The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 2, No. 18, September 15, 1970
Part of the complete
Libertarian Forum archives. This issue is also available as a PDF format
A Semi-Monthly Newsletter
|Joseph R. Peden, Publisher
||Murray N. Rothbard, Editor
|VOLUME II, NO. 18
||SEPTEMBER 15, 1970
Great News! The outstanding history of individualist
anarchism in America, the superb and scholarly James J.
Martin, Men Against the State: The Expositors of Individualist
Anarchism in America, 1827-1908, is back in print!
(paperback, Ralph Myles, Publisher, Colorado Springs,
Colo., 315 pp., $2.50). This edition is remarkably inexpensive,
yet excellently printed—in contrast to the 1953 original.
The footnotes are actually at the bottom of the page!
Also photographs are added of the leading individualist
anarchists: Josiah Warren, Benjamin R. Tucker, Lysander
Spooner, and Ezra Heywood. A must book.
Minor correction: the updated Martin bibliography omits
to mention the recent reprints by Burt Franklin, New York,
of Stephen Pearl Andrews, The Basic Outline of Universology
(1967), Andrews, The Primary Synopsis of Universology
(1967), Josiah Warren, Equitable Commerce (1965), and
Warren, True Civilization... (1965).
Daniel Guérin, Anarchism: From Theory to Practice
(New York: Monthly Review Press, $6.00, 166 pp.), is a
concise, highly lucid work that deals with the history of
anarchist theory (European, there is no mention or seeming
knowledge of the American individualists) topically rather
chronologically, and with a history of the outstanding
examples of anarcho-syndicalism. This French anarchist
is clearly influenced primarily by the quasi-individualist
Frenchman, Proudhon, and so his exposition of anarchist
theory gives little offense to the individualist or even the
believer in the free-market. However, Guérin's version of
the collectivist-communist anarchists Kropotkin and
Bakunin, as well as of the amoral might-makes-rightist
Max Stirner, considerably prettifies and distorts their views,
to make them appear to be almost reasonable men. The
unfortunate introduction by Noam Chomsky goes far beyond
Guérin to assert that an anarchist must be a socialist (!)
Professor Chomsky would be well-advised to steep himself
in the Martin book, and then see if he will maintain this
view. An appreciative review of Guérin can be found in the
Liberated Guardian (July 14) by Leonard P. Liggio. There
is, alas, no index.
Spencer H. MacCallum, The Art of Community (Institute
for Humane Studies, 1134 Crane St., Menlo Park, Calif.
94025, paperback, $2.00; hardcover, $4.00; 118 pp.), is also
well calculated to disquiet Professor Chomsky. This is the
first systematic presentation in print of what might be
calIed the "Heathian" sub-variant of anarchism, after its
creator, Mr. MacCallum's grandfather, Spencer Heath. The
Heathian goal is to have cities and large land areas owned
by single private corporations, which would own and rent
out the land and housing over the area, and provide all
conceivable "public services": police, fire, roads, courts,
etc., out of the voluntarily-paid rent. Heathianism is
Henry Georgism stood on its head; like George, Heath and
MacCallum would provide for all public services out of rent;
but unlike George, the rent would be collected, and the land
owned, by private corporate landlords rather than by the
government, and the payment therefore voluntary rather
than coercive. The Heathian "proprietary community" is,
of course, in stark contrast to the scruffy egalitarian commune
dreamed of by anarchists of the Left.
William O. Reichert, "Anarchism, Freedom, and Power",
Anarchy (London, May, 1970. Available for 40¢, or $5.00
per year from Freedom Press, 84B Whitechapel High St.,
London, E. 1, England.) A pleasant article on anarchism,
reprinted from the American philosophical journal, Ethics.
Libertarianism and Libertarians.
Carl Bode, Mencken (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois
University Press). While Bode does not give much space to
Mencken's deep and pervasive libertarian views, this is a
thorough and sympathetic biography of the great wit and
individualist. The best biography of Mencken in English, it
will probably not be surpassed until the French biography
by Guy Forgue is translated.
Hugh Gardner, "The New Gypsies" (Esquire, September,
1970, $1 per copy, $7.50 per year, pp. 109-10). A scathingly
satirical report on the libertarian retreatists, the "nomads"
and "troglodytes", a group that richly deserves satire.
