Lew Rockwell

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Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., more commonly known as Lew Rockwell, is a paleolibertarian political commentator and economist in the United States. Rockwell is the founder and President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California. Rockwell was closely associated with his teacher and colleague Murray Rothbard until his death in 1995, and like Rothbard in his later years his political ideology combines an anarcho-capitalist form of libertarianism with cultural conservativism and Austrian School economics. Rockwell also espouses the political concept of secession.

Rockwell is the editor and namesake of LewRockwell.com (http://www.lewrockwell.com), a widely read libertarian web magazine. The site is known for espousing free market economics and for its regular articles criticizing the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.[1] (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/lincoln-arch.html)

Politically, Rockwell recommends the following for libertarians:

  1. "Never trust a politician to represent, much less speak for, an intellectual movement. The likes of Ron Paul come along once a century or so. As a corollary, do not place your hopes in politics as an instrument of social change. After all, libertarians believe in a completely depoliticized society.
  2. "Never underestimate people’s tendency toward ideological drift. The intellectual foundations of liberty are never so strong that the basics can be taken for granted. Strategic thinking is essential, but no matter what the political moment seems to demand, libertarians must never be drawn away from the first principles of liberty and private property. Never permit yourself the slightest compromise with those two principles, and check every political position you hold against them. Better to get out of ideological activism altogether than to drag others into error.
  3. "Never underestimate the power of bad ideas. They must be refuted again and again. What sounds obviously ridiculous to you ("Americans should produce for America") is right now drawing someone into intractable fallacy. Error must be confronted head on, even when advanced by erstwhile allies. To believe in freedom, and to apply the principle consistently, means more than merely having a bias. It requires hard intellectual work, enormous amounts of reading, and systematic training. There are no short cuts.
  4. "The primary goal of intellectual outreach to other camps cannot be to convince others (to be convinced of another point of view is a trait of the young, not established writers and scholars), but rather to learn from others and improve your own understanding. The movement grows not by leaps-and-bounds, but step-by-step.
  5. "Always focus on the long-term, while doing what’s right day-to-day. Someday you will see, and maybe sooner than we think, that all your efforts on behalf of liberty have helped reap huge rewards for civilization. When that day comes, however, you will not receive any credit, and that is fine because the point is not institutional or personal aggrandizement. Others will jump in to grab the spotlight and attempt to subvert the movement, and our job will begin all over again."[2] (http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/paleoism.html)


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