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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From his perch at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Llewellyn Rockwell has quietly and without fanfare carried on a thirty-year war to unseat competing versions of libertarianism, to dethrone neo-conservatives, and to resurrect the Old Right. The moment he has been awaiting may have finally arrived via the unlikely vehicle of the Ron Paul presidential campaign.

At age 67, Llewellyn Rockwell (Lew to his friends) fancies himself a man of ideas, rather in the mold cast by his father, a Boston-area surgeon. “He wasn’t a whiner,” Rockwell says of his father. “He was a man of the Old Right…an admirer of Robert Taft, not least because of his non-interventionist foreign policy.” Rockwell cites the death of his older brother in Roosevelt’s “deliberate war,” and makes no bones about his own isolationist and anti-war beliefs. (He even worked briefly for Senator Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign in protest of the Vietnam War.) Among his other affiliations, today he is an advisor to Justin Raimondo’s AntiWar.com, which features such far-right luminaries as Pat Buchanan. [i]

Rockwell considers himself to be a “paleo-libertarian” — a species of political dinosaur that works to undo most of the changes in civil and human rights that have occurred since 1929.

It is Rockwell’s long and close association with Ron Paul, however, that sets him apart. Rockwell served as Paul’s Washington-based Congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982. When Paul ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988, Rockwell became vice chairman of the campaign. Rockwell also worked in various editorial capacities for the Ron Paul Investment Letter. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rockwell served as vice-president of Ron Paul & Associates, which published two additional newsletters. Because of the nasty bigotry and unrepentant racism found in those publications, they have become a public issue.

Of course, Paul has denied he wrote the offensive material in question; but at one point, he admitted that he is “morally responsible” for what had appeared under his name. But now, even that level of acknowledgment seems to be absent. Reporters cite a number of sources that pin Rockwell as the source of the newsletters’ vitriol, yet they also note Rockwell’s continuing denial of authorship. So the writer of the racist “Ron Paul” material remains formally unacknowledged — a trick that any other presidential candidate would find impossible to pull off.

Despite Rockwell’s denials, a fellow libertarian, Ed Crane, founder of the Washington-based Cato Institute, confirmed his status as a bigot publicly many years ago. Crane cited the “intolerant attitudes among people like … Rockwell, in ethnic and cultural matters, and even on the question of sexual diversity,” in the November 1990 edition of Liberty.

Rockwell and Paul have long shared an affinity for the John Birch Society, the legendary conspiracy-minded outfit that has enjoyed a re-birth as part of the Tea Party-inspired opposition to President Obama. Rockwell served as a contributing editor of the Bircher magazine, The New American, for most of the 1990s, while Paul was listed as a contributing editor of the periodical in 1987. The Texas Congressman has maintained his admiration for the Birchers, giving a congratulatory speech at a Texas regional conference as recently as August 2009.

Meanwhile, Rockwell and his Von Mises Institute have undergirded Ron Paul’s steadfast adherence to the ideas that guide his campaign today.

  • cpnoles1

    The National Memo is the biggest piece of liberal trash,I have ever seen! If you agree with anything written in this so called “news outlet”, you are not able to think clearly!

  • Bets4

    Ohio University, popularly known as “OU” is located at Athens, OHIO, not Athens, Georgia! Somebody goofed.

  • outasycnal

    This is a great educational piece! Thank you!

  • tesla222

    cpnoles1 – Instead of just grumbling, why not advance the conversation by telling us which specific ‘trash facts’ you believe to be in error and quote references to back up your claim. We would all appreciate your insights. Trash talk is a sign of ignorance and/or desperation – prove that observation wrong! Example: “When Paul ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988, Rockwell became vice chairman of the campaign.” Would you say that this information is wrong, if so, how do you know? Go for it, show us that Mr. Zeskind is all wet! Thanks!

  • Jackie Allen

    I’ve taught AP history classes to high school seniors, and this “Old Right” has been bantered back and forth in to order introduce the concept of “thinking”.
    Do you have any idea what “facism” is—what about socialism??? Discuss these
    without the mental “schema” that seems to be block to reality and common sense.

