Every morning, in sweltering heat, 250 students cram into little shuttles and ride to an intellectual wonderland. From high school students to PhD candidates; from engineers and economists to film majors, everyone waits in anticipation for the next speaker to guide their intellectual tour
Lectures on Marginal Revolution, Value, Utility and Price, Praxeology: The Austrian method, The Division of Labor and Social Order, The Origin and Nature of Money, Capital and Interest and finally Entrepreneurship and Nullification are but a summary of day one. Each lecture spanning an hour or more in length.
What indeed look like model students, exhaust their hands over notepads trying to capture every last bit of information the professors verbalize. For an educator it is quite an amazing spectacle to see such inner ambition within a lecture hall; a lecture hall that could not have accommodated such a large crowd if not for the generosity of a great entrepreneur James M. Wolfe.
Yet, the students you meet here at Mises University are unlike those you would meet anywhere else. They are confident yet inquisitive; they are highly intelligent and opinionated even though most have never met an Austrian Economist within the walls of their home university.
The students congregate in small circles of smash-the-state conversation, indeed, “smash-the-state” is actually the name of the wireless network shared throughout our dormitory. Freedom to express ones opinion and critique others is implicit. Yet, unlike the dialog you may find within the walls of your local college, conversations here are snappy. There is little time wasted on conversational formalities, opinion arrive at their premises quickly and are debated at length (sometimes hours into the night). By and large, we libertarians may spend the majority of a political conversation defining terms whereas the conversation here guides quickly from topic to topic.
When not in conversation, the students huddle around the book store or the economics library thumbing through the variety of titles.
If you are lucky, you may catch a moment of a professor’s time as they walk throughout the rooms, yet, once cornered, the professors must tackle an ensemble of subject matter. Tonight, I watched in glee as Walter Block, operating as a human-libertarian-calculator, responded as the nearly 20+ students surrounded him firing off their questions on topics spanning from sociobiology to private protection agencies to strategies for liberty.
Mises University 2010 is thus far incredible