Murray Rothbard

sovereign

In the classic David Gordon joke, the world’s shortest book is perhaps Your Duties to Other People, by Ayn Rand. Murray Rothbard’s classic on money is slightly longer than that, but it is still a very quick read.

Broken down into three main sections, What Has The Government Done To Our Money? is a breathless Blitzkrieg of the story of money, from its inception in the free market as a precious metal medium of exchange, right through to its usurpation and debasement by government and its eventual replacement by paper fiat currency, endlessly printed by the world’s central banks to give us all of the malinvestment distortions of the present age, along with all of their associated bursting financial bubbles:

  • Money in a Free Society
  • Government Meddling With Money
  • The Monetary Breakdown of the West

As the hardest of hard-money men, Rothbard is unrelenting and unequivocal in his criticism of those who took us from a solid money system based upon gold or silver, towards a fractional reserve system based upon paper, though he is forensic in his analysis of how they did it, taking centuries in the process to accomplish this unfeasible goal. However, he tells the story with a twinkle in his eye and his scalpel-like prose flows like a hand through silken water.

Unfortunately, Rothbard died in 1995, but he would have loved to have been around today to tackle head-on all of the Keynesians who are currently blighting our economic futures. Alas, all of the distortions he describes and predicts in his book are visible all around us today, with zero percent central bank lending, massive government borrowing, and incipient and possibly rampant stagflation waiting to gobble us up around the corner, if hyper-depression and hyper-inflation fail to get us first.

Freely available at the Mises Institute, to share the beginnings of Rothbard’s understanding this slim introductory book on the story of money is a sure-footed stepping stone for all aspiring students of Austrian Economics.

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TheMeister

For an excellent introductory course to economics, by the late great Murray Rothbard himself, recorded on a Toronto student’s tape recorder back in 1983, I thought I might put together the following list of resources. Alas, the sound quality is what you might expect, and there are one or two students in the room who I would’ve thrown out of my own lectures for being particularly annoying, but Uncle Murray was such a great guy that he uses their inane questions to broaden his discussion even further. What a hero! So, well done that man or woman who unearthed these rare diamond gems:

Here’s a link to the first lecture on Mises.org:

=> http://mises.org/media/4454

Here are links to the 7 MP3 lectures, in sequence:

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-1.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-2.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-3.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-4.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-5.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-6.mp3

=> http://mises.org/multimedia/mp3/rothbard/Seminar1983/Rothbard-7.mp3

Here’s the RSS Feed page, where the technorati can feed their iPod with these lectures (along with many other Rothbard classics):

=> http://mises.org/Feeds/media.ashx?AuthorId=299

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Murray Rothbard: Ecclesiastical communism in late medieval Münster

March 1, 2014

You might be under the impression that communism sprang fully-formed from the brow of Karl Marx. However, Karl Marx himself was simply the product of a long line of apocalyptic millennial thought springing from the growth of state-worshipping protestantism from Martin Luther onwards, in central European culture. The only innovations of Marx were to take […]

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Murray Rothbard: The Mystery of Banking

February 23, 2014

If What Has The Government Done To Our Money? is an hors d’oeuvre, then The Mystery of Banking is the main appetiser in our quest to understand how the current financial global crisis arose. Far meatier than its predecessor, The Mystery of Banking paints the Mona Lisa’s face, where the earlier book simply sketches out […]

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