ArticlePDF Available
MEST Journal
DOI 10.12709/mest. DOI ..........................
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 11
Walter E. Block
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics,
College of Business Administration, Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles
Avenue, Box 15, Miller 321, New Orleans, LA 70118
JEL category: B, B59
Milton Friedman was a socialist, because his publications and speeches meet the criterion for the
definition of this word: government ownership or control over significant sectors of the economy
particularly means of production, such as money, roads; and/or redistributionist schemes such as his
negative income tax. This is a controversial claim. It is backed up by the evidence.
Milton Friedman, socialist, means of production, income redistribution
1 Introduction
Before we can answer any such question, we
must be clear on what socialism is. Then and
only then can we ascertain whether, if, and to
what extent was Friedman a socialist. But,
before we do that,
let us reflect upon why it is
important to even ask this question, let alone
answer it in a careful systematic way. There are
several reasons.
First, categorization is an important tool of
scholarly scientific pursuit. It is an exaggeration
to claim that biology (genus, species, family) and
Since many people will object to this question even
being posed
chemistry (the periodic table) consists of nothing
but compartmentalization; however, there is
surely a germ of truth in so outlandish a claim. In
like manner, law distinguishes between legal and
philosophy is commonly divided into
subjects such as ethics, metaphysics,
epistemology, and also into schools of thought
such as utilitarianism, deontology, ordinary
language (analytic), hermeneutics,
existentialism, etc.; sociology partakes of both
structuralism and functionalism; in economics
there are the Marxist, Austrian and mainstream
Antitrust law, supported by Friedman (1999), is an
exception to this rule. In that case, a businessman
can be found guilty of charging too high a price
(profiteering, price gouging), too low a price
(predatory price cutting, price warfare) or even the
same price as everyone else (cartelization,
The address of the author:
Walter Block
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
12 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
or neoclassical schools of thought; in psychology
there are Jungians, Rogerians, Freudians,
behavioralists, etc. With all this plethora, is the
distinction between socialists and capitalists,
alone, to be ignored? Hardly.
A second reason for the present inquiry is that
Milton Friedman is known far and wide as a
supporter of capitalism, free enterprise, private
property rights, etc. Summers (2006) said
Friedman's great popular contribution was "in
convincing people of the importance of allowing
free markets to operate." Here is a similar quote:
“(Milton Friedman) advocated minimizing the role
of government in a free market as a means of
creating political and social freedom” (Donahue,
2007). Here is another: “Milton Friedman was
the twentieth century’s most prominent advocate
of free markets” (Anon, The concise
encyclopedia of economics - Milton Friedman
(1912 - 2006), 2008). Here is what he said about
himself (Friedman M. , 1999) in this regard: “… a
believer in the pursuit of self-interest in a
competitive capitalist system.” According to
Doherty (2012), Friedman self-describes as a
person “who...preach[es] laissez faire.” Can it be
that such a description is justified? Or is it the
case that the very opposite is far nearer to the
truth? The very title of the present essay exhibits
the viewpoint on this matter of the present
Third, enquiring minds want to know the truth
about this issue because in all too many cases,
critics of the free enterprise system are likely to
say that even Milton Friedman supports some
governmental program or other. You, therefore,
in not agreeing with this scholar, place yourself
outside the realm of responsible discourse. If
Friedman, however, is the socialist I claim he is,
then this rejoinder is no longer open to the
explicit enemies of economic freedom; all such
accusations against true libertarians would be at
one fell swoop defanged. This, alone, would
render the present inquiry justified.
In section 2 of this paper we base our analysis
on the assumption that socialism is defined in
terms of governmental ownership of the means
of production.” Section 3 is given over to
assessing Friedman’s role in terms of the “from
each… to each” definition of socialism. The role
of section 4 is to deal with objections to our
thesis. We conclude in section 5.
2 Socialism: state ownership of capital
So we now return to our initial question: what is
The most technical and perhaps the
most accurate definition of this concept is,
Government ownership of all of the means of
production, e.g., capital goods. States Mises
(2009): “My own definition of Socialism, as a
policy which aims at constructing a society in
which the means of production are socialized, is
in agreement with all that scientists have written
on the subject.” The U.S.S.R., North Korea,
Cuba, China, many countries in Eastern Europe
and Asia before, during and after World War II
would qualify under this definition. Clearly,
Friedman cannot be a socialist in this sense,
since large parts of his career were spent
inveighing against precisely these types of
institutional arrangements.
But, there are socialists, and then there are
socialists. Suppose a nation’s government owns
not 100% of all capital goods, but 90%, 80%,
70%, etc. It what point does such a country
cease being socialist, and begin its move toward
a mixed economy? The point is that there is a
continuum (Block & Barnett II, Continuums,
2008.) in this measurement, as there is in many
States Hoppe (Hoppe, The Economics
and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in
Political Economy and Philosophy. Second
Edition., 2006) in this regard: “Socialism must be
conceptualized as an institutional interference
with or aggression against private property and
private property claims…(Capitalism) on the
other hand, is a social system based on the
explicit recognition of private property and of
nonaggressive, contractual exchanges between
Socialism may be broken down into its voluntary
and coercive strands. In the former case, there are
the nunnery, convent, kibbutz, commune, collective,
syndicalist, cooperatives, monastery, abbey, priory,
friary, religious community; in the latter, the
economies of socialist countries such as Cuba, North
Korea, the USSR, Nazi Germany, etc. We will use the
word “socialism” in the latter understanding
throughout this paper.
