Tonight I want to talk about an essay that Rothbard wrote just over forty years ago, an essay that had an enormous impact on my own intellectual development. In 1965 Rothbard published "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty," the keynote editorial in the first issue of a magazine he'd just founded, also called Left & Right — the forerunner of his later Libertarian Forum. (By the way, the complete runs of both Left & Right and Libertarian Forum are available in all their fascinating glory on Mises.org.) Written during the early years of the Vietnam War, as the New Left was emerging and the old coalition between libertarians and conservatives was beginning to fray, Rothbard's article placed the libertarian movement in a historical context, tracing its past and possible future, and called on libertarians to gain a better self-understanding, and consequently to rethink their political affiliations and alliances.
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