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Murray Rothbard on Lao-Tzu, the First Libertarian

  • Lao-Tzu

Jeff Thomas at the International Man has an interesting take on Murray Rothbard's admiration for Lao-Tzu. The founder of Taoism had little good to say about the philosopher-bureaucrats of his time.


Those in power are meddlesome …

The greater the restrictions and prohibitions,
The more people are impoverished.
The more advanced the weapons of the state,
The darker the nation …

Thus the virtuous attend to contracts
while those without virtue collect taxes …

Act before things exist

Manage them before there’s disorder

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; twitter.

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