Is a person tall? Short? It all depends.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 13
private property owners.” In like manner,
whether a scholar such as Friedman is a
socialist or not, depends upon where on this
spectrum he lies, in terms of what percentage of
capital goods he wants the government to own.
However, outright explicit ownership is only a
first approximation. Ludwig Wittgenstein was
walking down the street with Norman Malcolm.
The first philosopher said to the second, I’ll give
you these trees, provided you do nothing to
them, nor prevent the previous owner from doing
anything he pleases with them.
The point is,
there is ownership, and then there is ownership.
Or, to put this in other words, control is what
ownership is all about. The Nazi socialist
government was not extreme in its explicit
ownership of the means of production. But that
version of socialism, that is, fascism, was
earmarked by implicit state ownership, or
control, of capital goods. The pertinent question
then becomes, To what extent did Friedman
advocate government ownership or control of the
means of production.
Let us list the ways.
First and foremost, this economist supported the
Federal Reserve System all throughout his
professional life.
That organization of course
Here is the exact quote (Malcolm, 2001, p. 29): "On
one walk he 'gave' to me each tree that we passed,
with the reservation that I was not to cut it down or
do anything to it, or prevent the previous owners
from doing anything to it: with these reservations it
was henceforth mine." I owe this cite to David
It cannot be denied that he was disappointed with
the fact that the Fed did not follow anything like his
famous 3% rule, but he did not join Ron Paul (2010)
in calling for the entire elimination of this
organization, root and branch. Doherty (2012) gives
an alternative view: “Despite his earlier statement
that government paper currency monopolies were
necessary, as this book’s 1984 essay ‘Freezing High-
Powered Money’ shows, the later Friedman was as
radical as Ron Paul in his opposition to the Fed.
Friedman called for elimination of the Federal
Reserve’s role in ‘determining the quantity of
money’ and says its regulatory and service role to
the banking system ‘could, if desired, be continued,
preferably by combining it with the similar roles of
the FDIC.’ In other words, End the Fed!” It hardly
does not own the money stock, but it certainly
controls it.
Friedman was an inveterate hater of
the gold standard, denigrating its advocates as
“gold bugs.” In the view of Rothbard (Rothbard,
Milton Friedman Unraveled, 1971 [2002]): “…
Milton Friedman is a radical advocate of cutting
all current ties, however weak, with gold, and
going onto a total and absolute fiat dollar
standard, with all control vested in the Federal
Reserve System.” Whenever people were free to
they chose gold as their money, and
sometimes silver. The “gold standard” is, then,
properly characterized as free market money.
Friedman is clearly on the socialist side of this
very important means of production.
Friedman was a road socialist. He favored
government ownership and control over the
nation’s highways and streets (Seagraves, 2008)
seems like an “end” to the Fed if its role is merely
transferred to other organs of government. It cannot
be denied that Friedman did explicitly support the
“end the fed” movement. He stated: “Any system
which gives so much power and so much discretion to
a few men, [so] that mistakes -- excusable or
not -- can have such far reaching effects, is a bad
system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just
because it gives a few men such power without any
effective check by the body politic -- this is the key
political argument against an independent central
bank. . .To paraphrase Clemenceau: money is much
too serious a matter to be left to the Central
Bankers.” (Friedman M. , 2012A)
However, Friedman’s ending of the fed is of a very
different variety than that of a Ron Paul or a Murray
Rothbard. The latter wanted not merely to “end the
fed” but to call a halt to any government
involvement in the monetary stock. Friedman
wanted not so much to end the fed as to rein it in,
limit it to following his 3% rule for monetary
For the view that money is a capital good, see
Barnett and Block (2005A).
This of course is the title of Friedman (1980), and
also his television series (Friedman M. , 2012B). But,
we can see that Friedman’s advocacy of “freedom to
choose” is a rather limited one.
This claim is based on an informal debate I had with
Milton Friedman at a Liberty Fund Conference,
sometime in the 1980s. However, for an alternative
perspective, see Friedman and Boorstin (1951). See
also Lindsey (2006).
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
14 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
These are clearly capital goods.
As such, this
opinion of his further qualifies him as a socialist.
Nor did Friedman support the full and entire
conversion of all public schools to private hands.
Rather, he urged that the state maintain
ownership of these facilities and control them
through a voucher system. If that is not support
for governmental ownership and/or control over
the means of production, then nothing is.
Another socialist and disastrous
policy of
Friedman’s (1962) was to support the concept of
“neighborhood effects.” This is the idea that
since we all affect each other, this constitutes a
market failure, and justifies government
intervention into the economy. Rothbard
(Rothbard, Milton Friedman Unraveled, 1971
[2002]) explains:
“Friedman maintains that it is legitimate for the
government to interfere with the free market
whenever anyone’s actions have ‘neighborhood
effect.’ Thus, if A does something which will
benefit B, and B does not have to pay for it,
Chicagoites consider this a ‘defect’ in the free
market, and it then becomes the task of
government to ‘correct’ that defect by taxing B to
pay A for this ‘benefit.’
