Monday, February 17, 2014

Professor Walter Block to Speak at Columbia University

Professor Walter Block will be speaking at Columbia University on March 27th and 28th. He will give two very different speeches: One about historical heavyweights of economics, and one about the current controversy which Dr. Block finds himself in, thanks to the NY Times.

Walter E. Block, "Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises"

Smith, Hayek and Mises are not only important figures in economics, but in ethics and political philosophy too. The former would have won the Nobel Prize in economics, if this award were given during his lifetime. The middle mentioned one actually did have this honor bestowed upon him, in 1974. The latter, should have won this too, but, scandalously, did not. These three are very important for students in that modern economics courses, and economists, tend to ignore all of them, particularly the latter two, who were members of the Austrian School of economics. My lecture will attempt to right this imbalance.

Thursday, March 27, 8:30pm
312 Mathematics Building, Columbia University (entrance at 116th and Broadway)

Walter E. Block, "Me and the NY Times"

Friday, March 28, 7:30pm

Although I spent several hours with their journalist trying to explain the libertarian philosophy to him, the article he wrote managed to totally misconstrue this philosophy, at least where I was concerned. It went so far as to attribute to me the view that actual slavery in the U.S. was not “so bad.” In this lecture I intend to correct the record. I will also discuss a related issue: the critical view that most libertarians have about the so-called Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Wien Hall ground floor lounge, Columbia University (entrance at 116th between Amsterdam Ave. and Morningside Dr.)

(ht Felix Bronstein)


  1. The reason why they went after Block's perspective on slavery is because they would rather have the definition of slavery as being the evil acts of whipping and cow prodding people in chains. If people understood what Block was stating, they would realize what taxation really is and what individuals in America really are.

    NYT and the academic staff are not infuriated in any way about the history of such evil slavery acts. If they were they would speak out against Lincoln and his authorization for Bosque Redondo and other evil acts by the USG. They're just mad about Block sending that notion of our true state of this "union". He was attacking their god.

    1. Exactly.

      Although if Walter would stop trying to argue that violence is bad but unethical and immoral 'cheating' are acceptable (like blackmail) despite the ethical, economic, and praxeological arguments to the contrary, I think his insights on the state would be better respected.

    2. +1 on your comment Curt. The sheeple don't want to hear these discussions/pontifications on the libertarian justification for blackmail.

      It does no favor for libertarianism and hinders the overall libertarian message from getting to Joe Sixpack, who rightfully asks himself "WTF?"

      Joe Sixpack isn't getting too deep into the logic...which is tough for most to do anyway because they are trying to earn enough to keep their head above water rather worry about such esoteric things.

      If libertarianism is to ever appeal to a significant number of people it has to focus on the messages that resonate with them, like the Fed or example or why taxation hurts them.