Sunday, April 28, 2019

Interview: Lew Rockwell says genuine "libertarians support the traditional family", reject “affirmative action”

Editor's note: This interview was originally published in February 2017.

This is the second part of my discussion with Lew Rockwell. The  first and second segments are available on-line. 
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto 
For untold millions of Americans, libertarianism might seem like something of a passing trend -- a fad, essentially.
The band of through-and-through adherents to libertarian philosophy might be, relative to the overall population of our country, negligible, but mind this age old saying: "Big things come in small packages."
Both the guiding lights of America's libertarian movement and run-of-the-mill activists enjoy a megaphone-powered voice. While neither the mainstream left or right are behind them anywhere close to 100 percent, libertarians have found that many lefties support a liberty-minded approach to civil rights and, more broadly, constitutional protections. No small number of righties, meanwhile, endorse free market economics and stripping away bureaucracy. 
Therefore, it should be no surprise that, especially with the rise of the Internet, libertarian ideas have found their way into settings which would have been inhospitable only a decade ago. Nonetheless, getting a majority of leftists, rightists, and centrists to endorse comprehensive libertarian philosophy remains an order so tall that it can best be described as unlikely.
Still, the emissaries and adherents of libertarianism press forward. One cannot help but admire their deep sense of purpose, political courage, and strident conviction. 
Lew Rockwell personifies these attributes better than anyone I can imagine. He is among America's most famous and influential libertarian voices. He publishes an eponymous website which is ground zero for the libertarian chattering class; there one can find perspectives from all the shades of libertarianism, delivered without mainstream media filtration. Rockwell founded the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, which has grown into our world's foremost organ for Austrian School economic theory. Rockwell chairs the organization to this day.
As if all of this were not enough, he has authored four books, edited six, and worked closely with Ron Paul -- both as a congressional staffer and man of letters. 
Rockwell spoke with me about a good many topics relating to libertarianism in American society. Some of our conversation is included below.


Joseph Ford Cotto: With the Democratic Party increasingly under the hold of social justice warriors and, more broadly, identity politics and the collectivism inherent to it, what chance does left-libertarianism have within America's partisan duopoly?

Lew Rockwell: I don’t support left-libertarianism. This is an inconsistent attempt to combine libertarianism, which supports individual responsibility and private property, with the entitlement mentality of the Social Justice Warriors.  Real libertarians support the traditional family and oppose compulsory “affirmative action” laws. The chance for real libertarianism within the current American political system is excellent, because people have had enough of the Left. People today don’t want to have their lives constantly monitored by the government. They don’t want to be compelled to conform to the standards of radical minorities.

Trump’s victory over the elitist liberal Hillary Clinton reflects this discontent. Libertarianism, developed by the great economist and political thinker Murray Rothbard, offers an intellectually compelling alternative to leftist elitism.

Cotto: Since it went into effect during late 1995, the North American Free Trade Agreement has formed a trilateral commerce bloc between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. From your research, has this proven to be of benefit to our country? 

Rockwell: Free trade benefits everybody involved in it, but we are talking about genuine free trade. This means voluntary trade, without government interference. NAFTA isn’t real free trade. It subjects American businesses to vexatious regulations and control.  American firms would be much better off without these regulations. Of course, tariffs are bad, so they should be ended, not replaced with government-mandated rules for trade.