A Shakespearian Libertarian!

From: N
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2018 3:36 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: How can I get involved with free market institutions or think tanks?
Dear Prof Block, I am a Shakespeare scholar and the author of five books to date. Somewhat unusually in my field, I am a strong advocate of free markets, and am planning to write a book called Defenders of Liberty: Human Nature, Indvidualism, and Property Rights (proposal attached). I am writing to you as an admirer of your work, especially online and youtube where I’ve learned much from you. My long-term aim is to transition from Shakespeare studies in order to promote the principles of liberty, free markets and the benefits of property rights to the public using whatever influence I have to do so. While I am not an economist, I do have a particular flair and track record of explaining complex ideas in simple and plain language. I have set my sights on doing what Henry Hazlitt did in the mid-20th Century. Here in the UK, the need is greater than ever with a near-communist (Jeremy Corbyn) on the cusp of becoming prime minister. Do you have any advice on how might I become more involved with institutions that promote free markets? Any help much appreciated. Kind regards, N

Dear N: thanks for your kind words. My favorite institution that promotes free markets, head and shoulders above all the others, is the Mises Institute. I urge you to become involved with them. No greater learning experience can be afforded you (and me too!) other than by this organization. Below, I offer some constructive criticism of your reference section. It mainly consists of recommended readings attacking the cites you mention.

Hazlitt is a magnificent person to emulate, in terms of clear writing, even, eloquent writing. Rothbard too.

Berlin, Isaiah, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969).
—, Freedom and Its Betrayal: Six Enemies of Human Liberty, ed. Henry Hardy (London: Pimlico, 2003).


Buchanan, James M., Liberty, Market and State: Political Economy in the 1980s (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986).
Buchanan, James M. and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy (1962; Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 1999).

<< This book of mine is a frontal attack on Buchanan and Tullock and their public choice school:

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. and Walter E. Block. 2016. An Austro-Libertarian Critique of Public Choice; Addleton Academic Publishers; www.addletonacademicpublishers.com; 30-18 50th Street, Woodside, New York, 11377; editors@addletonacademicpublishers.com; ISBN 978-1-942585-26-8, eISBN 978-1-942585-27-5; An Austro-Libertarian Critique of Public Choice
Among all the various schools of economic thought, the ideas of the Public Choice school have a unique relationship with Austrian economics. Both embrace a rigorous application of methodological individualism, and many great scholars in both traditions have been influenced and inspired by the works of the other. These similarities, however do not change the very real differences that exist between the two schools. In An Austro-Libertarian Critique of Public Choice, Thomas DiLorenzo and Walter Block brilliantly identify both the ways the two schools complement each other, as well as highlighting the various shortcomings that exist within the positivist Public Choice approach. The result is a book that is a must read for any scholar interested in either economic tradition.

Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
—, ‘Is Capitalism Humane?’, lecture delivered at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (September 27, 1977).
— and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (1980; Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990).

<< Here are some critiques of Friedman:

Block, 1999, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013; Block and Barnett, 2012-2013; McChesney, 1991; Rothbard, 2002; Friedman and Block, 2006; Friedman and Block, 2006; Kinsella, 2009; Lind, 2012; Machan, 2010; McChesney, 1991; North, 2012; Rothbard, 2002; Vance, 2005; Wapshott, 2012; Wenzel, 2012; Wilcke, 1999

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Was Milton Friedman a socialist” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST Journal); Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 11- 26; http://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2013/_02.pdf;

Block, Walter E. 1999. “The Gold Standard: A Critique of Friedman, from the free enterprise perspective, Greenspan,” Managerial Finance, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 15-33; http://giorgio.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=13529; http://www.mises.org/etexts/goldcritique.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Private property rights, economic freedom, and Professor Coase: A Critique of Friedman, McCloskey, Medema and Zorn,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer, pp. 923-951; http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2782/is_3_26/ai_n6640908/?tag=content

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Milton Friedman on Intolerance: A Critique.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 2, No. 41;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/41-block-milton-friedman-on-intolerance-a-critique/; http://mises.org/daily/6208/Friedman-on-Intolerance-A-Critique

Block, Walter E. 2011. “How Not To Defend the Market: A critique of Easton, Miron, Bovard, Friedman and Boudreaux .” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 581–592

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2012-2013. “Milton Friedman and the financial crisis,” American Review of Political Economy, Vol. 10, No. 1/2, June, 2012 – June 2013; pp. 2-17; http://www.ARPEJournal.com; http://arpejournal.com./ARPEvolume10number1-2/Block.pdf; arpejournal.com