“It is for this reason that Friedman endorses
government supplying funds for mass education,
for example; since the education of kids is
supposed to benefit other people, then the
government is allegedly justified in taxing these
people to pay for these ‘benefits.’ (Once again,
in this area, Friedman’s pernicious influence has
been in trying to make an inefficient State
operation far more efficient; here he suggests
replacing unworkable public schools by public
voucher payments to parents thus leaving
intact the whole concept of tax-funds for mass
Prof. Friedman also favored eminent domain, the
forceful takeover of private property by
government, at prices, if any, set by the latter.
This is hardly in keeping with the tenets of
laissez faire capitalism, which is predicated on
Rothbard (1997) to the contrary notwithstanding.
In his view, anything owned by the government must
necessarily be a consumer, not a capital good. For a
critique, see Barnett and Block (2009A).
I repeat myself here.
voluntary exchanges, not coercive ones.
According to Northrup (2003, p. 494)
“Milton Friedman provided the theoretical basis
for eminent domain he described the forced
removal of particular urban neighborhoods and
their populations as a necessary plan for the
improvement of the entire city. According to
Friedman, as local governments selected
neighborhoods for purposes of redevelopment,
a decrease in low income housing led to the
displacement of poor populations. But the social
consequences for slum residents translated into
gains for the greater community as luxury
apartments and commercial buildings replaced
dilapidated buildings…”
Now, it is indeed true that Friedman is in “good
company” on this matter, in that virtually all
economists, politicians and city planners would
agree with his assessment. But, that will not
deflect in the slightest the charge that he is a
socialist on this issue.
3 Socialism: from each, to each
There is another definition of socialism against
which we will now measure the contribution of
Friedman. It is not as technically correct as the
one we have been utilizing in our examination,
but, is also mentioned in the literature: “from
each according to his ability, to each according
to his needs” (Polya, 2007) (Pena, 2011) (Marx,
1875). This is certainly in keeping with Hoppe
(2006): “… there must then exist varying types
and degrees of socialism and capitalism, i.e.,
varying degrees to which private property rights
are respected or ignored. Societies are not
simply capitalist or socialist. Indeed, all existing
societies are socialist to some extent.” For,
surely, forcing rich people to give their hard-
earned money to those poorer than themselves
would be a prime instance of disrespecting or
ignoring private property rights.
How does Friedman measure up to socialism in
this regard? Very well, unfortunately.
negative income tax fits this bill to a “T.”
Certainly, it constitutes a coercive transfer of
funds from those with great ability to those
Fortunately, from the perspective of the thesis of
the present paper.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 15
presumably in need. What, precisely, is the
negative income tax? According to Allen (1993):
“The idea of a negative income tax (NIT) is
commonly thought to have originated with
economist Milton Friedman, who advocated it in
his 1962 book, Capitalism and Freedom…
“In its purest form a NIT promised a revolution in
American social policy. Gone would be the
intrusive and costly welfare bureaucracy, the
pernicious distinctions between ‘worthy’ and
‘unworthy’ recipients, the perverse disincentives
for work effort and family formation. The needy
would, like everyone else, simply file annualor
perhaps quarterlyincome returns with the
Internal Revenue Service. But unlike other filers
who would make payments to the IRS, based on
the amount by which their incomes exceeded the
threshold for tax liability, NIT beneficiaries would
receive payments (‘negative taxes’) from the
IRS, based on how far their incomes fell below
the tax threshold.
“The NIT would thus be a mirror image of the
regular tax system. Instead of tax liabilities
varying positively with income according to a tax
rate schedule, benefits would vary inversely with
income according to a negative tax rate (or
benefit-reduction) schedule. If, for example, the
threshold for positive tax liability for a family of
four was, say, $10,000, a family with only $8,000
of annual income would, given a negative tax
rate of 25 percent, receive a check from the
Treasury worth $500 (25 percent of the $2,000
difference between its $8,000 income and the
$10,000 threshold). A family with zero income
would receive $2,500.”
One difficulty with this proposal is that it would
reduce at least the perceived need for charity
from the rich in behalf of the poor, and,
presumably, actual donations. Another is that it
would further incentivize people to declare
themselves poverty stricken, and even to act so
as to bring about this result.
A further difficulty
is that it would entrench “welfare rights” into the
tax code, as those with less earnings than the
Supply curves slope in an upward direction. The
more that is paid for a good or service the more of it
there will be ceteris paribus, and this applies to
poverty as much as to anything else.
cutoff point would have a “right” to their “negative
It is perhaps for these sorts of reasons
that Ludwig von Mises dramatically rejected this
idea. He is famous for walking out of the first
Mont Pelerin Society meeting in 1947 in a huff,
stating: “You’re all a bunch of socialists” in
response to a discussion of the NIT, and other
such coercive income redistribution schemes.
4 Objections
4.1 Changes over time.
According to this objection, the leopard has
changed its spots. Friedman may have been a
socialist early in his career, but he “grew in
office,” and was much less so later on. There is
some truth to this.
A much younger Milton
Friedman was active in propagating the
withholding tax (Rothbard, 2002); an older one
actually apologized for this socialistic initiative
(Friedman & Friedman, 1998).
