The Pleasurable Science

        "No nation ever made its bread either by its great arts, or its great wisdoms. By its minor arts or manufactures, by its practical knowledges, yes; but its noble scholarship, its noble philosophy, and its noble art are always to be bought as a treasure, not sold for a livelihood."
—John Ruskin

Is it a law of physics, or of human nature, that frequently dooms genius to obscurity during its lifetime? While every nonentity has his 15 minutes of fame, anything more enduring seems governed by a simple principle: death precedes recognition. In the case of Murray Rothbard, the axiom applies in spades. The dean of the Austrian or pure free market school of economics, Rothbard was the author of 28 books, wrote thousands of articles and reviews, and founded the libertarian movement literally in his living room. Not until the last years of his life did this productive and innovative scholar receive at least some measure of the honor that was his due: in 1994, The Rockford Institute awarded him The Ingersoll Foundation's Richard M. Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters. Wider acclaim, however, eluded him. This was due, first of all, to the undying enmity of precisely those people whose business it is to hand out awards, fellowships, academic appointments, and other emoluments. The Establishment which Rothbard lambasted was hardly likely to...

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