Middle-aged libertarians who enjoy wallowing in nostalgia,
as well as the young who are eager to read of the history of
their movement in the 1950's, will find indispensable Eckard
Vance Toy, Jr., Ideology and Conflict in American Ultraconservatism,
1945-1960 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation
in history, University of Oregon, 1965; available in Xeroxed
paper-bound copy from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor,
Michigan.). Based solely on the extensive correspondence of
the conservative Seattle industrialist James Clise, this study
focusses on the activities and problems of the Foundation
for Economic Education and Spiritual Mobilization. Anyone
who had anything to do with either organization in those days
will find himself prominently in these pages, usually fairly
portrayed. One interesting point is a reminder of how
Spiritual Mobilization was wrecked by a peculiar, right-wing
variant of the drug culture (usually mescaline in those days)
and mystical personality-cult centered around the English-born
guru Gerald Heard.
Milton Mayer, Man v. The State (paperback, Santa Barbara,
(Continued on page 2)
||The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970
FALL READING — (Continued from page 1)
Calif.: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions,
$2.25, 191 pp.) is a beautifully written essay on behalf of
liberty and in opposition to the State by a veteran and
consistent opponent of war. Discussion of law, dissent,
and civil disobedience, with praise for such seemingly
disparate libertarians as Thoreau and the "right-wing
anarchist" publisher R. C. Hoiles. It is obvious that his
discussants at the Center, in the Epilogue of the book, have
completely missed the point, and these include the New
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus The State (paperback,
Baltimore: Penguin Books, $1.95, 350 pp.) First reprint in
eighty years of this classic by one of the outstanding libertarian
theorists of the nineteenth century. Also includes
four other essays by Spencer.
Murray N. Rothbard, "The Great Women's Liberation
Issue: Setting It Straight", The Individualist (May, 1970.
75¢ the issue, $7.50 per year, from 415 Second St., N. E.,
Washington, D. C. 20002). Ironically for the argument that
women are "oppressed", this is the only systematic, hard-hitting
critique of women's "liberation" that has ever been
published. This article has already brought forth a stream
of hysterical abuse and vituperation from various (male)
libertarian youth leaders, who seem particularly offended
by favorable references to heterosexuality.
William Davis, "Let's Have Equality for Men", Punch
(England, November 12, 1969). Delightful article, taking the
position that it is the men, not the women, of the world who
are the "niggers". Davis writers: "Man is the nigger of the
world, condemned to slavery so that the privileged sex can
have its baubles, bangles, and beads." This is the speech
that turned the tide against the Women's Lib resolution
before the Oxford Union.
Nancy R. McWilliams, "Feminism and Femininity", Commonweal
(May 15, 1970), pp. 219-221. A highly sensible,
most welcome article on Women's Lib by a young psychologist.
Youth and Youth-Culture.
John W. Aldridge, In the Country of the Young (Harper
Magazine Press, $5.00). Highly perceptive critique of the
herd, or tribal, mentality of the current generation of youth.
Richard Hofstadter, "The Age of Rubbish", Newsweek
(July 6). The eminent historian perceptively pin-points the
crucial problem of the current youth-culture: the sudden
loss of a sense of "vocation", of craftsmanship and purposeful
work. Hofstadter points out that: "Young people don't
have anything they want to do ... I think this is one of the
roots of the dissatisfaction in college. Students keep saying
that they don't know why they are there. They are less
disposed than they used to be to keep order partly because
the sense that they are leading a purposeful life is gone.
They have the feeling that ... they don't have any say about
their lives. The truth is that all too often they haven't decided
what they want their lives to say."
James D. Koerner, "The Case of Marjorie Webster",
The Public Interest (Summer, 1970, $1.50 the copy, $5.00
per year.), pp. 40-64. An excellent report and discussion
on the case of Marjorie Webster Junior College for girls
in Washington, a proprietary, profit-making college victimized
by regional accrediting associations, nominally private
but tied in to the federal government bureaucracy, and which
refuse to accredit profit-making colleges as a matter of
James M. Buchanan and Nicos E. Devletoglou, Academia
in Anarchy (New York: Basic Books, $5.95, 187 pp.). A hard-hitting
critique, from a Chicago School, free-market economic
point of view, of our peculiar higher educational
system in which the consumers do not buy the product, the
producers do not sell it, and the "owners" do not control
the process. A well-balanced review of the book can be
found in the Dartmouth Conservative Idea for June, 1970,
by Professor Edwin G. Dolan.
