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A Note from the Editor

Mises Daily: Monday, January 23, 2012 by

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Murray Rothbard at his typewriter in the 1960s

The 20th century was a bleak time for the cause of liberty. The Age of Liberalism was over. Nobody wanted to hear the ideas of Jefferson, Cobden, and Bastiat anymore.

Those who then called themselves "liberals" clamored for all-around planning: that is, the abolition of liberty. In America, the last echo of classical liberalism was the "Old Right," a remnant of individualists who truly stood athwart history, yelling "Stop!" to both the New Deal and to foreign intervention.

Yet even this echo was to dwindle and be drowned out by the rise of the warmongering, big-government "conservatives" of the New Right.

In Betrayal of the American Right, Murray Rothbard tells the story of these dark times, when one by one, the great leaders of the Old Right died without being replaced, and every published outlet for laissez-faire and "isolationist" thought was either shut down or hijacked. Rothbard found himself ever more isolated, writing for obscure journals with tiny readerships.

Fast-forward to the 21st century. Now, a vast number of Rothbard's 25 books and 3,000 articles are available for free online, are downloaded and read by thousands, and will eventually, via the web, enlighten millions of readers.

The Internet, of course, has changed everything: both for the legacy of Rothbard himself, and for the potential impact of all the hundreds of "mini-Rothbards" that may be out there.

You yourself may be a "mini-Rothbard" or a "mini-Mises." Do you write with both force and grace? Have you been carefully studying the scholarship of liberty in the Austrian tradition, either independently, or with Mises Institute services, like the online Mises Academy?

If so, then you should be writing for Mises.org. Our Mises Dailies are read by thousands, and then permanently archived, eventually to be discovered by tens of thousands more. And thanks to the Ron Paul movement, our potential audience — the number of people introduced to, and interested in, the ideas of liberty — is growing by leaps and bounds every day.

News cycle after news cycle, the lessons of Mises, Rothbard, their predecessors, and their students, are validated again and again. The next time you read or hear a news item that reminds you of a passage from Human Action or Bastiat's The Law, jot it down. Then, when you have time, go back to it, and see if you can spin out an essay from that connection.

Try to bring in supporting arguments from other great thinkers. Make it educational, explaining key principles and exploring the historical background of the topic.

Then read it over, and consider whether you yourself would enjoy reading it if it were completely new to you and you had no attachment to the piece. Reword a sentence here to give it more punch. Add a sentence there to give it more clarity. Work it over until you love it. Then send it to me at editor@mises.org. After some changes, if it is good, we may very well run it.

Then, before you know it, it is reaching thousands, and you are a writer. More importantly, you have helped the cause of liberty. Perhaps you have inspired a dozen people to, for the first time, read an entire book by Mises, Rothbard, Hazlitt, or Bastiat. And we all know how deep that rabbit hole goes.

As Mises taught, it is ideas that rule the world. The pen is mightier than the sword, and the keyboard is mightier than the Predator drone. Bring your mind and keyboard to bear for the cause of liberty by submitting an article to Mises.org.