Posts Tagged ‘Norman Mailer’s 1977 Campaign for Mayor of New York’

Murray Rothbard Endorses Norman Mailer: When Left Meets Right

April 30, 2014

Silverwolf had taken a vow of silence, until the silence of the voters will have silenced his nascent candidacy in the upcoming primaries.

But the network of interstices that link various thinkers sent us on a refresher quest of the key political, economic and issue positions of two of our favorite philosophers; they were thinkers, and very perceptive.

First, we rewatched Norman Mailer’s 77 min documentary, “Oh My America”. Really good. Chocked full of insights, like most of Mailer’s non-fiction writing. And deep insights, like Sartre, one after another until your exhausted from the mental pleasure. Mailer gives a lot of very valid observations of the times, which no one born after 1977 can ever really grasp, just like those born in the 1940s and 50s can’t existentially grasp what it was really like to live in the 1920s and 30s. In ancient times, men didn’t change very much from one generation to another. Now, it’s a completely different culture every 20 or 30 years.

At the same time, we began to reread Professor Murray Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto”. Like the Communist Manifesto, it lays down, in simple detail, the basic Libertarian principles, and the moral basis of many Libertarian viewpoints. It is a book that will really make you think, and even if you don’t agree with Libertarianism, you will know what it means after reading this work.

In the midst of all this, we began to rummage around for that book we knew we had on Norman Mailer’s campaign for the Mayoralty of New York City, but rummage though we might, we couldn’t find it. So we hurried to the internet and searched for Mailer’s 1977 campaign. There were several articles, but none that talked in great detail about the campaign and its strategy.

However, in one written by John Buffalo Mailer, his son, he mentions Murray Rothbard. And suddenly we thought, what would Rothbard have thought about this campaign? Did he have any contact with it?

With baited mind we googled Mailer and Rothbard, and there it was. An article written by Murray Rothbard, not only praising Mailer’s run, calling him the Libertarian alternative, but, for the first time ever in “Libertarian Forum”, formally endorsing anyone for public office. This was truly a marriage of Left and Right, and it was very heartening to hear this supposed Rightwing Fanatic endorsing a staunch Leftist.

Norman Mailer defined himself as a “Left Conservative”. He once said his views on birth control were to the Right of the Catholic Church. He contrasted the two types of Republican or Rightwing Conservatives as the “Principle Conservatives” and the “Flag Conservatives” Robert Taft would have fallen into the first class; just about every major Republican politician in the last 40 years has fallen into the latter class McCain, Palin, Boehner, Gingrich, Bachmann, McConnell, Christie, Perry (ha!ha!),
Schwartznegger, Guliani, the Bushes, the list goes on and on.

Mailer and Rothbard were a thousand miles above these people, although they obviously didn’t agree on many issues. It’s interesting too that while many are assaulting “Seccession” as a Rightwing nut issue (and personally, we think a Federal America would be stronger than 50 independent states, or having some secceed. Who’d want to exchange their currency and pay a bank 5% for the privilege every time you crossed a state line? And what about Federal Enforcement of Civil Rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?), Norman Mailer was advocating in his campaign, not only that New York City should succeed from New York State and become the 51st State, but also that all the neighborhoods that make up New York should have their own autonomy, elections, run their own schools, etc. A devolution of power to local control.

Mailer quips in his documentary that the sad thing was that, up until a week before the election, he actually thought he was going to win, along with his co-campaigner and candidate, Jimmy Breslin, the newspaper journalist, who was running along with Mailer, for the head of the city council. Mailer ended up with 4% of the vote.

If you want to read Murray Rothbards paean of praise for Mailer’s candidacy, here it is:http://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/murray-n-rothbard/mailer-for-mayor/.

The Left and Right contra Fascismus.

Hooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf