Murray Newton Rothbard (2 March 1926 – 7 January 1995) was an American heterodox economist of the Austrian School, a historian and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern libertarianism. Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism and a central figure in the twentieth-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on political theory, revisionist history, economics and other subjects. Rothbard asserted that all services provided by the "monopoly system of the corporate state" could be provided more efficiently by the private sector and wrote that the state is "the organization of robbery systematized and writ large". He called fractional reserve banking a form of fraud and opposed central banking. He categorically opposed all military, political and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations. According to his protégé Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "There would be no anarcho-capitalist movement to speak of without Rothbard."
Economist Jeff Herbener, who calls Rothbard his friend and "intellectual mentor", wrote that Rothbard received "only ostracism" from mainstream academia. Rothbard rejected mainstream economic methodologies and instead embraced the praxeology of his most important intellectual precursor, Ludwig von Mises. To promote his economic and political ideas, Rothbard joined Llewellyn H. "Lew" Rockwell Jr. and Burton Blumert in 1982 to establish the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama.
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