Austrian Economics at the Air Force Academy in 1995

Email Print

I just got this e-mail from Brad Barlow along with his permission to quote it and mention him by name:

“I just read your blog entry at LRC with an anonymous quote from a former USAF Academy cadet who noticed a poster advertising the Mises Institute back in 1996. Chances are that poster was put there by Captain Rod Vernon, a 1986 graduate and economics instructor. It was Captain Vernon who also introduced me to Austrian economics, in an ‘honors’ macro class I took in 1995. That was during my sophomore year. I graduated in 1997 with the ‘Austrian’ seeds firmly planted, but it took another two years to apply the same insights to the military. Attending a few Mises Institute events over the next few years cemented this leavening process, which eventually led to my departure from the Air Force.

“However, like my fellow former cadet, I am happy to concur in the judgment that most of my fellow cadets and officers were far more likely to question militarism, and more critical in their thinking overall, than the average ‘educated’ person I have come across in the corporate world since then. As was pointed out in your post, the exceptions were those most eager to climb through the ranks, or sadly, fellow Christians who make the terrible (and idolatrous) mistake of conflating their loyalty to Christ with the success of the U.S. empire. Still, it gives me joy to reflect on these experiences so many years later. I believe that the intentions that take many into the military (integrity, service before self) lead eventually to their disillusionment with it. Idealism is what led me to the Academy, and a reformed idealism is what eventually led me out.”

10:21 am on December 2, 2011