One of the most important books in years is Helmut
Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour (New York:
Harcourt, Brace, and World, $7.50, 408 pp.). This lengthy,
erudite work by a conservative-libertarian German sociologist
focusses on the overriding problem of the envy of
one's betters (in any way—achievement, intelligence, good
fortune, etc.). He demonstrates that the heart of socialism
and communism is an overwhelming desire to eliminate
envy by appeasing its aggressive appetites: by rendering
everyone uniform and equal. Schoeck demonstrates that this
is a vain dream, that envy cannot be appeased out of existence.
He uses anthropological findings to show that egalitarian
tribal and peasant communities, happy, loving and sharing
in the fantasy world of Left-intellectuals, are actually worlds
driven by hate, suspicion, envy, and the fear of the envy of
one's neighbors. Much of the current drive for egalitarianism,
Schoeck indicates, comes from affluent intellectuals
driven by guilt and therefore shame over the supposed envy
of others. The supposedly idyllic Israeli kibbutz is also cut
down to size. This book will give a firmer and more rigorous
perspective to opponents of socialism, communism, and
George P. Elliott, "Revolution Instead—Notes on Passions
and Politics", The Public Interest (Summer, 1970), pp.
65-89, is a discursive but fascinating series of notes on the
political scene. Professor Elliott calls himself a "libertarian",
is highly critical of hippies, youth culture, and
child-centeredness, and has an original critique of "getting
stoned". Elliott, too, zeroes in on egalitarianism as a vain
and destructive attempt to appease envy, only to aggravate
Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd (paperback, New York: The
Viking Press, $1.45). Reprint of the classic turn-of-the-century
critique by a French sociologist of crowd behavior,
and of the herd-mentality.
It was only as recently as the 1950's that Samuel Lubell
became the first political analyst with the courage to break
the iron taboo against the acknowledgment of the great
importance of the ethnic in politics: of the Jewish vote, the
Irish vote, etc.—something, of course, that every working
politico knew full well. Now, Nathan Glazer and Daniel P.
Moynihan, in their sparkling 95-page introduction to the
second edition of their classic Beyond the Melting Pot
(2nd ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The M. I. T. Press, $1.95,
458 pp.), achieve another breakthrough: the zeroing in on
the new alliance of Jews, upper-class WASPs, and lower-class
Negroes, that has achieved power in New York City,
at the expense of everyone else, particularly the mass of
working-class and lower-middle-class Irish and Italian
Murray Schumach, "Neighborhoods: 69 Homes in Corona
at Stake", New York Times (August 11, 1970), p. 35. The
touching story of how the New York City government is
preparing to bulldoze the homes of several blocks of
(Continued on page 4)
|The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970
A Not So Radical Guide
A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality. By Angus Black.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1970. 87 pages.
Angus Black is a pseudonym, but the word is out that the
book was written by a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the
University of Chicago. The Chicago influence is strong. In
fact, in many ways, A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality
is a "hip" version of Milton Friedman's Capitalism and
Freedom. Black is apparently trying to appeal to participants
in the drug culture, and other such "dropouts." He seems to
be making an honest effort to educate his audience to economic
reality by speaking about subjects that they're likely
to have special interest in, and in terms that they will understand.
However, Black has adopted an exceedingly patronizing
attitude toward his readers. One doubts that any of
the people to whom he is ostensibly appealing will either
appreciate his style, or accept his arguments (indeed, some
of his readers may be impervious to any form of argument,
but that is another matter).
A more fundamental weakness is the intellectual tradition
within which the book is written. The Chicago School is not
generally characterized by any insight in the basic problems
which beset the United States today. Milton Friedman,
titular head of the school, thinks Richard Nixon is a profoundly
intelligent man who is leading this country back to
laissez-faire. The real meaning of the Vietnam War (the war
was not a mistake) is lost on the Chicagoites. Analyzing the
American economy through the rosy glasses of a model of
"perfect competition," they are unable to see the brute reality
of the military-industrial complex. Moreover, their economic
analysis is faulty in certain other respects, so that
on key questions (e.g., inflation), they fail to come up with the
fundamental objections to current policy. A Radical's Guide
suffers from all of these deficiencies, and some of its own.
