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For a New Liberty

The Libertarian Manifesto

By Murray Rothbard

Copyright © 1973, 1978 by Murray N. Rothbard, and 2002 this online edition by The Ludwig von Mises Institute.

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"On election day, 1978, Libertarian party candidates for congressional, state, and local offices amassed 1.25 million votes throughout the country. Richard Randolph was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives on the LP ticket, and Edward Clark piled up 377,960 votes for governor of California. After the LP presidential ticket gained 174,000 votes in 32 states in 1976, the sober Congressional Quarterly was moved to classify the fledgling Libertarian party as the third major political party in America. The remarkable growth rate of this new party may be seen in the fact that it only began in 1971 with a handful of members gathered in a Colorado living room. The following year it fielded a presidential ticket which managed to get on the ballot in two states. And now it is America's third major party.

"Even more remarkably, the Libertarian party achieved this growth while consistently adhering to a new ideological creed — "libertarianism" — thus bringing to the American political scene for the first time in a century a party interested in principle rather than in merely gaining jobs and money at the public trough. We have been told countless times by pundits and political scientists that the genius of America and of our party system is its lack of ideology and its "pragmatism" (a kind word for focusing solely on grabbing money and jobs from the hapless taxpayers). How, then, explain the amazing growth of a new party which is frankly and eagerly devoted to ideology?"

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1. The Libertarian Heritage:
The American Revolution and Classical Liberalism 1


2. Property and Exchange 23
3. The State 45


4. The Problems 73
5. Involuntary Servitude 79
6. Personal Liberty 94
7. Education 119
8. Welfare and the Welfare State 142
9. Inflation and the Business Cycle:
The Collapse of the Keynesian Paradigm 171 [p. viii]
10. The Public Sector, I: Government in Business 194
11. The Public Sector, II: Streets and Roads 201
12. The Public Sector, III: Police, Law, and the Courts 215
13. Conservation, Ecology, and Growth 242
14. War and Foreign Policy 263


15. A Strategy for Liberty 297

* Appendix: The Libertarian Movement 322
* Index 327 [p. ix]

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