Can't we all just get along?
Professor Bainbridge believes that "The Mises Bloggers are Stark Raving Nuts" in reference to this post, and subsequently endorses Republicans. Along with this comes the statement from Robert Prather...
Upon reading a statement like this, I can only conclude that very few people have actually read Rothbard. I'm not sure how Rothbard leads one away from Mises; if anything, Murray Rothbard leads people toward Mises. He did for me. When people ask me about the Austrian school of economics, I don't tell them to read Human Action; I tell them to read Man, Economy, and State and What Has The Government Done To Our Money? (both by Rothbard) first to get a flavor for Mises's economics, and only then move on to Mises's magnus opus. Rothbard had an extraordinary gift in explaining the praxeological ideas of Mises in an eloquent yet easy style. Yes, there were some differences in their views, but for the most part, these were marginal to their core commonalities. If there is any writer in history that spoke Mises's economic ideas, it was Rothbard.
As far as the War on Terror, keep in mind that there are different views held by various people at Mises.org, LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com, and one should not make a consensus opinion based on only a few data points. I can only speak for myself on this blog when I say that I supported military action against Al-Qaeda, albeit with deep regret at the inevitable loss in civil liberties that accompanies any war. Although I was not convinced that the US should have carried out the War in Iraq, I hoped, and still hope today, that our boys and girls come home safe and sound. Even the freest of free societies will need patriots to fight off outside threats, and I appreciate their willingness to serve. I am also glad for the Iraqi people that a tyrant butcher no longer holds power.
If this general antiwar sentiment leads some libertarians toward the Republican party, please ask yourself this question, with a firm committment to principles:
How can anyone who supports a free market economy call himself a "Southpark Republican" or "Republican Party Reptile" or any kind of "Republican"?
Back in the late 1800's socialists used to dream of the day when nationalization of entire industries occurred and government controlled of vast segments of the economy. Yet, today, a Republican president signed into law a prescription drug benefits program that expands Medicare and leads us that much closer to the socialist utopia. The 'small government' president just enacted a socialist piece of legislation, and make no mistake, that is the only descriptor that fits. And this after he increased government spending by 27% during his first two years of office. Are principles important any longer? Where is the outrage? And what truly does the Republican Party have to do with the principles of limited government?
Finally, I realize that there are some truly radical ideas within the Austro-Libertarian meta-context; many of us on this blog share them although we have come from different places to similar conclusions. My reaction at hearing many of these ideas for the first time was along the lines of, "But that's just preposterous! How dare they even think that! That goes against everything anyone with common sense knows as fact!" Yet, I had to prove to myself that they were indeed nuts, and when I read the books and argued the facts, I came to conclude that they were not nuts, and further that, some of society's biggest problems only have radical solutions.
If you really think these radical ideas are nuts, the least you can do is to listen to the arguments and prove to yourself that they are nuts. It is always important to challenge the orthodoxy, even if that orthodoxy happens to be the correct one, to remind you of why you believe what you do. Don't get comfortable believing what you believe simply because that's what you believe. Remember the reasons behind those beliefs. Catallarchists are always eager to listen and willing to engage in civil discussion.