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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13768/faculty-spotlight-interview-david-gordon/

Faculty Spotlight Interview: David Gordon

September 3, 2010 by

David Gordon covers new books in economics, politics, philosophy, and law for The Mises Review, the quarterly review of literature in the social sciences, published since 1995 by the Mises Institute. He is author of The Essential Rothbard, Resurrecting Marx, and The Philosophical Origins of Austrian Economics. He has also edited Secession, State and Liberty and Strictly Confidential

If you were not a scholar then what do you think you would be doing now? Do you have any hobbies?

I’d probably be in some menial job. I’m really not much good for anything else besides reading and studying. On hobbies, I like Crossword and Sudoku puzzles.

What drew you to the Austrian school?

When I was in junior high school, I used to go to Poor Richard’s Bookshop in Los Angeles, which featured a large variety of classical liberal books. Man, Economy, and State and Human Action influenced me the most.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

Definitely Murray Rothbard. His intelligence and vast range of knowledge were amazing.

You’ve written or edited several books on Murray Rothbard including a new work concerning Murray Rothbard’s memos at the Volker fund. You have also been called a great friend of Dr. Rothbard. What was the personal Murray Rothbard like and will readers get a new found sense of him in your recent work?

He was a very warm and friendly person; whatever your mood when you started to talk to him, you would soon be laughing. He was interested in everything and no matter what the topic, you would always learn something new from him. One thing that especially impressed me was his quickness in argument. Readers of the collection Strictly Confidential that I edited will get a good idea of his breadth of learning and his commitment to liberty.

Mises Academy Presents: Freedom Verus Authority: Europe 1789-1945

Do you have any new works on the way?

I’m working on an article with my friend Ronald Hamowy on Nozick’s derivation of the minimal state.

How do you think history will see you and your efforts in life?

I don’t think that history will remember me at all. I hope that I’ve encouraged a few students to study libertarian and Austrian ideas, especially as taught by Rothbard.

Are there any words of wisdom you wish to pass onto the next generation of Austrian scholars?

Try to do as much reading as you can. Also, remember that coming up with a good philosophical argument is difficult: don’t assume that there is some quick and easy way to prove libertarianism and refute its critics.

See David Gordon’s Mises Academy classes
See David Gordon’s Books
See David Gordon’s Articles
See David Gordon’s Media

{ 6 comments }

Tristan Band September 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

I especially like Gordon’s answer to the last question. Really, if more libertarians kept that in mind, they would stop the stupid evangelizing I’m seeing on Youtube.

-Note: Not directed at the Mises staff, but at some libertarians on Youtube-
Seriously, leave Thunderf00t alone guys. I want him to go back to talking about evolution, science, and secularism; that’s Thunderf00t at his best. He’s not going to change his mind politically, nor should he have to if he does not want to. Just leave him alone, live-and-let-live, and tend to your own gardens. I’m a libertarian too, but I don’t preach. Nobody likes being preached at. This is a political, philosophical, economic, and moral position; it isn’t a religion. You don’t convert. In fact, you don’t evangelize to anybody. You study, you learn, and make sure you understand it yourself.

I’m a big proponent of the “Remnant” position; the number of libertarians will always be very small. So, the task is to do scholarly work in the mean time.

Franklin September 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

“This is a political, philosophical, economic, and moral position; it isn’t a religion. You don’t convert. In fact, you don’t evangelize to anybody. You study, you learn…”

I appreciate the stance of tolerance, Tristan, but I’m not sure I entirely embrace the paradigm.
If the dream is liberty, that promised land is a speck on the horizon. Some means of spreading the good word (ultimately “converting”) is required, lest we while away the hours among bookshelves, college clubs, and living rooms, always perceived as some kind of ancient Incan relic or, worse, crazy uncles in attics left alone to stare at constellations and theorize the origins of black holes.

Bruce Koerber September 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm

The Philosophical Stance Underlying Ideological Change.

The philosophical stance that supports and promulgates laissez-faire requires proving, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is no moral authority for any economic intervention. This is the philosophical stance that underlies the much anticipated and much needed ideological change.

question September 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Wky exists not one economist linked to Austrian School who devote it to business?

newson September 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

gordon’s too humble by half.

AC September 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

Hmm… argumentation ethics, perhaps?

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