Monday, December 2, 2019

"The Anti-Democratic Views of Murray Rothbard"

Tyler Cowen announces a book coming by David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart,  Towards an Economics of Natural Equals: A Documentary History of the Early Virginia School.

From Cowen:
This is the true history, told by people who know, and with extensive citations from correspondence and primary documentation.
Beginning quite early and throughout his long career, Buchanan studied, endorsed, and extended the Smithian economics of natural equals.
You will find the correspondence of Buchanan and Rawls, the dealings of Buchanan with a skeptical Ford Foundation, the real story behind the Buchanan and G. Warren Nutter “Universal Education” voucher plan, what actually happened in Buchanan’s Chile visit, Chicago vs. Virginia disputes, the anti-democratic views of Murray Rothbard, and the contested history of neoliberalism.  And much correspondence from Ronald Coase.
David Levy worked with Buchanan and Tullock from the late 1970s through their deaths, and he and Peart are extremely careful in their sourcing and quotation practices — get the picture?
Due out Februrary, leap year day, you can pre-order here.


  1. I simply can not accept the premise that a Kindle book about a school of economics can be worth $88, nor that the subject warrants much attention. Economics is not a difficult nor lengthy subject as long as you begin with the foundation of both economics and morality, which is private property rights. Without property rights you may, indeed, need a long and scholarly volume to pull the wool over many eyes, but you end with nothing valuable. Perhaps the high price is to weed out intelligent readers so the only readers left are pompous fools who think they are smart to be reading a book that few will bother with. Perhaps the high price is so it appeals only to subsidized scholars who will make a subsidized purchase. I bet I can resist reading this book.

  2. The link in Cowen's comments is worth reading:

    (At no cost.)

  3. I keep waiting for Tyler Cowen to say an interesting or controversial thing. in the 1970s Koch lieutenant Richie Fink brought Cowen to Ron Paul's congressional office and announced him as the "next Murray Rothbard." Instead he became the Atlantic magazine-approved libertarian lite. Not sure why Bob is so interested in him.

  4. Jeff: Check your dates. I met Cowen in DC in 1979 as he was a volunteer for the Clark for President campaign in the national LP office. He was 17, from NJ of which he was the chess champion at 15. Nerdy high school kid, but very polite for a Yankee. I don't recall that he expressed any opinions, but was a dedicated and hard worker. He had been, I was told, discovered by the great Walter Grinder at IHS. He was indeed supposedly the next Rothbard (or, more likely by my notions, the next David Friedman, as he very much reminded me of David's social skills). Bottom line: By the time he left Harvard he had adopted Schelling's approach to economics and Richard the Fink's (CK's) conduit to academic pelf. Certainly a 17 year old is entitled to change his mind.