Something similar seems to have occurred with
antitrust. States Friedman (1999):
“My own views about the antitrust laws have
changed greatly over time. When I started in this
Lind ( 2012 ); Mullat (2012); Rothbard (1971
[2002]). The title of the former, and its source, is
especially telling, given the overall thesis of the
present paper. Charles Murray, a “libertarian” of the
Friedmanesque variety, makes the point that “not
only would people receive money they need, others
would [not] know you are receiving money(RB,
2012). But from a truly libertarian perspective, this
would count as an argument against the NIT, not in
favor of it.
See on this Kaza (1997), Memehunter ( 2012),
Ebenstein (2012). According to Milton Friedman:
“The story I remember best happened at the initial
Mont Pelerin meeting when he (Ludwig von Mises)
got up and said, "You're all a bunch of socialists." We
were discussing the distribution of income, and
whether you should have progressive income taxes.
Some of the people there were expressing the view
that there could be a justification for it” (Wiki, 2012).
Mitt Romney has been considered a weathervane
of politics, in that he has changed his mind on so
many, many issues. See on this: (Romney, 2012);
(Huntsman, 2011); (TiMT, 2012); (Saletan, 2012).
In like manner, although certainly to a lesser extent,
all of these changes have rendered Milton Friedman
a weathervane of political economy.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
16 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
business, as a believer in competition, I was a
great supporter of antitrust laws; I thought
enforcing them was one of the few desirable
things that the government could do to promote
more competition. But as I watched what actually
happened, I saw that, instead of promoting
competition, antitrust laws tended to do exactly
the opposite, because they tended, like so many
government activities, to be taken over by the
people they were supposed to regulate and
control. And so over time I have gradually come
to the conclusion that antitrust laws do far more
harm than good and that we would be better off
if we didn’t have them at all, if we could get rid of
But this is not a root and branch attack on
antitrust, of the sort taken by true libertarians.
The strong implication here is that if these laws
could somehow be modified so that they would
not “be taken over by the people they were
supposed to regulate and control” then
Friedman’s rejection of them would disappear.
There is one topic upon which it can clearly be
denied that Friedman became less socialistic as
he aged and presumably “learned his lesson”:
school vouchers.
Until the very end of his life,
(Anderson, et al., 2001); (Armentano, 1999);
(Barnett, Block, & Saliba., 2005); (Barnett, Block, &
Saliba., 2007); (Barnett & Block, 2005A) (Barnett &
Block, 2007); (Block W. , Austrian Monopoly Theory -
a Critique, 1977A) (Block W. , 1982) (Block W. ,
1994); (Block & Barnett., 2009); (Boudreaux &
DiLorenzo, 1992); (Costea, 2003); (DiLorenzo T. J.,
1996); (DiLorenzo & High., 1988); (High, 1984-1985);
(McChesney, 1991); (Rothbard, 2004 [1962]);
(Shugart II, 1987); (Smith, 1983); (Tucker,
Controversy: Are Antitrust Laws Immoral?, 1998A)
(Tucker, 1998B)
Doherty (2012) has been taken in by this supposed
change of heart on antitrust: “Friedman tells a
similar story while eulogizing his best friend and
University of Chicago colleague George Stigler, an
economist who became more opposed to the very
antitrust laws the 1951 Friedman lauded earlier in
the book the more he learned about them.”
For a critique of school vouchers from a libertarian
point of view, see North (1976) (2011); Rockwell
(1998), (2000), (2002); Rome and Block (2006);
Rothbard (1971 [2002]), (1994), (1995); Salisbury
(2003); Vance (1996); Yates (2002A), (2002B); Young
and Block ( 1999).
and even after it based upon his inheritance
decisions, this socialist was a warm supporter of
school vouchers.
In his will he left a goodly
portion of his wealth to the Friedman Foundation
for School Choice.
Another is public (socialist)
roads, highways and streets. In Friedman and
Boorstin (1951) there are some indications of a
free enterprise perspective. Not so in the later
period (Seagraves, 2008).
4.2 Embarrassment
Anyone who says Friedman was a socialist will
bring embarrassment down upon the heads of all
proponents of the free economy and the freedom
philosophy. There is some truth in this claim, too.
After all, this man is widely known if not as the
most radical exponent of capitalism ever, at least
among its all-time leaders. Anyone who
deprecates this claim will be disrespected.
Anyone who goes further and even asks if he is
a socialist will be dismissed out of hand. And, a
low rung in intellectual hell will be reserved for
such as the present author who gives a positive
answer to this question.
As against this, I am not seeking popularity.
Rather, truth. And the evidence I have compiled
above requires one and only one response:
Friedman was indeed a socialist. Perhaps a
moderate one. But a socialist nonetheless.
4.3 Context
Suppose we were to rank all people in the U.S.
according to their political economic philosophies
in the direction of a free society. We would
award a score of 100 to anarcho-capitalists such
as Murray Rothbard, Hans Hoppe, Lysander
Spooner, Lew Rockwell. We would place in the
99th percentile limited government libertarians
such as Ron Paul, Ayn Rand and Andrew
Napolitano. We would earmark with a zero all
those outright socialists, communists, fascists
who favor income redistribution, complete
government ownership and/or control over the
means of production, such as Htiler, Stalin, Mao,
(Gillespie, 2005)
Its motto is “Advancing Milton & Rose Friedman’s
vision of school choice for all children.” See on (FF).
