September 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
Blog powered by Typepad

« O'Driscoll on prices, information and adjustment | Main | Life Among the Econ »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I presume this was taken right before Boettke spits in Murray's face?

I remember the occasion well! Is that Bill Niskanen to the right?

We were young and naive. Nobody reminded us of the Miranda statute.

Could be Sheldon!

And, seriously John, we worshipped Murray. The last thing from any of our minds was anything negative. I have a number of pictures from around the same time with us at the week-long lecture series on the history of economic thought he did at the MI when it first opened in DC, right on Capitol Hill no less.

Can you help me identifying the 2 people on the left of Murray.

That's Prychitko, Horwitz and Boettke, left to right behind Murray.



Murray Rothbard was extremely gracious with his time and attention to us. He signed all the books I brought him to sign (which I have since given to my graduate students upon graduation). He spent hours talking to us about Austrian economics, libertarian theory and general gossip. Some of my most memorable evenings of that time are with Murray, including a dinner at Roy Cordato's house with Dom Armentano where Murray charmed the crowd with his knowledge of the Godfather movies.

His first words to me, however, were "I have a scathing review of your article sitting on my desk." As a first year graduate student I had written an article on New Left economics inspired by Murray's writings from the early 1970s and I sent it to him for comments. But the article had been revised several times by the time I wrote to him -- in fact that paper led to a symposium in Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodolgy in which Warren Samuels and I published are respective papers and then responded to criticism from people in the field. Anyway, when I explained what I was doing Murray in that article, Murray still disagreed but less so. Then he turned to Prychitko and attacked him for a review he had written on Polkinghorn's book on the philosophy of science. Dave said he thought hermeneutics and post-modern philosophy of science made room for Austrian ideas, and Murray just said "You think so."

Over the years, Steve, Dave and I would meet and talk to Murray several more time about philosophy, politics and economics. He told us about his teaching philosophy, the opportunities for theoretical improvement in Austrian economics, and why are professors at GMU were wrong and why some of the influences we had from outside of GMU were flawed. He was amazingly charming and very gracious man to young people interested in his ideas.

It was a very sad day indeed when we heard the news of his sudden passing. Prychitko and I were at a celebration for Leland Yeager, when we received word from Ralph Raico that Murray had passed away. That evening Mario Rizzo, Walter Block, Dave and I (along with several others who I don't remember) actually went to dinner together and remembered Murray. Mario and I later attended Murray memorial service in NYC.

I should also mention that Joey was also a very generous person to the young students wanting to learn about Murray's ideas. She was every bit as charming as Murray.

The Rothbard's as a team were the "Joyous Libertarians".


To what Pete wrote, I'll only add that I would not be a radical libertarian and Austrian economist if it were not for having encountered Murray's work as a high schooler. Whatever he thought of my work (Probably: "But Mr. Toohey, I DON'T think of you.") or I thought of some of his work, especially late in his life, his influence on me is undeniable, and I deeply appreciated the time he gave to us as grad students back then. Yeah, maybe he was attempting to retrain some sub-optimal pieces of human capital, but he didn't have to bother.

The time we spent with him and (separately) with Julian Simon are memories I will always treasure.

First, a silly comment: Why does Steve look more Jewish at this time than he does now?

Second, I can attest to Murray's generosity with young Austrians and libertarians. I was once one. I met Murray in 1968 (yes!). I remember spending many nights at his home with a small group of people talking economics and liberty. I remember getting a reading list on economic methodology from him to help me in writing a paper. He also helped me with a paper on Boehm-Bawerk. I may still have some of this stuff. But the bad thing was that when I eventually got ideas different from his and wrote The Economics of Time and Ignorance he "disowned" me.

Like Mario is in ANY position to talk about "looking Jewish" given the story we were reminiscing about at dinner last week. ;)

Steve, What was the first Rothbard work you encountered?

*For a New Liberty* Nick. I had been introduced to libertarianism by Robert Ringer's *Restoring the American Dream* and I'd also read Rand. I looked at Ringer's bibliography and discovered that the public library I was working at had a copy of Murray's book (ironies abound there). The rest, as they say....

I should say that I wouldn't be an anarchist without Murray.

I, too, thoroughly enjoyed his birthday celebration and I vividly recall the evening of his death. We were saddened and stunned.

Murray seemed to be a guy who was fun and gracious in person, but was harsh in print. That's not a complaint. I've been harsh in print, too.

Why does it seem to me that Murry Rothbard has devoted acolytes rather than colleagues?

You call those neat and (mostly) clean-cut guys punks?

THESE are punks

The first thing of Rothbard's I read was his great essay "The Anatomy of the State." By the end of the first paragraphy, I was hooked; and I realized that I'd been systematically lied to by all my social science and history teachers.
I wanted to sue them for malpractice.
When I finished, I wondered why everyone wasn't an anarchist.

Then I read Man, Economy, and State and Power and Market. More lies refuted. Finally, For a New Liberty.

To Mario Rizzo:
It is strange and disconcerting to me as a layperson with an interest in Austrian economics to hear about you being "disowned" by Murray Rothbard. Even if Rothbard was right about you, surely you never completely left the libertarian/Austrian plantation, right? Your comment comes on the heals of me reading a blog comment by David Gordon of the Mises Institute memorializing Marxist G.A. Cohen who, according to Tom Palmer of CATO, was a shil for the USSR. Maybe Palmer is wrong (Gordon thinks so). But it is a strange world indeed when the defenders of liberty across the libertarian/Austrian spectrum are accorded less respect than Marxists. Incidentally, I once sat next to you at a conference sponsored by David Kelly's Institute. I distracted you with my naive questions and you missed out on coffee. You looked seriously perturbed about that but you were unfailingly courteous. Sorry about the coffee! :)


Pete once told me that there were real punks in Britain who said they were Prychitkeans, bald heads and all.

I guess that is a case of life imitating art:)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Books