They Seemed Nice, But...

Is the Mises Institute a hate group? Some of the anti-immigration views that certain members have held seem to have made the Southern Poverty Law Center concerned. (Go to this page and enter "mises" in the keyword area.)

One issue of their report characterizes the MI thus:

Ludwig von Mises Institute

The Ludwig von Mises Institute, founded in 1982 by Llewellyn Rockwell Jr. and still headed by him, is a major center promoting libertarian political theory and the Austrian School of free market economics, pioneered by the late economist Ludwig von Mises. It publishes seven journals, has printed more than 100 books, and offers scholarships, prizes, conferences and a major library at its Auburn, Ala., offices.

It also promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive. The institute seems nostalgic for the days when, "because of selective mating, marriage, and the laws of civil and genetic inheritance, positions of natural authority [were] likely to be passed on within a few noble families."

But the rule of these natural elites and intellectuals, writes institute scholar Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is being ruined by statist meddling such as "affirmative action and forced integration," which he said is "responsible for the almost complete destruction of private property rights, and the erosion of freedom of contract, association, and disassociation."

A key player in the institute for years was the late Murray Rothbard, who worked with Rockwell closely and co-edited a journal with him. The institute's Web site includes a cybershrine to Rothbard, a man who complained that the "Officially Oppressed" of American society (read, blacks, women and so on) were a "parasitic burden," forcing their "hapless Oppressors" to provide "an endless flow of benefits."

"The call of 'equality,'" he wrote, "is a siren song that can only mean the destruction of all that we cherish as being human." Rothbard blamed much of what he disliked on meddling women. In the mid-1800s, a "legion of Yankee women" who were "not fettered by the responsibilities" of household work "imposed" voting rights for women on the nation. Later, Jewish women, after raising funds from "top Jewish financiers," agitated for child labor laws, Rothbard adds with evident disgust. The "dominant tradition" of all these activist women, he suggests, is lesbianism.

Institute scholars also have promoted anti-immigrant views, positively reviewing Peter Brimelow's Alien Nation.

I have not read the works from which the Rothbard quotes are taken, so I don't know if they've been taken out of context, but I have read elsewhere statements from Rothbard that the SPLC would agree with. Hans-Herman Hoppe, ever the divisive figure among libertarians, apparently accounts for most of the SPLC's concern. Also scrutinized is the anti-Lincoln sentiment readers of will be intimately familiar with.

Is this characterization unfair? They can certainly be politically incorrect, and Hoppe has taken a lot of flak even from other libertarians for some of his views, but I think the SPLC is being a little paranoid.

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SPLC's searching. Hard. But

SPLC's searching. Hard.

But do they go to the source? Mises himself. Mises, who favored totally free, totally open immigration - no barriers to the free movement of labor. Many of the contributors to the Mises site, that I've noticed, object to immigration only insofar as immigrants today are plied with the drink of welfare entitlements, a practice they'd like to see end.

As would I, however, unlike Rep. Paul to name but one, I see no reason to restrain immigration even in light of such welfarism, such restraint is but more intervention and that restraint comes without any promise that immigration would cease being subsidized. Today, the federal government certainly if half-heartedly flexes its muscle to both curb and subsidize immigration. Either way, huge allocations of capital are directed to both schemes, neither way ensuring the complete eradication of the other. In point of fact, both trends seem to complement and thrive off of the other. Each bureaucratic class enabled, as bureaucratic classes are wont to do, seeks to perpetuate their privilege and recognizes the existance of each as essential to that perpetuation.

When libertarians stray from encouraging the free movement of labor, on the caveat that such movement bloats a social welfare state, and advocate yet another interventionist entity that derives large state expenditures, entrenched bureaucratic classes, and enforces a collective punishment - then I, for one, think it obvious that the consequence is affirming statist dictums and expansion and the abandonment of libertarian principles.

If the complaint is that immigration swamps the infrastructure, an infrastructure that we oppose in the first place, then how have we lost? In my life, I tend to notice the common man on the street is most opposed to welfarism when its resources are taxed and stretched.

Further, LRC is more than

Further, LRC is more than justified in their "anti-Lincoln stance" and if SPLC could yank their head out of the sand long enough, they might actually realize that to lionize a man who jailed dissidents, cut a swath of civilian death and destruction from Richmond to Atlanta, shredded habeus corpus, served an arrest warrant on a Supreme Court justice, dispensed with the separation of powers, deported political opponents, housed soldiers in civilian quarters, centralized the state apparatus, and... who am I kidding - half of the indictments above might just appeal to those nutjobs.

Rothbard and Mises are

Rothbard and Mises are hardly the only individuals to think along these lines. Socrates discoursed on this, Romulus acknowledged the "choicest and most select of people," Lycurgus also acknowledged some individuals are worth more than others and "certain triers" were tasked with determining this.

In our world today, we also acknowledge certain individuals are worth more than others. Consider the Nobel prize, MVP awards, valedictorians, etc. Simply acknowledging that certain individuals are of more worth than other individuals is not racist, but only a factual observation.

I think the SPLC report is

I think the SPLC report is being unfair.

Rothbard wrote so much in his life that it's easy to take any of his writing out of context and change its meaning. I see no citations in that report, and I've read a ton of Rothbard's material and don't remember those quotes.

The Mises Institute is one of the top free-market advocate organizations on the planet. I read their daily article everyday, and it has helped me educate myself on economics better than any other source.

Well it is typical of Morris

Well it is typical of Morris Dees sleaze tactics to smear anyone who goes against his and and the SPLC view of the world. Harper Magazine did an excellent expose on the real intentions of Morris Dees called The Church of Morris Dees. Here is the link to the artilce: