In Concieved in Liberty, vol II, p.190, Rothbard writes: “There were two strains in Locke’s Essay: the individualist and libertarian, and the conservative and majoritarian, and examples of caution and inconsistency are easy to find. But the individualist view is the core of the argument …Locke was an extraordinarily timorous and secretive writer on political affairs …Hence it is not unreasonable to assume that the conservative strain in Locke was a camouflage for the radically libertarian core of his position.”
This reminded me of Strauss’s famous (infamous?) theory of philosophical esotericism. Was Rothbard influenced by Strauss? Or did he arrive independently at an esoteric analysis of Locke?
Given the low regard Strauss is regarded in libertarian circles, and the low regard Rothbard had for neoconservatives, I’d be surprised to find that he was influenced by Strauss. Would Rothbard’s analysis of Locke here be subject to the same criticisms people have made of Straussian esotericism?