The Case for Optimism
I promised you some optimism today. Perhaps one of the most optimistic libertarians ever was Murray Rothbard, a happy intellectual warrior if ever there was one. And he was very enthusiastic about the revolution of libertarian ideas, because he understood fundamentally that liberty is the only manner of organizing society that is compatible with human nature and human action. And it was this optimism, this unshakeable belief that we’re right and the statists are wrong, that drove him to produce a staggering body of work in defense of personal liberty. Now let me stress that Rothbard, despite his reputation as an uncompromising intellectual, saw his efforts as pragmatic, not utopian. He understood quite clearly that utopianism was the hallmark of the state’s intellectual champions, not the state’s detractors. He understood that utopianism and statism, not liberty, produced the great monsters and the great wars of the twentieth century.