What Is This Rothbardian Fetish About Consistency?

On display, for instance, here.

Milton Friedman, for instance, knew that he was not "consistently anti-interventionist." That is because he thought being anti-interventionist in all cases was a bad thing. When he thought interventions were bad, he was against them, and when he thought interventions were good, he was for them.

Imagine boasting that you are "the only consistently anti-rest" ideology, or "the only consistently anti-medicine" ideology.

Being consistently against something is only going to be impressive to people who think that something is always bad. Since Rothbardians are trying to convert people who do not think intervention is always bad, boldly stating that they are uniformly against it only makes them appear fanatical.


  1. Behold! A marriage spat as played by two male economists.

  2. BTW, you know that that comment was funny. Keep in mind that I did consider using the word "philosophers" rather than "economists", but it just wouldn't have had the same effect.

  3. They also have the problem with defining intervention. As you pointed out, a network of defense firms constitutes a state, so even they can't eliminate "intervention".

  4. Samson, where is Gene taking you on Valentine's Day?

    1. We are going to the "Statists Paradise" bar and grill, where we will dine on the illicitly seized fruits of others' labor, and sip cocktails of "moral-double-standard" tequila sweetened with sugary "pretense of omniscient" syrup.

  5. Excellent points.

    And I would add that the Rothbardian claim to be the only pure, true defenders of free markets is itself untrue.

    Why? Because their view of fractional reserve banking is badly flawed, and once that is recognised it follows that their demand to ban it and eliminate it is nothing but interference in free contract and (in their own language) "evil" "collectivist" violation of liberty.

  6. It's not logical consistency. It's more of a style thing, like insisting that your handbag matches your shoes.