Murray Rothbard

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The Austrian School attempts to discover axioms of human action (called "praxeology" in the Austrian tradition). It supports free market economics and criticizes command economies. Influential advocates were Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises. Rothbard argued that the entire Austrian economic theory is the working out of the logical implications of the fact that humans engage in purposeful action.[26] In working out these axioms he came to the position that a monopoly price could not exist on the free market. He also anticipated much of the “rational expectations” viewpoint in economics.

In accordance with his free market views Rothbard argued that individual protection and national defense also should be offered on the market, rather than supplied by government’s coercive monopoly.[23] Rothbard was an ardent critic of Keynesian economic thought[27] as well as the utilitarian theory of philosopher Jeremy Bentham.[28]

In Man, Economy, and State Rothbard divides the various kinds of state intervention in three categories: "autistic intervention", which is interference with private non-exchange activities; "binary intervention", which is forced exchange between individuals and the state; and "triangular intervention", which is state-mandated exchange between individuals. According to Sanford Ikeda, Rothbard's typology "eliminates the gaps and inconsistencies that appear in Mises's original formulation."[29][30]

Rothbard also was knowledgeable in history and political philosophy. Rothbard's books, such as Man, Economy, and State, Power and Market, The Ethics of Liberty, and For a New Liberty, are considered by some to be classics of natural law and libertarian thought, combining libertarian natural rights philosophy, anti-government anarchism and a free market perspective in analyzing a range of contemporary social and economic issues. He also possessed extensive knowledge of the history of economic thought, studying the pre-Adam Smith free market economic schools, such as the Scholastics and the Physiocrats and discussed them in his unfinished, multi-volume work, An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought.

Rothbard writes in Power and Market that the role of the economist in a free market is limited, but the role and power of the economist in a government which continually intervenes in the market expands, as the interventions trigger problems which require further diagnosis and the need for further policy recommendations. Rothbard argues that this simple self-interest prejudices the views of many economists in favor of increased government intervention.[31][32]

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