Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Evolution of an Anti-Anti-Communist (B.K. Marcus)

B.K. Marcus on how Murray Rothbard learned that his anti-communism stance was far different than that of Senator Joe McCarthy:

In his "Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal" (1968), Murray Rothbard wrote,

Twenty years ago I was an extreme right-wing Republican, a young and lone "Neanderthal" (as the liberals used to call us) who believed, as one friend pungently put it, that "Senator Taft had sold out to the socialists." Today, I am most likely to be called an extreme leftist, since I favor immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, denounce US imperialism, advocate Black Power and have just joined the new Peace and Freedom Party. And yet my basic political views have not changed by a single iota in these two decades!

While his claim of ideological steadfastness on his "basic political views" may have been correct, Rothbard did change his mind on questions of strategy and alliance, most significantly on the question of "McCarthyism" and the broader anti-Communist movement of the American Right, which he eventually rejected in favor of a more nuanced (and largely misunderstood) anti-anti-Communism.

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