|Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard|
From Murray Rothbard's unpublished paper, "Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change":
If the primary in overriding goal of the libertarian movement must be the victory of liberty as rapidly as possible, then the primary task of that movement must be to employ the most efficacious means to arrive at that goal. If a critic should charge that this is adopting the immoral philosophy that "the ends justify the means" the proper reply is that of Ludwig von Mises:
What else but the end could ever justify a means?
The whole point of the means, by definition, is to reach an end; a means is not a goal in itself. Those critics, for example, who attack Communists for being willing to kill capitalists in order to reach the goal of a proletarian dictatorship as "believing that the end justifies the means" are incorrect; the problem with the Communists is not that they believe that the purposes of means is to achieve ends, but their ends (e.g. dictatorship of the proletariat) are incorrect. For the libertarian, the desired end is a world of liberty, a world where no forces used against non-criminals, against non-invaders of person and property; the libertarian critique of Communist actions, therefore, is that the absence of murder is not an integral part of the Communist ends. In short, the libertarian criticism is against Communist goals and principles, and not against their insight into the relationship between means and ends.
To be efficacious, to achieve the goal of liberty as quickly as possible, it should be clear the means must not contradict the ends. For if they do, the ends are being obstructed instead of pursued as efficiently as possible. For the libertarian, this means two things: (1) that he must never deny or fail to uphold the ultimate goal of libertarian victory; and (2) that he must never use or advocate the use of unibertarian means: of aggression against the persons or just property of others. Thus, the libertarian must never, for the sake of alleged expediency, deny or conceal his ultimate objective of complete liberty; and he must never aggress against others in his search for a world of non-aggression. For example, the Bolsheviks, before the revolution, financed themselves partially by armed robbery in the name of "expropriating"capitalists; clearly, any use of aggression against private property in order to finance libertarian movement, in addition being immoral by libertarian principles, would cut against those principles themselves in their ultimate attainment.-RW