"It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any outcropping of what is now called 'a conspiracy theory of history.' For a search for 'conspiracies,' as misguided as the results often are, means a search for motives, and an attribution of individual responsibility for the historical misdeeds of ruling elites. If, however, any tyranny or venality, or aggressive war imposed by the State was brought about not by particular State rulers but by mysterious and arcane 'social forces,' or by the imperfect state of the world -- or if, in some way, everyone was guilty -- then there is no point in anyone's becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, a discrediting of 'conspiracy theories' will make the subjects more likely to believe the 'general welfare' reasons that are invariably put forth by the modern State for engaging in aggressive actions."
Murray N. Rothbard
(1926-1995) Dean of the Austrian School of Economics
For a New Liberty (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 6
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Reader comments about this quote:
Very well said! After Sept 11, GW Bush said,
"Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty."
Why "never"? Because it would mean a search for motives other than what we have been told -- motives to profit immensely from Iraqi oil -- the proof of which is more evident now than ever.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
    Terrific! Murray Rothbard is the greatest anarcho-capitalist libertarian thinker in addition to being the dean of the Austrian school. He cuts to the heart of an issue and exposes the BS that is our "leaders" way of life.
     -- Tom McGovern, Jersey City     
    Who has benefited from 911? That's who did it.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    You have a business. Next door is a competitor. One night your competitor's business burns to the ground. Therefore, you are an arsonist. Great logic. As for profit from Iraqi oil: exactly how much oil are they pumping? Less than before the war? If I were a conspirator I would not try to find more oil to pump, I would try to restrict the supply and/or create uncertainty in the market to drive up the price. I would try to shut off current supplies and also restrict development of known reserves such as ANWR, gulf coast, etc. I would use the environmental NGO's to pressure government to regulate development out of existence. Who benefits? Why, of course the largest oil supplier to the US. That would be Canada. Therefore, Canadians are responsible for 911. That's how conspiracy theories work.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Canada is not the largest supplier of oil to the US...not yet anyway. Maybe after the border is erased and it suddenly becomes US oil. There are very few "theories" left out there. Most are identifiable agenda's.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    According to USGS Canada is #1, Saudi Arabia is #2, and Venezuela is #3 as sources of oil imported to the US (as of 2000 and I don't think that's changed). Be that as it may, my point is that one has to be careful not to outrun their evidence when it comes to conspiracies, not that there are no conspiracies. It's the conspiracy nuts that let their beliefs become religious in nature that allow the real conspiracy to remain hidden.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Good work Ken. It takes an absolute nut job to think that the war was for Iraq's oil. If that were true it would not still belong to Iraq. The people who profited from the war are the people of Iraq and Afganastan. The people who hoped to gain by it are all in deep trouble or dead.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Don't forget Mexico. Soudi Arabia is at no 5, Canada 1, Mexico 2, Venezuela 3, Great Britan 4, Then Saudi Arabia at 5. We have all the oil we need but instead of drilling it ourselves and helping our economy we let Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela suck it out of the Gulf. It would be bad for the environment if we do it but if they do it it doesn't count.
     -- warren, olathe     
    Iraq wasn't for oil, but it was partly for currency. One way the US ruling class benefited from the Iraq war was that Iraq no longer traded oil in Euros (as it had since 2000), but reverted to USD. This may also have had the effect of intimidating other oil-rich nations to stay with USD and not switch to other currencies for fear of being declared an enemy of the US. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/Iraq_dollar_vs_euro.html Iran, by the way, is also trading oil in Euros.
     -- Ben Bernanke, The Smoke Filled Room?     
     -- Anonymous      
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