Also see (Friedman M. , 2003)
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 17
Pol Pot. More moderate socialists such as
Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Bill and Hillary
Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg would earn a 5
on our scale, and Republicans of the ilk of Mitt
Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Buddy
Roemer, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann,
Herman Cain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson
and Tim Pawlenty a 7.
Where oh where would
Milton Friedman rank in such an undertaking? It
is difficult to ignore the conclusion that he would
score somewhere in the 90s. Let us award him a
96, arguendo. This means he is more capitalist,
and thus less socialist that people falling into the
95th percentile or lower.
From this two conclusions might be drawn. One,
it is silly, it is absurd, it is diabolical, it is the
ravings of a madman, to consider such a man a
socialist. If Milton Friedman falls into the 96th
percentile of our socialist-capitalist spectrum in
the direction of the latter, then, he cannot be
characterized as the former. But there is an
entirely different way to interpret these statistical
assumptions: the entire world is socialist to one
degree or another, Milton Friedman along with
the rest of his socialist brethren. Just because
the entire world has gone crazy, Friedman less
so than many others, does not mean that he,
too, has not been sucked in to that category.
The first interpretation is a relativistic one: since
most people support socialism to a far greater
degree than Friedman, he himself is not, cannot
be, linked with them; he is not a socialist. Since
very, very few people support capitalism to a
In my view, the Republican candidates are
somewhat better than the Democrats on economic
policy, slightly worse on personal liberties and
foreign affairs.
Another way of asking this question is, Under
whose economic control would I rather live? Milton
Friedman’s or, pick your favorite GOP candidate from
the 2012 election, mentioned above. The obvious
answer is this Nobel Prize winning University of
Chicago economist. I could count on him to
unilaterally declare full free trade with all nations, rid
us of occupational licensure, rent control, minimum
wages, and hundreds of other such regulations.
None of these others would even come close.
greater degree than him, he must be counted as
a member of that category.
The second interpretation is objective. I claim it
is more scientific. It sets up criteria for socialism
in terms of government ownership or control of
basic resources, and redistributionist income
schemes. It notes that Friedman fails this
objective test in terms of roads, money, school
vouchers, negative income taxes, etc. Therefore
he is a socialist.
Let us try to make this case by analogy. Right
now, there are objective criteria for an
observation being considered a kangaroo. At
present, there are relatively few such entities.
But suppose a gigantic change took place. Most
observations now fit into this category. Say, 96%
of all things became kangaroos. According to
objective criterion, we would then say 96% of
things are kangaroos, 4% of things are not.
Period. According to relativist considerations, we
would be tempted to say that big, or small, or
dark, or light, or otherwise distinguished
kangaroos were not really kangaroos. After all, a
system that categorizes almost everything as a
kangaroo cannot be a helpful one. The purpose
of enterprises of this sort is to make distinctions.
Therefore, we cannot allow virtually everything to
be a kangaroo.
I suggest this is a good analogy. Yes, Friedman
is less socialistic than 96% of people, we
presume. According to the relativist viewpoint,
he cannot be a socialist. But, according to
objective scientific considerations, he most
certainly is. From the point of view of making
distinctions, it is absolute madness to count
Friedman as a socialist. The word will lose
virtually all, but not quite all, of its meaning, if we
do so. However, from the perspective of
maintaining an unwavering yardstick, it is
imperative to view him in this way. How else can
we measure how far to the left we have all
moved in terms of economic policy prescriptions,
well, most of us, if we do not? Mises, as usual,
was correct.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
18 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
Friedman is a socialist.
For that matter, he and
his entire Chicago School
are a “bunch of
Some might say in this regard it is not a good
way to classify things if most items fall under
only one category. It cannot be denied that the
system employed in this paper places most
people, Milton Friedman certainly included, on
the socialist side of the ledger. However, the
overwhelming majority of species are
invertebrates. Some 95% of all animals lack a
spinal chord.
Does this render a distinction
between invertebrates and vertebrates invalid?
Of course not.
4.4 Cognitive significance
According to this objection, I emphasize that
Friedman did not fully support the free market,
and provide a good list of examples to support
this. But what is gained by the extra step of
calling Friedman a socialist? It adds nothing to
the list of deviations and appears empty of
cognitive significance.
But there is “cognitive significance.” It is in this
way, and only in this way, that we can
demonstrate how far our society has come from
States Rothbard (1971 [2002]): “… as we examine
Milton Friedman’s credentials to be the leader of
free-market economics, we arrive at the chilling
conclusion that it is difficult to consider him a free-
market economist at all.”
