Vital Signs

Attack of the Trotsky-cons!

Murray N. Rothbard must have seen the post-September 11 era in a dream to be able to sum it up as well as he did in his 1992 inaugural address to the John Randolph Club:

Social democracy is still here in all its variants, defining our entire respectable political spectrum, from advanced victimology and feminism on the left over to neoconservatism on the right.  We are now trapped, in America, inside a Menshevik fantasy, with the narrow bounds of respectable debate set for us by various brands of Marxists.  It is now our task, the task of the resurgent right, of the paleo movement, to break those bonds, to finish the job, to finish off Marxism forever.

Rothbard foresaw our current predicament: We are trapped inside a Menshevik fantasy, a nightmare world of perpetual war and growing government power.

In a review of Eric Hobsbawm’s memoirs, Christopher Hitchens remarked that Tony Blair is “at once the most radical and the most conservative of politicians.  Very many of Blair’s tough young acolytes received their political baptism in what I try to call the Marxist Right.”

This ideological category—the Marxist right—is quite useful.  It explains not only the policies that plunder our purses and wreak havoc on the world but the distinctly Soviet style of our rulers and their Amen Corner, as they demonize their enemies and...

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