I was surprised today, at a GMU event, to be complimented on the acclaim of the recently published book of Rowley's and mine, and also to be told that some readers had classified me (or Rowley) as a "hard-core Rothbardian," as in Murray Rothbard, the Thomist anarchist libertarian free-market economist. Interesting. It would never have occurred to me to describe myself thus, but now that I hear it second-hand I can see why someone might think so. Rowley, in particular, is an admirer of John Locke, as am I, though it's not a common interest we've discussed much and I suspect we see different things in him... but still. Re-reading the book, it has an "Austrian" flavor; it's reminiscent of the explanation of the 1929 crash developed and championed by Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. Except, I don't think we deliberately wrote it to be that way. We do not shy away from theory or even ideology, and perhaps we're not above occasional tendentiousness or spin, yet it seems to me that the "Austrian" flavor of our narrative was not a matter of our interpretation so much as the facts simply speaking for themselves.
The reason I was surprised to hear myself called a Rothbardian is that Rothbard is a great system-builder: he has a whole system worked out and is sure that he is right. Whereas I try to grab a bit of truth here and there, and to the extent that I have bits and pieces of a philosophy I rather doubt that I could fit them together... In any case, I haven't read more than a few chapters of Rothbard. But if people who read the book think I'm a Rothbardian, maybe I should.