Mises Wire

Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Home | Blog | Paranoia versus Scholarship

Paranoia versus Scholarship


Murray Rothbard gave a lecture at Polytechnic University in the 1970s on the economics of labor and labor regulation. I assume it was part of his regular teaching duties for basic economics. You can download the audio file here.

Two of my favorite-ever Rothbard quotes are in that one lecture, and I can't find them written out anywhere, so I've transcribed them:

  • "In general, I urge everybody to look at a government measure ... not in terms of a tragic failure to achieve the common good, public interest, or general welfare, but [rather] as a conscious agency for doing all sorts of monopolizing, cartelizing, and other restrictive things. In other words, the government is not that dumb!"

  • "There's a rational conspiracy view of history, and an irrational, sort of sloppy conspiracy theory of history. The sloppy view only says cui bono and then says, Ah ha! These guys are responsible! They're evil and so forth... The rational conspiracy theorist looks more deeply and asks, Who caused these measures? Who lobbied for them? Who continues to lobby for them? ... This makes him a scholar instead of a hopped up paranoid. [laughter] So scholarship is essentially confirming your early paranoia through a deeper factual analysis."

Add Comment

Shield icon wire