Friedman, Milton and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom).” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer, pp. 61-80; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/20_3/20_3_4.pdf; https://mises.org/system/tdf/20_3_4.pdf?file=1&type=document

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009. “Milton Friedman on Intolerance, Liberty, Mises, Etc.” November 9;

Lind, Michael. 2012 . « Thank you, Milton Friedman: How conservatives’ economic hero helped make the case for big government.” August 7 ;

Machan, Tibor R. 2010. Milton Friedman and the Human Good, June 7; http://mises.org/daily/4451/Milton-Friedman-and-the-Human-Good

McChesney, Fred. 1991. “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, Winter, pp. 775-778

North, Gary. 2012. “Detours on the Road to Freedom: Where Milton Friedman Went Wrong.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 2002. “Milton Friedman Unraveled.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall, pp. 37-54; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/16_4/16_4_3.pdf

Vance, Laurence M. 2005. “The Curse of the Withholding Tax” April, 21;

Wapshott, Nicholas. 2012. “A Lovefest Between Milton Friedman and J.M. Keynes.” July 30; http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/30/nicholas-wapshott-a-lovefest-between-milton-friedman-and-j-m-keynes.html
Libertarians worship Milton Friedman, and liberals lionize John Maynard Keynes. But a long-lost essay shows that the champion of small government admired the prince of the New Deal.

Wenzel, Robert. 2012. “How Milton Friedman Helped Make the Case for Big Government.” August 9; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/how-milton-friedman-helped-make-case.html

Wilcke, Richard R. 1999. “An appropriate ethical model for business,
and a critique of Milton Friedman,” http://mises.org/journals/scholar/Ethics.PDF

Hayek, F.A., The Road to Serfdom (1944; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007).
—, The Constitution of Liberty (1960; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

<< Here are some critiques of Hayek as political philosopher:

Block, 1996, 1999, 2006; Hoppe, misc dates; Knott, 2012; McMaken, 2010, 2013; North, 2014; Rothbard, 1980, 1981-1982, 1998 (ch. 28)

Block, Walter E. 1996. “Hayek’s Road to Serfdom,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall, pp. 327-350, http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/12_2/12_2_6.pdf; reprinted in Ama-gi: Journal of the Hayek Society at the London School of Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 22-25

Block, Walter E. 1999. “The Gold Standard: A Critique of Friedman, Mundell, Hayek, Greenspan from the free enterprise perspective,” Managerial Finance, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 15-33, http://giorgio.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=13529; http://www.mises.org/etexts/goldcritique.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom).” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer, pp. 61-80; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/20_3/20_3_4.pdf; https://mises.org/system/tdf/20_3_4.pdf?file=1&type=document

Hoppe, Hans, on Hayek: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=Hans%20Hoppe%20FA%20Hayek&oq=Hans%20Hoppe%20FA%20Hayek&aqs=chrome..69i57.6480j0j8

Knott, Adam. 2012. “Hayek and Praxeology.” November 13; http://www.mises.org/daily/6248/Hayek-and-Praxeology

McMaken, Ryan. 2010. “The Rothbardian School.” August 31; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/mcmaken/mcmaken133.html

McMaken, Ryan. 2013. “Jonah Goldberg’s Long Unhappy Relationship With Libertarianism.” April 18; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/mcmaken/mcmaken152.html

North, Gary. 2014. “When Hayek Abandoned Mises.” November 4;

Rothbard, Murray, N. 1980. “Hayek On Coercion and Freedom.” Literature of Liberty, Winter, pp. 53 54.

Rothbard, Murray, N. 1981-1982. “Hayek’s Denationalised Money,” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 15, Nos. 5-6 (August-January), p 9; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1981/1981_08-1982_01.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp (chapter 28)

Machiavelli, Niccolò, Discourses on Livy, trans. Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
—, The Prince, trans. James B. Atkinson (1976; Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 2008).

<< read Jo Ann Cavallo, Columbia University, on him

Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. Ryan Patrick Henley (1759; New York and London: Penguin, 2010).
—, The Wealth of Nations, ed. Edwin Cannan (1776; New York: Modern Library, 2000).

<< Murray Rothbard is a strong critic of Adam Smith; James Ahiakpor is a strong supporter of Adam Smith


5:37 pm on March 4, 2018