Last week, Mises Institute President Jeff Deist released a podcast featuring a discussion about the political future of libertarianism, advising libertarian activists to embrace decentralization and de-federalization as a foundational strategic goal.
“The only way we can get along is to de-yoke from Washington,” Deist said on the Patriots Lament radio show. “We have to ratchet back the federalization of everything, and we have to decentralize political, economic and social power away from Washington.”
The Mises Institute is a free market think-tank devoted to promoting the works of Austrian economics and libertarian political theory. Although he heads up a strictly anti-political organization, Deist endorses using the principles of decentralization as the means for reducing state control.
“Our task as libertarians is to make the case for unyoking and decentralization,” Deist said. “It may be a tough sell to say get rid of the government in its entirety… An easier sell is de-yoking and decentralizing to de-escalate all this hatred and nastiness. That is how I see it.”
The Mises Institute promotes the work of many prominent Austrian economists, most notably Ludwig von Mises and his protégé, Murray Rothbard. Rothbard, generally credited as the founder of modern libertarianism, fully recognized the importance of the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.
Rothbard stated the following in a 1993 essay titled Nations By Consent: Decomposing the Nation State:
In the U.S., it becomes important, in moving toward such radical decentralization, for libertarians and classical liberals — indeed, for many other minority or dissident groups — to begin to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amendment and to try to decompose the role and power of the centralizing Supreme Court. Rather than trying to get people of one’s own ideological persuasion on the Supreme Court, its power should be rolled back and minimized as far as possible, and its power decomposed into state, or even local, judicial bodies.
Libertarians would be wise to listen to Murray Rothbard and Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute by embracing the decentralization of government power if they wish to achieve liberty in their lifetime.