By Ron Paul
Ralph Raico was one of the founding fathers of the libertarian movement. As a student of both Ludwig Von Mises and FA Hayek, as well as a lifelong friend and colleague of Murray Rothbard, Ralph made numerous contributions to the scholarship of liberty.
As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Ralph was a founder and senior editor of The New Individualist Review, one of the most significant journals of libertarian-conservative thought ever produced. Ralph not only served as senior editor but contributed many important essays, including several answering conservative objections to libertarianism.
Ralph later served as a senior scholar for the CATO Institute, and was a senior editor of CATO's publication Inquiry. Ralph was also active in the early days of the Libertarian Party.
In his later years, Ralph helped preserve and expand the legacy of his beloved teacher Ludwig Von Mises and his friend Murray Rothbard by serving as as senior fellow with the Mises Institute.
As the leading libertarian historian, Ralph made a number of significant contributions. His dissertation, "The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton,” which was completed under the supervision of FA Hayek, is essential reading for those wishing to combat the lie that libertarians and Christians are natural antagonists instead of natural allies.
Ralph also played a leading role in restoring the proper understanding of class conflict. Instead of the fallacy that class conflict is between workers and owners, true class conflict theory focuses on the very real conflict between the state -- along with the special interests who profit from it -- and the majority of people whose liberty, prosperity, and even livlihoods are sacrificed for their benefit.
Ralph's major contribution to libertarian scholarship was in providing concrete examples of how European and American wars led to the growth of the state and the loss of liberty.
While Ralph lives behind an important body of scholarship, his greatest legacy will be the generations of scholars, journalists, and activists that he helped infuse with a passion for liberty and truth.
I was honored to receive Ralph's support for both my congressional and presidential campaigns and I join Ralph's many friends and admirers in expressing sorrow at his passing. Fortunately, Ralph leaves behind a legacy of the many individuals who are inspired to pursue the cause of liberty.