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Reading Klein and Boettke's eulogy anyone would think that Warren Samuels had never written anything!

Boettke on Samuels

If only Professor Champion would learn to read with his eyes open (as Rothbard once said of someone else)

Not sure I understand "Common Rocks", I'm very familiar with Prof. Samuels work and also respect him tremendously --- though I obviously disagree. See my contribution to his feitshrift "Putting the Political Back Into Political Economy" where I discuss the debate between Samuels and Buchanan.

Just because you hold a different position that someone you respect doesn't mean you haven't read them.

First, I didn't write the piece on the distinction -- Dan Klein did. That is to his credit.

Second, I think there is a tension in humanity between 2 power proclivities --- one to truck, barter and exchange, and other to rape, pillage and plunder. Which proclivity gets exercised in practice is a function of the rules of the game we find ourselves operating under. In this regard, Klein's distinction is vital because that "simple rule" can keep us on the "truck, barter, and exchange" path and away from the "rape, pillage and plunder" one.

Warren disagrees with that position, and in some fundamental sense views it as too simple minded. I just view it as simple.

But Warren views every argument as too simple minded --- that is why he is a great critic, but not necessary the constructive thinker that his great capabilities could have made him to be.

As Murray Rothbard described him to me when he found out I was fascinated by Warren's writings --- oh, the left wing public choice guy. He is a lot better than the right wing public choice guys.

On a personal note, Warren Samuels is one of the really great intellectuals in modern economics and one of the great mentors to young historians of economics. Like Boulding, I recommend all of his writings to any young economist. And like with Boulding, a recommendation to read does not mean an endorsement of particular arguments. It is just that both Boulding and Samuels make you think, and rethink, and think some more. And they were both the most gracious of individuals you could ever meet --- and they never asked for anything more than for their argument to be considered seriously by readers.

Samuels on why Klein is wrong (though he does not mention Klein) and why Professor Bottke is wrong also:


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