Nor are any of Rothbard’s writings, such as For a New Liberty, listed in “Suggestions for Further Reading.”
Actually, in that very section (on p. 196 under “libertarian anarchism”), I recommend Rothbard’s For a New Liberty.
Rothbard’s name does not even appear in Brennan’s discussion of libertarian anarchism.
True, but I only name one person there, and only because I’m quoting him saying something funny.
In my last post, some readers got the impression that I was deliberately excluding Murray Rothbard. That’s partly my fault. But I didn’t ignore him so much as, well, he didn’t need to come up.
In fact, when writing the book, I generally found it unnecessary to bring up differences among libertarians. I say:
In popular discussions, people sometimes use “libertarian” in a narrow way, just to refer to hard libertarians. They sometimes use “libertarian” in a broader way, to refer to anyone who advocates free markets, property rights, and an open and tolerant society. This books uses “libertarian” in the broader sense, to include classical liberals, hard libertarians, and neoclassical liberals. At times, I will refer specifically to one of these three camps. When I describe what libertarians think, I generalize among them.
The thing is, I rarely have to re-introduce these distinctions. They don’t seem to make much difference. For instance, when talking about the drug war, I could just say, as many expect libertarians to say, “Well, libertarians say let people use drugs though the sky falls, period, because it’s their natural right to do so.” But the book would have sucked if every question were answered that way. Instead, I discussed why libertarians think the consequences of the drug war have been disastrous. And so it went for most of the other 104 questions in the book. I only brought up the differences when they made a difference, and they rarely did.
Some libertarians first try to answer every question by smacking the reader upside the head with a controversial moral theory. Not me. When I’m answering questions like, “What would libertarians do about the War on Terror?” or “Do libertarians support international aid?”, I first put myself in a reader’s shoes. Why would a smart, morally decent, non-libertarian ask that question? What would her concerns be? And then I try to address those concerns. I won’t address them by saying, “International aid requires taxes which requires theft so it’s evil!” Instead, I say,
Libertarians respond that this is the wrong question. If we really want to help the rest of the world, we shouldn’t open our wallets to provide foreign aid. We should instead open our borders to allow free immigration.