Still, the book is a beginning—an attempt to communicate
free market solutions to specific problems, to classes of
people usually inimical to this approach. Would that Black
had written less flippantly, though. Len Liggio has an article
on Anarchism in the July 14 Liberated Guardian, written in
plain English, and devoid of a patronizing attitude, which is
far more likely to bridge the gap with the Left.
The book is short. A glimpse at the chapter titles gives an
indication of what is in order for the reader: "Big Business
or Screw the Customer and Full Speed Ahead"; "Our Tax
System—A Field Day for the Rich"; and so on. Black is
particularly good on some points. On the California grape
I want to help the grape pickers, so I eat grapes
for breakfast, grapes for midmorning snack, grapes
for dinner, and grapes for that midnight raid on the
ice box. In this way, besides the makers of Keopectate,
I help grape pickers. How? Simply by
raising the value of grapes and therefore increasing
the demand for grape pickers.
Besides taking up the grape boycott, Black examines the
problem of unions in general, pointing out the necessarily
discriminatory nature of unions. But he pulls his punches
on major issues, and often comes up with "compromise"
solutions which perpetuate the very problem he concerns
himself with. In taking on the tax system, Black makes a
telling point as to who really pays the taxes, and then
lamely suggests a flat 20% income tax (plus a negative income
tax for the poor). No analysis is attempted of why the
tax system is set up the way it is presently. Surely Black
doesn't believe that the electorate, given fresh insight by
a reading of Black's book, could go off to Washington, and
change the tax system. This is to overlook the vested interests
who are responsible for the system as it is now; it is
also to assume naively that power is wielded by the general
populace in the country. It is to fail to analyze the situation
More importantly, one must ask why there is no critique
of the federal income tax per se (à la Frank Chodorov's
classic essay, "Taxation is Robbery"). One would think that
anyone with pretentions to being a libertarian would at least
take up the issue of the morality of taxation. Black does not.
Like most Chicagoites, Black is reasonably good in his
critique of economic fallacies, but has a penchant for discovering
"problem" areas where the market is alleged not
to work. Thus, to solve the problem of poverty, we need a
negative income tax. There is "underinvestment" in education,
so we need educational vouchers. No analysis of why
the market sometimes "fails" is offered (on the alleged
problem of market failure, see Murray Rothbard's new work,
Power and Market).
Alas, one suspects that there may be a problem of class
interest in all this. The idea of educational subsidies is
generally a favorite of Chicagoites. This despite their
critiques of so many other subsidy ideas. One feels that
their position on this matter may be colored by a beneficial
interest in the subject of education.
The last chapter is perhaps the most curious, as it is
titled: "A Plea for Anarchy." Certainly if one had bought
Black's basic critique (even though it is not flawless), he
might be on his way to a position of anarchy. But, "No,"
says Black, we can't have anarchy because:
There would be open season on wops, wetbacks,
kikes, niggers, hippies, redheads, and cripples if
the constitution didn't exist ... Anarchy is not the
answer. We would therefore keep government, but
reduce its power over our economic, moral and
For anarchy to work, according to Black, "all members
of society must be fairly homogeneous." Now, the
arguments in this book are, at times, deficient, but nowhere
else are they as bad as the above.
The argument as stated by Black is an old canard. Only,
in fact, if the population were (absolutely) homogeneous
could government be justified (Why one would be desired
is a separate question). Only in a heterogeneous world (such
as we have) is there a problem of individual liberty. If we
all thought alike, and desired exactly the same ends, then
living under an absolute "dictatorship" would not involve an
infringement on individual liberty; ex hypothesi, the dictator
would merely be telling us to do what we wanted to
do. In a heterogeneous world, on the other hand, people do
not think alike. Therefore, any authority which would coerce
man is a violation of individual liberty. John Stuart
Mill put it perceptively:
If all mankind minus one were of one opinion,
and only one person were of contrary opinion,
mankind would be no more justified in silencing
that one person, than he, if he had the power,
would be justified in silencing mankind.
(From On Liberty)
It took thinkers more perceptive than Mill to see that
the existence of any government, however limited, is inconsistent
with individual liberty.