  • Common Sense Patriot

    The problems in our country today are directly the result of the takeover of the Democratic and Republican Parties by far left-wing and far right-wing extremists. Each embraces policies so radical they spend most of their time and money wresting control from each other and then enacting laws, policies and programs in government that not only fail to solve our problems, but make them worse. It’s basically Neo-Nazi’s on the right against Communist thugs on the left. Each is quite willing to suspend civil liberties and impose their will on the nation and the world by any means necessary. Meanwhile, we are not only suffering through the worst recession since the Great Depression with millions out of work, some for 2 years, a real estate collapse and mortgage crisis, disapperance of the middle class and burgeoning of the poor, concentration of wealth int he hands of the 1% rich and powerful, or at least the top 10%, the effects mankind has made to global warming, destruction of the environment, public education that produces functionally illiterate high school graduates, soaring costs of post-high school education and the failure to concentrate on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects so that we can’t produce people to hold on to our rapidly deteriorating lead in innovation and technology but also is contributing to our demise as an effective global economic powehouse, failed War on Drugs, failed Immigration Policy, failed War on Poverty, involvement in the Afghan War for over 10 years with no end in sight because it was run by the politicians in a certain to lose approach that only enriched the military-industrial complex, a war in Iraq which is about to descend into civil war meaning we wasted all those lives and money, an energy policy that means we not only state energy dependent on foreign oil from some of our worst enemies but have no plan in place to become energy independent, a tax policy that taxes the middle class to death and enriches the already super rich, corporations with no sense of public responsibility, corrupt politicians, and just general ineffectiveness of our society, government, and business to solve any problem at all for the majority of people. If you don’t believe this, just look at the Republican Primaries, where even former moderates like Romney have gone so far to the right catering to the right wing extremists that control the party nomination process that they have alienated the moderates and Independents — meaning no matter who gets the nomination, they can’t win a general election because the electorate is divided about evenly between Democrats, Republicans and Independents. No matter who gets the Presidency, they are blocked from accomplishing almost anything by the radicals that did get elected to Congress and have made it totally irresponsible and blocked into gridlock. The solutions to our problems are not that complicated and anyone with common sense can see what they are, but there is no common sense in our leadership or our political, social, and business institutions — only greed, corruption, ineffectiveness and a headlong rush into destruction of the only true hope the world has ever had for a society that functions and stand for decency, common sense, hard work, success, and freedom.

  • tesla222

    Wow! May the truth set you free………..

  • AdamCameronStevenson

    I worry about the Americans. In Scotland we want Independence. In the USA they got independence and what have they done with it. They allow rich men like mitt and religious men to run around stuffing their pockets with money and even though they know that everything these republic candidates say is rhetoric and bull crap.
    I am a Liberal but even i know that no party has a monopoly on the good ideas. We in Scotland are looking at Ron Paul and saying why are these Americans so easily fooled as to believe that Ron Paul is not a good candidate. You control the hand on the red button yet you would allow foolish people who have a conflict of interest when it comes to governing the american states because you always feel a need to elect a religious man……regardless of Wether or not he actually cares about you.
    I am a friend of America but i don’t want when Scotland gets it’s independence for us to turn out the same way i’m sorry but it’s true.

  • Howz 1

    The Right’s theme is to go back in time when America had values and morals, but whose is always the question. Paul takes his libertarianism from Ayn Rand(his son is named after her). It was a simplier time. Drug companies made products that wouldn’t kill you, banks were more local, and the food supply was realitively wholesome. After the Great depression laws were in place to see it wouldn’t happen again. There was no need for a mountian of regulations. Everyone know their place. Afro=Americans were called negros then and didn’t go into white areas, the women stayed home and pumped out kids, and cities were divided into ethnic neighborhoods.
    Flash to today and the rise of the corporate state, and things have changed. Women have the pill supplied by big pharma. Banks became unregulated and nearly collasped due to greed, and the food supply is questionable in terms of nutrients and pesticide use.Corporations regulally rip off the public covered by an army of lawyers, and our health care system needs a tremendous overhaul, or it will collaspe, since insurance companies have drained away for profit any excess that was used for new equipment or services. So what alternate universe does Ron Paul live in that he wants to remove any protection that we have and free the people that have run wild and have on 2 occasions almost run us into the ground. Years of affirmative action policies have finally created black middle class. So what are we repealing ? What era dies he want to take us back to?

  • JosephC.CarboneIII

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    Is much research necessary to invalidate this article? The writer, Leonard Zeskind, is fighting against an imaginary position of the Hon. Dr. Ron Paul; his technique is known as propaganda, and it is being used in order to trick you. Do not be fooled.
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    Zeskind’s statement that Dr. Paul’s campaign is undergirded, meaning its foundational strength, by “Ludwig Von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics” creates suspicion of Zeskind’s understanding of basic sense.
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    According to Zeskind, the goal of Ludwig Von Mises Institute is to “undermine statism in all its form,” but wherever has Dr. Paul written or advocated anything except the empowerment of the states under the protection of our Constitution?
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    Dr. Paul’s objective is opposite of what Zeskind would have you believe.
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    Zeskind’s definition of Old Right is narrow. Look it up; one of three prominent approaches are from those who advocate restoring community, and that is Dr. Paul’s Old Right philosophy, giving Americans a voice and choice.
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    People like Zeskind impose negative antisocial ideas of isolationism upon Dr. Paul, but Dr. Paul advocates what is needed, a restoration of our nation’s health. Contrary to Zeskind, philanthropic reasons are why we need to stop wasting lives, money, and countless other resources in wars. It is self-centered egocentric behavior that has us setting up dictatorships, overthrowing democracies, and creating civil unrest in countries that do not support our corporations’ agendas.
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    Zeskind sounds afraid rather than emboldened for change, just like people who are program to sit in the same seat of the lecture hall rather than seeing from different vantage point.
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    When I served as a Marine, it was to protect and serve the Constitution, our people, and noble causes, which should have included congressionally approved exercises of nourishment because war can be waged against poverty and disease rather than life, creating friendships and standards to be envied globally and therefore mirrored globally.
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    No one I know or support, including Dr. Paul, espouses the isolationism Zeskind seems to be fighting against.
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    Sincerely,
    Joseph C. Carbone III