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Llewellyn H. Rockwell

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Llewellyn H. Rockwell

Lew Rockwell
Born Llewellyn Harrison Rockwell, Jr.
(1944-07-01) July 1, 1944 (age 70)
Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Political commentator, editor, blogger, podcaster, and former Congressional staffer
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Mardelle Rockwell
Austrian School

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

Further information: Ron Paul

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]

Ron Paul newsletters

Further information: Ron Paul newsletters

Reason magazine reported Rockwell was a founding officer and former Vice President at Ron Paul & Associates[7] which was one of the publishers of a variety of political and investment-oriented newsletters bearing Paul's name.[8][9]

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."[9][10] For instance, one issue of a newsletter described African-Americans as "animals",[9] another asserted that 95% of them were criminals,[11] 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".[9]

Kirchick noted that most of the articles contained no bylines.[9] Numerous sources alleged that Rockwell had ghostwritten the controversial newsletters;[12] Rockwell is listed as "contributing editor" on physical copies of some newsletters[13][14] and listed as sole Editor of the May 1988 "Ron Paul investment Newsletter".[15] 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,[7] as did former Ron Paul Chief of Staff (1981–1985) John W. Robbins.[16]

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.[17] 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.[12] 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".[18]

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Further information: Ludwig von Mises Institute

In 1982, Rockwell founded the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and is currently its Chairman of the Board.[19]

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.


Further information: Paleolibertarianism

In 1985, Rockwell was named a contributing editor to Conservative Digest.[20] 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 hardcore anti-state beliefs.[21] 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...."[22]

Main article:

Rockwell's website,, formed in 1999, features articles and blog entries by a number of columnists and writers. Its motto is "anti-war, anti-state, pro-market".[23] There also is a weekly podcast called the Lew Rockwell Show.[24] As of May 2013 LRC was in the top 10,000 websites worldwide.[25] 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.[26] The writings are sometimes controversial.[27][28]

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."[29]

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



  • Speaking of Liberty (2003; online ISBN 0-945466-38-2
  • The Left, The Right, and The State (2008; online ISBN 978-1-933550-20-6


  • Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard (with ISBN 99911-786-2-7
  • The Free Market Reader (1988; online ISBN 0-945466-02-1
  • The Economics of Liberty (1990; online ISBN 0-945466-08-0
  • The Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School (1992; online ISBN 0-945466-11-0
  • Murray N. Rothbard: In Memoriam (1995; online ISBN 0-945466-19-6
  • The Irrepressible Rothbard (2000; online ISBN 1-883959-02-0


External links

  • Rockwell's article archives:
    • WorldNetDaily

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