Lew Rockwell

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Lew Rockwell
Born Llewellyn Harrison Rockwell, Jr.
(1944-07-01) July 1, 1944 (age 79)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Political commentator, editor, blogger, podcaster, and former Congressional staffer
Spouse(s) Mardelle Rockwell
Website LewRockwell.com

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Llewellyn Harrison "Lew" Rockwell, Jr. (born July 1, 1944) is an American libertarian author and editor, self-professed anarcho-capitalist,[1] a promoter of the Austrian School of economics, and founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Life and career

Rockwell was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944.

After college, Rockwell worked at Arlington House publishers and became acquainted with the works of Ludwig von Mises.[2]

In the mid-1970s Rockwell worked at Hillsdale College in fundraising and public relations.[2]

Rockwell met Murray Rothbard in 1975 and credits Rothbard with convincing him to reject statism completely.[2]

Work for Ron Paul

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Rockwell was Ron Paul's congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982[3][4] and was a consultant to Paul's 1988 Libertarian Party campaign for President of the United States.[5] He was vice-chair of the exploratory committee for Paul's run for the 1992 Republican Party nomination for president.[6]

Ludwig von Mises Institute

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In 1982, Rockwell founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and is currently its Chairman of the Board.[7]

The Mises Institute published Rockwell's Speaking of Liberty, an anthology of editorials which were originally published on his website, along with transcripts from some of his speaking engagements.

Burton Blumert, Rockwell, economist and philosopher David Gordon, and Murray Rothbard.


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In 1985, Rockwell was named a contributing editor to Conservative Digest.[8] During the 1990s Rothbard, Rockwell and others described their views as paleolibertarian to emphasize their commitment to cultural conservatism, even as they continued to hold anti-statist beliefs.[9] In a 2007 interview Rockwell revealed he no longer considered himself a "paleolibertarian" and was "happy with the term libertarian." He explained "the term paleolibertarian became confused because of its association with paleoconservative, so it came to mean some sort of socially conservative libertarian, which wasn't the point at all...."[10]


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Rockwell's website, LewRockwell.com, formed in 1999, features articles and blog entries by a number of columnists and writers. Its motto is "anti-war, anti-state, pro-market".[11] There also is a weekly podcast called the Lew Rockwell Show.[12] As of May 2013 LRC was in the top 10,000 websites worldwide.[13] LewRockwell.com publishes a variety of articles opposing war and imperialism, questioning United States participation in World War II, opposing "economic fascism" and supporting Austrian economics and secessionism.[14]

Ron Paul newsletters

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Reason magazine reported Rockwell was a founding officer and former Vice President at Ron Paul & Associates[15] which was one of the publishers of a variety of political and investment-oriented newsletters bearing Paul's name.[16][17]

In January 2008, during Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, James Kirchick of the New Republic uncovered a collection of Ron Paul newsletters and alleged that they "reveal decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays."[17][18] For instance, one issue of a newsletter described African-Americans as "animals",[17] another asserted that 95% of them were criminals,[19] and another approved of the slogan "Sodomy = Death" and said homosexuals suffering from HIV/AIDS "enjoy the pity and attention that comes with being sick".[17]

Kirchick noted that most of the articles contained no bylines.[17] Numerous sources alleged that Rockwell had ghostwritten the controversial newsletters;[20] Rockwell is listed as "contributing editor" on physical copies of some newsletters[21][22] and listed as sole Editor of the May 1988 "Ron Paul investment Newsletter".[23] Reason magazine reported that "a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists – including some still close to Paul" had identified Rockwell as the "chief ghostwriter" of the newsletters,[15] as did former Ron Paul Chief of Staff (1981–1985) John W. Robbins.[24]

Rockwell admitted to Kirchick that he was "involved in the promotion" of the newsletters and wrote the subscription letters but denied ghostwriting the articles. He said there were "seven or eight freelancers involved at various stages" of the newsletter's history and indicated another individual who had "left in unfortunate circumstances", but whom he did not identify, was in charge of editing and publishing the newsletters.[25] Ron Paul himself repudiated the newsletters' content and said he was not involved in the daily operations of the newsletters or saw much of their content until years later.[20] In 2011 Paul's spokesperson Jesse Benton said that Paul had "taken moral responsibility because they appeared under his name and slipped through under his watch".[26]

Other activities and views

Rockwell was closely associated with anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard until Rothbard's death in 1995. Rockwell's political ideology, like Rothbard's in his later years, combines a form of anarcho-capitalism with cultural conservatism and he identifies with the Austrian School of economics. In politics, he advocates federalist concepts as a means of promoting freedom from central government and secession for the same political decentralist reasons. Rockwell has called environmentalism "[a]n ideology as pitiless and Messianic as Marxism."[27]

Rockwell is also Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California.





  1. About LewRockwell.com https://www.lewrockwell.com/about/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Doherty, Brian. "Libertarianism and the Old Right", Mises.org. 1999. Orig. published by SpintechMag.org. May 12, 1999.
  3. Berlau, John. Now playing right field – Rep. Ron Paul – Interview Insight on the News. February 10, 1997.
  4. Hayes, Christopher, The Nation, Ron Paul's Roots, December 6, 2007, retrieved January 14, 2008
  5. "Campaign staffs announced", LPNEWS, May/June 1987, 10
  6. Burton Blumert, "Ron Paul for President Exploratory Committee" fundraising letter, October 1, 1991.
  7. About the Mises Institute page at Ludwig von Mises Institute website.
  8. Berlet, Chip. The Write Stuff: U. S. Serial Print Culture from Conservatives out to Neonazis, Library Trends – Volume 56, Number 3, Winter 2008, pp. 570–600.
  9. Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. "The Case for Paleo-libertarianism" in Liberty magazine, January 1990, 34–38.
  10. Kenny Johnsson, Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?, interview with Lew Rockwell, May 25, 2007.
  11. About LewRockwell.com; Columnists listing; The LRC Blog at LewRockwell.com website.
  12. Lew Rockwell Show.
  13. Alexa analyctics for LewRockwell.com, accessed May 5, 2013.
  14. For example: Rogers, Mike. "Dying For the Emperor? No Way." LewRockwell.com. October 12, 2005; Gonella, Jason. "The Decline and Fall of the United States Empire." LewRockwell.com. December 9, 2004; DiLorenzo, Thomas J. "Economic Fascism" LewRockwell.com. November 23, 2004. [1]
  15. 15.0 15.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  16. The newsletters had various names: Dr. Ron Paul's Freedom Report (OCLC 38365640 and 15124395), The Ron Paul Survival Report (OCLC 27301727), the Ron Paul Investment Letter (OCLC 27301651), and the Ron Paul Political Report (OCLC 31695178).
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  20. 20.0 20.1 Jim Rutenberg and Serge F. Kovaleski, Paul Disowns Extremists’ Views but Doesn’t Disavow the Support, New York Times, December 25, 2011.
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  22. Masthead of a 1987 Ron Paul Investment Letter at the Wayback Machine (archived January 21, 2013)
  23. May 1988 "Ron Paul investment Newsletter" at the Wayback Machine (archived January 21, 2013)
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  26. Jackie Kucinich, Paul's story changes on racial comments, USA TODAY, December 21, 2011.
  27. Rockwell, L. H., Jr. (1990). "An anti-environmentalist manifesto." From The Right, Quarterly II, 1(6), 1. (newsletter of Patrick J. Buchanan), p. 1; Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. Rockwell's Anti-Environmentalist Manifesto, May 1, 2000 version published by Lewrockwell.com

Further reading

External links