, repetitive genuflection just isn't good enough.

  4. How do you get "some folks at..." from the words of one very dead coin dealer from California?

  5. Dust, are you not familiar with the meaning of the words "for instance"?


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