Ludwig von Mises; Ayn Rand; Murray Rothbard; Milton Friedman; Robert Nozick; David Ricardo; David Friedman; Rose Friedman; John Stossel; Richard Epstein; Nathaniel Branden; Leonard Peikoff; Yaron Brook; Israel Kirzner; Anna Schwartz; Walter Block; Frank Zappa; the Koch brothers; Lanny Friedlander; Frank Chodorov; Peter Schiff; Robert Fogel; Steven Horwitz; Matt Stone; Emile Yusupoff.
A disproportionate number of libertarians, and a notable number of those who influenced libertarianism, are Jews. This can, of course, be overstated. The majority of libertarians are not Jewish, and the majority of Jews are not libertarians. However, it is fair to say that a notable number of leading libertarian intellectuals are of Jewish extraction (although, incidentally, the majority of these are atheist/agnostic). A few explanations can be given for this.
It’s no secret that Jews often work in academia. The reasons for this may stem from the Jewish emphasis on education from a young age. Libertarianism, as a systematic political ideology, inevitably exists in a large part in the academic sphere. Outside of the ‘pure’ academia of universities, it’s fair to say that libertarianism is something of an intellectual movement (hence the stereotype of the libertarian nerd). Being explicitly philosophical, and something of a non-mainstream position, it’s unsurprising that libertarianism has intellectual spokespeople.
Political, Social and Economic Theory:
Similarly, Jews are often key architects of ideologies. Socialism has Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Eduard Bernstein, Ralph Miliband, Noam Chomsky, Gerald Cohen, Rosa Luxemburg, Murray Bookchin, Robert Wolff, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and most of the Frankfurt School. Neoconservatism has: Leo Strauss, Paul Wolfowitz, Irving Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle and David Frum. And modern liberalism has Paul Krugman.
Interestingly, asides from the old-school Marxists, Jewish socialists have tended to be part of the libertarian left. Likewise, although Jews in the US tend to vote Democrat, in part this is due to an overwhelming preference for liberal social policies. Excluding the Orthodox, Jews overwhelmingly support gay marriage and legalisation of marijuana.
One attraction of libertarianism is its defence of minorities in the face of the tyranny of the majority (the smallest minority on earth being, of course, the individual). Jews, particularly in the US, occupy a position as an established, integrated and successful minority, but a minority nonetheless. This can feed into an inclination towards a system that both allows for diversity and also defends individual achievement and success.
Perhaps as a result of being a minority, there is something of a Jewish tendency towards non-conformism, thinking individualistically and willingness to challenge the status-quo. This may also be informed by the opportunities of being relatively privilege whilst being outside of the establishment and the ruling class. The number of prominent Jews within a variety of ideologies and movements (especially ones, like libertarianism and socialism, that can be intrinsically provocative) attests to a fondness for iconoclasm, as does the equal Jewish presence in the media, entertainment and Hollywood.
As explained by Milton Friedman in his essay Capitalism and The Jews: Confronting a Paradox, Jews have done very well in liberal capitalist societies. Compared with fascism, Nazism, feudalism, theocracy, nationalist regimes (excluding Israel), communism and various empires, capitalism has treated the Jews remarkably well. This has ironically contributed to the large Jewish contribution to socialism, in part to repudiate the stereotype of the greedy Jewish banker and in part as a result of the fact that the leading critics of capitalism tend to be those who do best from it. However, equally, it is easy to see how a group who have suffered horrendously under every other social structure can see the benefits of liberalism and capitalism.
It should also be noted that within Jewish scripture and culture there has never been an absolute rejection of capitalist practises and ideas. Indeed, unlike certain perverse elements in Christianity, Jewish tradition has tended to avoid fetishising poverty. Whilst charity is a virtue, and it is reprehensible to allow others to be trapped in poverty, one has a responsibility to avoid being a burden to others where possible.
Part of the reason for Jewish flourishing under capitalism stems from the particular kind of minority status usually held by Jews, and the economic and social roles they filled as a result. Before the modern period, it was extremely rare for governments to uphold and defend the rights of Jews. On occasion, a monarch may have protected the Jews (and in the Islamic world, there was considerably more tolerance than in Christendom), but, on the whole, governments were not friendly and seldom did much to protect Jews from the aggression of the majority. It should also be noted that protection of Jews by the monarch was usually contingent on them being the primary source of loaned funds. Further, for various reasons, Jews tended to occupy commercial economic positions (the stereotype of the Jewish moneylender/merchant/banker does come from somewhere). All this adds up to Jews having a tradition of dealing with, and avoiding/working round, overbearing regulation and explicit and implicit oppression.
However, all of this may just be cover for a conspiracy. Along with the Bolsheviks, Wall Street, the free-masons and the illuminati, libertarianism is just a front for the Zionist plot to achieve world domination and a new world order. Libertarians, like Jews, are actually giant shape-shifting lizards. Similarly, “Ayn Rand” was just Trotsky in a cunning disguise. Although their ideologies seemed different, this was just part of the Zionist scheme. Every time a libertarian talks about freedom or enterprise, what they’re really advocating is sacrificing white Christian babies to the Rothschilds and Kochs.