Frank Chodorov: Scrappy Libertarian, Crappy Oracle

Libertarians are a strange bunch. They are the most predictable of political thinkers since the answer to every social problem is the exact same thing: The cause of the problem is government and the solution is less government. Full stop.

You have probably never heard of Frank Chodorov (1887-1966). Born in New York City as Fishel Chodorowsky, he is considered one of the pioneer libertarians of the twentieth-century United States. At the very least, libertarians remember him for a letter he wrote to Bill Buckley’s National Review in 1956, wherein he declared, “I will punch anyone who calls me a conservative in the nose. I am a radical.”1 Chodorov’s fightin’ words reflected Libertarians’ delight in considering themselves rough-and-tumble, independent thinkers. I can’t help noticing however, that their fierce independent thinking often matches perfectly with powerful business and corporate interests. Chodorov, for example, first made his mark by busting a union in 1923. Union busting for freedom!

Chodorov is often credited with keeping the libertarian flame alive during the dark days of World War II. A staunch isolationist, Chodorov founded a small newsletter he named analysis which he published between 1944 and 1951 before it merged with Human Eventswhich is still going strong. analysis was a pure distillation of Chodorov’s libertarianism, his own vision with no compromises—this is what blogging was like in the 1940s. As historian George Nash wrote:

It is a vivid illustration both of the virtually underground character of much of the “classical liberal” movement in this period and of the perseverance of its devotees that this little journal appeared at all. Frank Chodorov was a practicing individualist; he produced his own magazine in a few rooms in an unpretentious building in Manhattan.

In his obituary to Chodorov, Murray Rothbard claimed that analysis was the one place where Chodorov could present his pure gospel of individualism. I thought therefore that reading through analysis might be an important part of the history I’m writing.

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Virginia Is for (Same-Race) Lovers

Ok, my title isn’t precisely what it says on our license plates:


But until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia, as it was in 24 other states. Fifty years ago today, on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Today is Loving Day!

The case was Loving v. Virginia. If you wrote a novel whose centerpiece was a court case on marriage named “Loving v. Virginia” the editor would send the manuscript back to you with a note reading, “Contrived. Change the name.” But that was the name of the couple who challenged Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage.  As the kids say today, “For reals.” (The kids still say that, right?)

In the late 1950s, Richard, a white man, and Mildred, a black woman, fell in love and wanted to get married. Because it was illegal in Virginia for them to do so, they hopped on a train up to Washington, D.C. and got married there.


In Virginia, they were arrested. The case eventually reached U.S. Supreme Court which overturned Virginia’s miscegenation law in 1967.

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