For criticisms of other members of the Chicago
School on these grounds, see on Simons (Block W. E.,
2002) (Rothbard, 2002); on Brozen and Posner (Block
W. , 1994); on Becker (Murphy, 2008), on Becker and
Coase (North, 1990); on Coase (Barnett & Block.,
2005B) (Barnett & Block, 2007) (Barnett & Block,
2009B); (Block W. , 1977B), (Block W. , 1995), (Block
W. , 1996), (Block W. , 2000), (Block W. , 2003),
(Block W. , 2006), (Block W. E., 2010A), (Block W. E.,
2010B), (Block W. E., 2010C); (Block, Barnett, &
Callahan, 2005); (Cordato R. E., 1989), (Cordato R. E.,
1992A), (Cordato R. E., 1992B), (Cordato R. E., 1997),
(Cordato R. , 1998), (Cordato R. , 2000); (Fox, 2007);
(Hoppe, 2004); (Krauss, 1999); (Krecke, 1996);
(Lewin, 1982); (North, 1990) (North, 1992) (North,
2002); (Rothbard, 1982), (Rothbard, 1973);
(Stringham E. , 2001); (Stringham & White, 2004);
(Terrell, 1999)
(Encyclopedia, 2012)
its former embrace of laissez faire capitalism.
This objection relies, for its coherence, on a
relative measure. Yes, in this sense, it is barking
mad to consider Friedman as a socialist, since
there are so many, many people who are far
more socialist than he. However, if and only if we
use an absolute calculus can we see the
movement of the entire society. Let us employ
an analogy. According to the Flynn (1984),
(1987), (2007), (2012 ) effect, all of our IQ
measurements are rising over time. An individual
with a high IQ many years ago might have been
4 standard deviations above the mean. If this
Flynn effect long continues, a person with that IQ
score will only be mediocre. According to the gist
of this objection, it would be untoward to utilize
an objective criterion; only a relative one would
be significant. But this would hardly hold true if
the Flynn effect is actually occurring.
4.5 Mises, too, was a socialist
If “socialist” includes those who favor any
government ownership or control, then of course
Mises would be a socialist as well Friedman.
That may be technically true, according to the
author’s definition, but then by what criteria to we
distinguish Mises from Marx, or Friedman from
This is a very powerful objection, in that I am
very loath to consider Mises as a socialist.
However, this objection, too, must be rejected.
Mises may have had one or two deviations from
true laissez faire capitalism, or anarcho
capitalism; Friedman had more than a dozen.
‘twas Mises who called Friedman a socialist, not
the other way around. Perhaps the most
powerful argument undermining this objection is
that there is even a case to be made in behalf of
the claim that Mises was actually an anarcho
I take it as a given that secession, not merely to
the state, county, city, borough, neighborhood
level, but down to the individual, is a form of free
market anarchism (Gordon, 1998); (Hülsmann,
2003); (Kinsella, 2009); (Kreptul, 2003); (McGee,
Secession Reconsidered, 1994A), (McGee,
1994B). (See also (Secession Equals Anarhy, 2012);
(Smithson, 2010) (Smithson, 2010); (Wright, 2010))
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 19
Here are some statements from Mises that are
compatible with this stance:
“A nation, therefore, has no right to say to a
province: You belong to me, I want to take you.
A province consists of its inhabitants. If anybody
has a right to be heard in this case it is these
inhabitants. Boundary disputes should be settled
by plebiscite” (Mises L. v., 1969).
“No people and no part of a people shall be held
against its will in a political association that it
does not want” (Mises L. v., 1983).
“Liberalism (Mises’ position present author)
knows no conquests, no annexations; just as it is
indifferent towards the state itself, so the
problem of the size of the state is unimportant to
it. It forces no one against his will into the
structure of the state…. When a part of the
people of the state wants to drop out of the
union, liberalism does not hinder it from doing
so” (Mises, 1983, pp. 39-40, emphasis added).
“If it were in any way possible to grant this right
of self-determination to every individual person,
it would have to be done” (Mises L. , 1978, p.
109). For support of the claim that while Mises
was not a free market anarchist, he came close,
see (Kinsella, 2009)
As to distinguishing Friedman and Marx, the
former was a moderate socialist, the latter a
radical one.
5 Conclusion
Milton Friedman is a socialist. It matters not at all
that most of the world is far more socialist than
he. It would not deflect this accusation if he were
the most capitalist, the least socialist, of any
person on the entire planet. He would still be a
socialist, objectively speaking. It matters not one
whit that such a conclusion will prove to be an
embarrassment among the cognoscenti, the
intellectuals of political philosophy.
6 Works Cited
Allen, J. T. (1993). Negative Income Tax. The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of
Economics and Liberty. Retrieved November 23, 2012, from
Anderson, W., Block, W., DiLorenzo, T. J., Mercer, I., Snyman, L., & Westley., C. (2001). The
Microsoft Corporation in Collision with Antitrust Law. The Journal of Social, Political and
Economic Studies, 26(1, Winter), 287 - 302.
Anon. (2008). The concise encyclopedia of economics - Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006). Retrieved
from Library of economics and liberty:
Anon. (2012, 09 28). Secession Equals Anarhy. Retrieved from National Park Service:
Armentano, D. T. (1999). Antitrust: The Case for Repeal. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute.
Barnett, W. I., & Block, W. (2007, 11). Coase and Van Zandt on Lighthouses. Public Finance Review,
35(6), 710-733.
Barnett, W. I., & Block, W. E. (2005A). Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of)
Exchange Good? Review of Austrian Economics. 18 (2): , 179-194.
