You've may have seen this already--it's been announced by several people with less lead in their asses than me--but A New History of Leviathan
is now online in pdf form at Mises.Org
. That book is probably the single most monumental achievement of Rothbard's attempted alliance with the New Left (although there's also a hell of a lot of good writing in Left and Right
and Libertarian Forum
).A New History of Leviathan: Essays on the Rise of the American Corporate State
was co-edited by Rothbard and Ronald Radosh. Radosh, these days a neocon, was a libertarian socialist at the time of his collaboration with Rothbard. As others have suggested, he's probably more embarrassed today by having once associated with an Old Rightist than at having been a commie. Here's a good quote from the Preface (courtesy Brad Spangler
It is now widely understood that the United States in mid-twentieth century is a Leviathan Corporate State—a political economy dominated by giant multinational corporations whose extensive domain, operating with the levers of government, extends from the local retail outlet to firms negotiating for rights to explore oil deposits offshore of Saigon. But the corporate state, whose pervasive influence has recently been subjected to sharp critiques by Herbert Marcuse, Charles Reich, and Phillip Slater..., is by no means a new phenomenon. The corporate leviathan began to emerge at the turn of the twentieth century, after an era of substantial laissez-faire had proceeded to industrialize and urbanize the nation.
The essays in this book reveal how and in what manner the corporate state developed in twentieth-century America. They show how a sophisticated group of large corporate reformers managed to replace a freely competitive economy and make a new governing class, through the use of reform mechanisms to mold the government into a mighty instrument of monopolization and cartelization.
Of course I'd question the characterization of the nineteenth century economy as "substantially laissez-faire" and "freely competitive." The order-of-magnitude increase in statism in the twentieth century was a direct response to instabilities resulting from the state-engineered rise of the corporate economy in the nineteenth. But never mind--as an account of twentieth century corporate liberalism in its own right, this is priceless.
This is just the latest example of the countless volumes, many of them out of print for decades and gathering dust in special collections (like Tucker's Liberty
, recently resurrected by Shawn Wilbur, PBUH). This stuff, previously mouldering away beyond the reach of anyone but academic specialists, is now readable at the click of a mouse by anyone with an Internet connection. More importantly, it is downloadable, and infinitely reproducible at zero cost, by anyone with a hard drive.
And now for a cranky tinfoil hat digression: If Peak Oil turns out to be serious business, it (along with the "crackup boom" and other terminal crises) may well lead to rolling blackouts of Internet servers and finally the Web going belly up. If that happens, every bit of this stuff stored on hard drives will be electronic gold. And the CD burner may be the New Dark Ages' equivalent of monks in a scriptorium.
In addition, if Homeland Security succeeds in putting the Internet under full lockdown, burning and physically distributing subversive libraries on CD may well be the 21st century version of Samizdat.
So for the love of God, please download, download