Here’s an update on our Economic Liberty Lecture Series, which is turning out to be a very exciting program.
In September our first speaker, Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and head of Lew Rockwell.com, attracted an overflow, standing-room-only crowd of about 125 people. He delivered a captivating talk on the history of economic thought, specifically focusing on intellectual battles that Mises engaged in before he emigrated from Europe to the United States at the outset of World War II.
The title of Lew’s talk was “Economics and Moral Courage.” Here is the link to Lew’s video.
Around 85 people came to hear our October speaker, Robert Higgs, who delivered one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. Speaking for about 1 1/2 hours, Bob kept the audience transfixed as he compared the Great Depression and the current economic recession. Here is the link to the Higgs talk.
We are doing the series in conjunction with the GMU Econ Society, a student-run group whose members have big fire-in-the-belly for libertarianism and Austrian economics. Thus, most of the audience is composed of students from George Mason University, where the lectures are being held.
But we also have several FFF supporters from the area attending the lectures, which makes for an interesting dynamic during the reception period, where we serve free pizza and soft drinks. In fact, for Bob’s talk we had supporters from Pennsylvania attend, along with a supporter who came up from Texas.
We then post the videos here the world to access.
We had initially designed the series to include a free movie afterward but since attendance to the movies last spring was low, we decided to change the formula to having a social hour at a place named Brion’s Grill across the street from the GMU campus. That change has turned out to be a big winner, as it has turned into a fun event that enables people to adjourn for a snack and a beer (or soft drink) to discuss the lecture and everything else about libertarianism and Austrian economics.
In fact, it doesn’t get much better than what happened after Bob’s talk. I drove Bob over to the social hour and when we walked over to the section where the students were, seated at a big round table waiting for Higgs to arrive were none other than GMU econ professors Walter Williams and Pete Boettke, along with Steve Horwitz, an Austrian economics professor from St. Lawrence University, who is our December speaker and who happened to be visiting in the area.
Seated around the rest of the table were a bunch of star-struck economics students who looked like they had died and gone to Heaven. Once Higgs sat down at the table, one of the students posted a note on Facebook that said, “I’m here sitting at the same table as Walter Williams, Peter Boettke, Steven Horwitz, and Robert Higgs. Life is good.”
If you’re in the area for one of our Economic Liberty Lectures, I hope you’ll join us for a really intellectually stimulating and fun evening. Our Monday, November 2, speaker will be Larry Reed, president of The Foundation for Economic Education, whose speech will be entitled, “Lessons from the Great Depression.” Our Monday, December 2, speaker will be Steve Horwitz, whose talk will be “Do We Really Need a Central Bank?”
Or consider attending a special event we’re having on Sunday evening, November 8, in the cellar of the Auld Shebeen pub in downtown Fairfax featuring Andy Worthington, author of the noted book The Guantanamo Files and who serves as a policy advisor to FFF. Andy will be showing and discussing his new hour-long documentary on the war on terrorism at our event. It promises to be another enlightening and enjoyable evening.