Thursday, November 12, 2015

Murray Rothbard on McCarthy and Its Application to Trump and Carson

Lifted from the comments to Trump: We Will Have a “Deportation Force”.

Ad Libertati writes (my emphasis)
Leaving aside the morality of the use of violence to evict people, one source estimated the cost at $12k per immigrant. That comes to $132 billion, which will need to be taken from the taxpayers or future taxpayers (if it's borrowed). So, to violently remove illegal immigrants, you need to violently steal a lot of money from the taxpayers first. Additionally, the bureaucracy needed to undertake the operation would be enormous. It would likely become permanent and used for who knows what when (or if) the eviction is ever completed. The bottomline is that even if you ignore the economic incentive problem and practicality, a libertarian should still oppose forceful removal because of the the wicked unintended consequences that would surely arise as a result. You're inviting totalitarian violence to solve what could be solved simply and without violence.

Of course, you know the real solution is just to eliminate the welfare incentives and then allow for expanded legal immigration. But how likely are the politicians to adopt the proper and peaceful policy?
Rothbard was an early supporter of Senator McCarthy due to his ability to shake up the establishment. He later realized that the inevitable outgrowth of McCarthy's domestic anti-communism was a militaristic foreign policy, and regretted his previous support. In "The Betrayal of the American Right", Rothbard stated:

"In sum, that there was a vital need to appeal directly to the masses, emotionally, even demagogically, over the heads of the Establishment: of the Ivy League, the mass media, the liberal intellectuals, of the Republican-Democrat political party structure."

Does this not perfectly explain the appeal of Donald Trump and Ben Carson? Will the populist push for removal of illegal immigrants inevitably lead to a more aggressive foreign policy?
 RW Note: With Trump, I don't fear expanded foreign policy aggression (we are already very aggressive!) as much as I do an expansion of domestic aggression against the general population. (And, I believe an argument can be made that this is worse.)

Ad Libertati is correct, a deportation force will become permanent and who will be they directed against next? Not to say that directing it against decent hardworking illegals is a thing to do.

It is tempting to support Trump because of his anti-establishmnet views, as Rothbard supported McCrathy, but it is extremely dangerous to support non-libertarians. We can align with them on specific issues but that is about all---and I can't think of one issue that I think makes any sense for a libertarians to align on with Trump.

Here's more from The Betrayal of the American Right:
Not seeing this transformation process at work at the time, I myself was a McCarthy enthusiast....
My own quip at the time, which roughly summed up this position, was that in contrast to the liberals, who approved of McCarthy’s “ends” (ouster of Communists from offices and jobs) but disapproved of his radical and demagogic means, I myself approved his means (radical assault on the nation’s power structure) but not necessarily his ends.
It is surely no accident that, with their power consolidated and a populist appeal their only fear, the liberal intellectuals began to push hard for their proclamation of the “end of ideology.” Hence their claim that ideology and hard-nosed doctrines were no longer
valuable or viable, and their ardent celebration of the newfound American consensus. With such enemies and for such reasons, it was hard for me not to be a “McCarthyite.”...
Since I failed to understand the interplay of domestic and foreign red-baiting that was at work in the McCarthy movement, I was bewildered when McCarthy, after his outrageous censure by the Senate in late 1954, turned to whooping it up for war on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek in Asia. Why this turnabout? It was clear that the New Right forces behind McCarthy were now convinced that domestic red-baiting, angering as it did the Center-Right establishment,had become counterproductive, and that from now on the full stress must be on pushing for war against Communism abroad.
Rothbard was, of course, against such war.


  1. If the main reason people support Trump’s deportation plan is because they don’t want to support freeloaders, then why doesn’t Trump figure out a way to stop them from getting free stuff? Or is it easier and cheaper to just deport them?

  2. The people who want illegals deported don't hate freeloaders, they just hate freeloaders who don't look like them. You don't see them calling for the deportation of AARP members or cutting off money to Israel. An American whining about immigrants taking his job is just a loser losing.

  3. Wrong all of you. It is not an ethnic issue, my guess, for the majority. Border protection can be vastly improve. Yes, begin cutting back on illegals' access to welfare but, also, deport when, for example, they get involved in car accidents.

  4. Also, there is a huge number of military that needs to come home from overseas.