Barnett, W. I., & Block, W. E. (2005A). Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of)
Exchange Good? Review of Austrian Economics, 18(2), 179-194.
Barnett, W. I., & Block, W. E. (2009A). Investment and Consumption: A critique of Rothbard’s claim
that there can be no such thing as governmental ‘investment’. Journal of Public Finance and
Public Choice, 27(2-3), 183-188.
Barnett, W. I., & Block., W. (2005B). Professor Tullock on Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Advances
in Austrian Economics, 8, 431-443.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
20 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
Barnett, W. I., Block, W., & Saliba., M. (2007, Summer). Predatory pricing. Corporate Ownership &
Control, 4(4), 401-406.
Barnett, W., & Block, W. (2009B). Coase and Bertrand on Lighthouses. Public Choice, 140(1-2), 113.
Retrieved from
Barnett, W., Block, W., & Saliba., M. (2005, Summer). Perfect Competition: A Case of ‘Market-Failure.
Corporate Ownership & Control, 2(4), 70-75.
Block, W. ( 1996). O.J.'s Defense: A Reductio Ad Absurdum of the Economics of Ronald Coase and
Richard Posner. European Journal of Law and Economics, 3, 265-286. Retrieved from's-defense.pdf
Block, W. (1977A). Austrian Monopoly Theory - a Critique. The Journal of Libertarian Studies, I(4),
Block, W. (1977B, Spring). Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights. The Journal of Libertarian
Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, I(2), 111-115. Retrieved from
Block, W. (1982). Amending the Combines Investigation Act. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.
Block, W. (1994). Total Repeal of Anti-trust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen and Posner.
Review of Austrian Economics, 8(1), 35-70.
Block, W. (1995). Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to
Demsetz. Review of Austrian Economics, 8(2), 61-125. Retrieved from
Block, W. (2000, Spring). Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics:
Reply to Demsetz. Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 3(1), 63-78. Retrieved from
Block, W. (2003, Summer). Private property rights, economic freedom, and Professor Coase: A
Critique of Friedman, McCloskey, Medema and Zorn. Harvard Journal of Law and Public
Policy, 26(3), 923-951. Retrieved from
Block, W. (2006). Coase and Kelo: Ominous Parallels and Reply to Lott on Rothbard on Coase.
Whittier Law Review, 27(4), 997-1022.
Block, W. E. ( 2010B, Winter). Rejoinder to Brooks on Coase and Demsetz. Quarterly Journal of
Austrian Economics, 13(4), 56-73. Retrieved from
Block, W. E. (2002, Fall). Henry Simons Is Not A Supporter of Free Enterprise. Journal of Libertarian
Studies, 16(4), 3-36. Retrieved from
Block, W. E. (2010A). A Response to Brooks’ Support of Demsetz on the Coase Theorem. Dialogue,
2. Retrieved from
Block, W. E. (2010C, Fall). Rejoinder to Boettke on Coasean Economics and Communism. Romanian
Economic and Business Review, 5(3), 9-90. Retrieved from
Block, W., & Barnett II, W. (2008., 06). Continuums. Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, 1, 151-
166. Retrieved from ;
Block, W., & Barnett., W. (2009, June/December). Monopsony Theory. American Review of Political
Economy, 7(1/2), 67-109. Retrieved from
Block, W., Barnett, W. I., & Callahan, G. (2005). The Paradox of Coase as a Defender of Free
Markets. NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, 1(3), 1075-1095. Retrieved from
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 21;
Boudreaux, D. J., & DiLorenzo, T. J. (1992). The Protectionist Roots of Antitrust. Review of Austrian
Economics, 6(2), 81-96.
Cordato, R. (1998, Spring). Time Passage and the Economics of Coming to the Nuisance:
Reassessing the Coasean Perspective. Campbell Law Review, 20(2), 273-292.
Cordato, R. (2000, 09). Chasing Phantoms in a Hollow Defense of Coase. The Review of Austrian
Economics, 13(2), 193-208.
Cordato, R. E. (1989, Spring). Subjective Value, Time Passage, and the Economics of Harmful
Effects. Hamline Law Review, 12(2), 229-244.
Cordato, R. E. (1992A, Fall). Knowledge Problems and the Problem of Social Cost. Journal of the
History of Economic Thought, 14, 209-224.
Cordato, R. E. (1992B). Welfare Economics and Externalities in an Open-Ended Universe: A Modern
Austrian Perspective. Boston: Kluwer.
Cordato, R. E. (1997, Winter). Market-Based Environmentalism and the Free Market: They're Not the
Same. The Independent Review, 1(3), 371-386.
Costea, D. “. (2003, Fall). A Critique of Mises’s Theory of Monopoly Prices. The Quarterly Journal of
Austrian Economics, 6(3), 47 - 62. Retrieved from
DiLorenzo, T. J. (1996). The Myth of Natural Monopoly. Review of Austrian Economics, 9(2), 43-58.
Retrieved from
DiLorenzo, T., & High., J. (1988, 07). Antitrust and Competition, Historically Considered. Economic
Inquiry, 26(1), 423-435.