In sum, A Radical's Guide to Economic Reality is worthy
of the attention of libertarians; it could and should have been
a better book. For a better book, see Jerry Tuccille's
—Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr.
||The Libertarian Forum, September 15, 1970
FALL READING —
(Continued from page 2)
independent but politically powerless Italian homeowners
in Corona, Queens, while an upper-class Jewish country
club, using city-owned land, thumbs its nose nearby.
Father Andrew Greeley, "The Intellectuals as an Ethnic
Group", New York Sunday Times Magazine (June 15). Father
Greeley, a sociologist with a uniquely witty, intelligent, and
orthodox role in Catholic journalism, here wields the rapier
against the snobbishness and cultism, the ethnic "in-group"-ism,
of the fashionable liberal intellectuals.
John Womack, Jr., Zapata and the Mexican Revolution
(New York: Afred A. Knopf, $10.00, 456 pp.). A model of
an historical work: thorough, definitive, scholarly, and
beautifully written. The saga of the libertarian, peasant
Zapatista revolution, centered in the Mexican state of
K. S. Karol, "The Two Honeymoons of Fidel Castro",
Scanlan's Monthly (September, 1970, $1.00 a copy, $12.00
per year). Critical overview of the peregrinations of
Thomas L. Blair, The Land To Those Who Work It
(Garden City, L. I.: Doubleday Anchor paperbacks, $1.95).
The history of the quasi-syndicalist "self-management"
experiment in Algeria during the Ben Bella regime, and
before Colonel Boumedienne imposed the current Stalinist
Seymour Melman, Pentagon Capitalism (New York:
McGraw-Hill, $8.50). Critical study of the increasingly
"state-managed" military-industrial complex.
Murray L. Weidenbaum, The Modern Public Sector (New
York: Basic Books, $5.95). Sophisticated but clearly written.
On the new ways by which government has penetrated and
permeated the "private" sector, especially in military and
U. S. Foreign Policy.
Peter Dale Scott, "Laos: The Story Nixon Won't Tell",
New York Review of Books (April 9); Scott, "Cambodia:
Why the Generals Won", New York Review of Books (June
18). Excellent, scholarly information on our newest plague-spots;
shows the duplicity of the CIA toward even our own
I. F. Stone, "A Century of Futility", New York Review of
Books (April 9); "Theatre of Delusion", ibid. (April 23);
"The Test Ban Comedy", ibid. (May 7). Excellent and
thorough review of America's disarmament duplicities over
the past generation. Particularly important is the April 23
article, which highlights the crucial but generally unknown
decision of the United States to rescind completely its own
offer of general disarmament with inspection, after Khrushchev
had accepted it on May 10, 1955.
Murray N. Rothbard, "Review of David Horowitz, ed.,
Corporations and the Cold War", Ramparts (September).
Review of new book of essays which presents studies of the
responsibility of U. S. corporations for American imperialism
and the Cold War, as well as the growth of the military-industrial
complex. Particularly interesting are the articles
by Professors Domhoff and Eakins on the foreign policy roles
of such "corporate liberal" organizations as the Council on
Foreign Relations and the Committee for Economic Development.
Big Business and Politics
Warren Hinckle, "The Law Firm That Runs California",
Scanlan's Monthly (September). The story of the sinister
and pervasive role of the Los Angeles law firm of O'Melveny
and Myers in running California politics.
A. J. P. Taylor, "Scarred Monuments", New York Review
of Books (April 9). The witty, iconoclastic English historian
comes out squarely against Tories, and in favor of revolutionary
For generations, it was an article of emotional faith among
Left-liberals that Sacco and Vanzetti, in the famous murder-and-robbery
case of the 1920's, were innocent martyrs.
Then, only a decade ago, Sacco-Vanzetti Revisionism was
launched by R. H. Montgomery and by Francis X. Busch,
and then by David Felix and especially Francis Russell in
his Tragedy at Dedham. Now, Francis Russell, in "Sacco-Vanzetti:
The End of the Chapter", National Review (May 5),
finds new evidence which confirms his thesis that Sacco
was definitely guilty, while Vanzetti was not—but knowingly
shielded the guilty party.
Sorry: in Jerome Tuccille's article in the September 1
issue, the word "ethology" was misspelled "ethnology" in a
HTML formatting and proofreading by Joel Schlosberg.