Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Skousen Travelling with Rand Paul in Israel

Now, this is interesting for those who are close followers of the libertarian and Austrian economics movement. A friend sends me an email pointing to the fact that Mark Skousen reported on his Facebook page that he is travelling to Israel with Rand Paul.

Skousen wears many hats, most notably he is an  investment analyst and newsletter editor. He launched FreedomFest, which is a convention of freedom lovers and quasi-freedom lovers, who gather each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Skousen has a Ph.D. in economics and monetary history from George Washington University. GWU is a known hot bed for CIA recruiting. And, indeed, Skousen reports that early on in his career he was a CIA analyst.

Skousen received his B.A. and Master's degree in economics from Brigham Young University 

Skousen was president of the Foundation for Economic Education during a controversial period, which saw Skousen invite to a FEE event Rudy Giuliani, as a keynote speaker.

Skousen's uncle was Willard Cleon Skousen (1913-2006). According to Wikipedia,  Cleon Skousen, as he was known, :
was an American author, conservative American constitutionalist and faith-based political theorist.He was also a prolific popularizer among Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (LDS) of their theology. A notable anti-communist and supporter of the John Birch Society Skousen's works involved a wide range of subjects including the Six-Day War, Mormon eschatology, New World Order conspiracies, and parenting. His most popular works are The 5,000 Year Leap and The Naked Communist. A book by Skousen on end times prophecy, The Cleansing of America, was published by Valor Publishing Group in 2010, four years after his death.

Mark Skousen considers himself an Austrian economist, however, the philosopher and scholar Dr. David Gordon, who studied under Hayek,  wrote a scathing critique of Skousen's book, The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers. Gordon's charges, among many, included the following:
Well, you may say, perhaps Skousen does not have a good eye for historical detail, but does he not explain the main economic theories with exemplary clarity? I am afraid not. He completely fails to grasp the central point of Marx’s labor theory of value.[...]Let us, finally, proceed to the economists of the twentieth century. Skousen thinks that Schumpeter, "one of Mises’s most illustrious students, rejected his teacher’s thesis [about socialist calculation]" (p.415). In fact, the two were fellow students at the University of Vienna, and Schumpeter obtained wide recognition as an economist before Mises.
Here's an update from Skousen's Facebook as I put this post together:
I just arrived here in Israel for a fact-finding tour with Senator Rand Paul. His first visit, my third, to the Holy Land. Senator Paul is a big fan of my FreedomFest conference and attends every year. For the first 3 days, we are staying at the Ma'agan Holiday Village resort, right on the Sea of Galilee. It was founded as a socialist kibbutzim with common ownership of lands and houses, equal salaries, and direct democracy, but "in order to attract the young generation to stay," has changed to a "private oriented community." It's been raining hard here for several days, with lots of flooding. On Friday we spend 3 days in Jerusalem, where we meet with government officials and private individuals to find out what's life like here.


  1. Very interesting find, Bob. I've always found the Skousen bunch to be a very interesting group. His brother, Joel, is an occasional guest on Alex Jones' show. He takes the more conspiratorial/NWO angle and sells books on, among other things, "Strategic Relocation."

  2. Skousen's The Structure of Production is a key contribution, though.

    1. That's only because Murray Rothbard rewrote most of it for Skousen.