James Grosvenor: Who Would Rothbard Partner With Today: The Breitbartian-Right Or The Beltway Libert

September 27, 2021

Who Would Rothbard Partner With Today: The Breitbartian-Right Or The Beltway Libertarians?

By James Grosvenor


In his essay A Strategy for the Right, Murray Rothbard begins by discussing the anti-New Deal coalition, which was comprised of three groups: the extremists, right-wing Democrats, and moderate New Dealers. He demonstrated how they differed, but also how they were able to compliment each other and fight the welfare-warfare policies of the New Dealers[i].

In his essay, Rothbard also asked himself an important strategic question: “who are the major bad guys, the unwashed masses or the power elite?” Rothbard believed the bad guys were the power elite, as they used the intellectual and media elites to propagandize the masses into consenting to their rule. He noted two strategies on the right that were being used at the time to combat the power elite: the Hayekian model and the Fabian strategy. After explaining the two strategies, Rothbard shows how they have failed to combat the left, and famously introduces his proper strategy for the right: “right-wing populism”. The strategy called for a more exciting, dynamic, tough, and confrontational approach to inspiring the exploited masses and the reserved intellectuals on the right.

The Rothbardian-Libertarians of today, like before, find themselves in need of some type of coalition to fight off the power elite, the Progressives, who are without a doubt the major bad guys. Two of the most prominent members of this resistance can be seen as the Breitbartian-Right and the Beltway Libertarians. The Breitbartian-Right can be seen as the exploited masses and the Beltway Libertarians can be seen as the reserved intellectuals, both as Rothbard described in his essay.

Over the last 19 months, it has become clear how little the Beltway Libertarians want to resist the Progressives. Some of today’s most prominent Rothbardian-Libertarians like Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, Dave Smith, Tho Bishop, and Pete Quiñones have not been shy in calling this out. They have also recognized the importance of partnering with the Breitbartian-Right during this culture war against the Progressives.

I thought it would be fun to compare the GENERAL views of these two groups on their attitudes and beliefs towards the hottest topics in American politics the last few years. The answers I supply are my own opinions, and I’m open to objections regarding these perceived views. Ideally, the chart will demonstrate which group the Rothbardian-Libertarians should partner with on each issue when fighting against the power elite and for liberty.

Possible Answers: Strongly Oppose, Oppose, Neutral, Support, Strongly Support


Although Rothbardian-Libertarians might agree more frequently with Beltway Libertarians on economic and criminal justice policy proposals, it seems the Rothbardian-Libertarians are more likely to agree with the Breitbartian-Right on the most pressing culture war issues of our time. There seems to be significantly more excitement between the Rothbardian-Libertarians and the Breitbartian-Right on the issues they agree on, like strongly opposing vaccine passports. The troubling thing about the Beltway Libertarians is how much authoritarianism they have accepted regarding COVID-19. They have simply failed on COVID-19. Considering they are rarely tested with taking a hard stance against the cathedral on a controversial issue, it is hard to trust they will ever stand for anything when truly challenged. Would they back down from their beliefs on other ideas they defend now? Why is it the Breitbartian-Right has gotten COVID-19 more correctly from a liberty perspective? What would Rothbard say about the matter today?


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