How Very Marxist Is Rothbardian Analysis

It was very interesting to me to hear the explanation given by a prominent Rothbardian for the persistence of "statist" beliefs: it is because the state pays intellectuals to make the case for its existence, and they then spread those ideas to the populace: Plato and Hobbes were just paid off, or they would have been anarchists.

The funny thing is that, as with the Marxists, this analysis does not apply to them: I'm sure the fellow does not believe that he just holds Rothbardian ideas because he gets paid to do so, despite the fact he does get paid to do so.


  1. The idea that states need to pay intellectuals to legitimize themselves is itself bogus.

    The state by virtue of being a monopoly on violence does not need to worry about ideas.

    From my reading of Tocqueville in L'Ancien Regime et La Revolution, I recall that the French monarchy tolerated the most far-reaching dissent in public speech and discourse. As long as people wasted time on mental masturbation, the monarchs could afford not to care what people thought of them.


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