Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Critics of the War Party: From William Graham Sumner to Murray Rothbard

David Gordon on  on "The Changing and Permanent War Parties," presented at the Austrian Economics Research Conference. Recorded 23 March 2013 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama: here.

1 comment:

  1. Sumner taught political economy at Yale from 1872 to 1907. He was, perhaps, their finest lecturer with classes that were always over booked. He was a libertarian in almost every sense (except on public education). He was hard money, gold standard; he had a well developed pre-Austrian theory of the business cycle and supported 100% reserve banking; he was staunch free-trader, hated the tarrif and could destroy anyone in debate; he opposed the Sherman Antitrust Act and the newly formed American Economic Association which he regarded as pro government regulation; he publically refused to join. He authored many books and hundreds of articles on the benefits of a free market; those essays and arguments are as fresh and relevant today as they were when Sumner first made them. And, perhaps most importantly, he strongly opposed the American quest for Empire, arguing that it would bring civil and economic ruin. All of this earned him the wrath of the conservative Yale trustees who tried to get him censored and/or removed; they failed. In short, he was a model of integrity, intelligence and courage and I cannot recommend his writings (or David's excellent talk at Auburn) strongly enough. (Sumner's scholarship was the subject of my Ph.D dissertation in 1966.)

    Dom Armentano
    Vero Beach, Florida