Doherty, B. (2012). The Increasingly Libertarian Milton Friedman. Retrieved from Reason:
Donahue, P. (2007, 07 14). Milton Friedman - Greed. Retrieved 12 2012, from Youtube:
Ebenstein, L. (2012). The Indispensable Milton Friedman. Washington, DC: Regnery Books.
Encyclopedia. (2012). What percentage of animals are invertebrates? Retrieved from Answers
FF. (n.d.). Mission & History. Retrieved from The Friedman Foundation for education choice:
Flynn, J. R. (1984). The mean IQ of Americans: Massive gains 1932 to 1978. Psychological Bulletin,
95(1), 2951.
Flynn, J. R. (1987). Massive IQ gains in 14 nations: What IQ tests really measure. Psychological
Bulletin, 101(2), 171191.
Flynn, J. R. (2007). What is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Flynn, J. R. (2012 ). Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the 21st Century. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Fox, G. (2007, Fall). The Real Coase Theorems. The Cato Journal: An Interdisciplinary Journal of
Public Policy Analysis, 27(3), 373-396. Retrieved from
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
22 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
Friedman, M. (1962). Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Friedman, M. (1962). Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Friedman, M. (1999, March/April). Policy Forum: The Business Community's Suicidal Impulse. Cato
Policy Report, 21(2), 1-16. Retrieved from
Friedman, M. (2003, 03 04). Milton Friedman on Vouchers. (C. Michelle, Interviewer) CNBC. Retrieved
Friedman, M. (2012A). End the fed. Retrieved from The Money Masters:
Friedman, M. (2012B, 05 9). Milton Friedman PBS free to chose 1980 Vol 1 of 10 Power of the Market.
Retrieved from YouTube:
Friedman, M., & Boorstin, D. (1951). How to plan and pay for the safe and adequate highways we
Friedman, M., & Friedman, R. (1998). Two Lucky People: Memoirs. Chicago: University of Chicago
Friedman, M., & Friedman, R. D. (1980). Free to chose. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Gillespie, N. (2005, 05). The father of modern school reform. Retrieved from
Gordon, D. (1998). Secession, State, and Liberty. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction.
High, J. (1984-1985). Bork's Paradox: Static vs Dynamic Efficiency in Antitrust Analysis.
Contemporary Policy Issues, 3, 21-34.
Hoppe, H.-H. (2004, 10 11). The Ethics and Economics of Private Property. Retrieved from
Hoppe, H.-H. (2006). The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and
Philosophy. Second Edition. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved from
Hülsmann, J. G. (2003). Secession and the Production of Defense. In H.-H. Hoppe, The Myth of
National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production (pp. 369-414).
Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved from
Huntsman, J. (2011, 10 28). Romney's a 'perfectly lubricated weather vane'. Retrieved from CNN
Kaza, G. (1997, 06). The Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary. The Freeman, 347-351. Retrieved
Kinsella, S. (2009, 08 07). Was Mises an Anarchist? Retrieved from
Krauss, M. (1999, Spring). Tort Law, Moral Accountability, and Efficiency: Reflections on the Current
Crisis. Markets and Morality, 2(1). Retrieved from
Krecke, E. (1996, 03). "Law and the Market Order: An Austrian Critique of the Economic Analysis of
Law. Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, 7(1), 19-37.
Kreptul, A. (2003, Fall). The Constitutional Right of Secession in Political Theory and History. The
Journal of Libertarian Studies, 17(4), 30-100. Retrieved from
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 23
Lewin, P. ( 1982, Spring). Pollution Externalities: Social Cost and Strict Liability. Cato Journal, 2(1),
Lind, M. ( 2012 , 08 07). Thank you, Milton Friedman: How conservatives' economic hero helped make
the case for big government. Salon. Retrieved from
Lindsey, R. (2006, 05). Do Economists Reach A Conclusion on Road Pricing? The Intellectual History
of an Idea. Econ Journal Watch, 3(2), 292-379.
Malcolm, N. (2001). Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Marx, K. ( 1875). Critique of the Gotha Program. Retrieved from Marxists Internet Archive:
McChesney, F. (1991). Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago's Contradictory Views. Cato Journal, 10.
McGee, R. W. (1994A, Fall). Secession Reconsidered. The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 11(1), 11-
33. Retrieved from
McGee, R. W. (1994B, Spring). Secession as a Tool for Limiting the Growth of State and Municipal
Government and Making it More Responsive: A Constitutional Proposal. Western State
University Law Review, 21, 499. Retrieved from
Memehunter. ( 2012, 10 29). The Mont Pèlerin Society: The ultimate neoliberal Trojan horse. The
Daily Knell. Retrieved from
Mises, L. (1978). Liberalism (In the Classical Tradition). Kansas City: Sheed Andrews, & McMeel, Inc.
Mises, L. v. (1969). Omnipotent Government. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House.
Mises, L. v. (1983). Nation, State and Economy. Retrieved from Ludwig von Mises Institute:
Mises, L. v. (2009). Socialism - an economic and sociological analysis. Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von
Mises Institute. Retrieved from;
Mullat, J. E. (2012, 10 19). The Welfare Policy Dilemma of a Negative Income Tax System: Normative
Approach. Retrieved from Social Science Research Network - Tomorrow's Research Today:
Murphy, R. P. (2008, 11 24). An Open Letter to Gary Becker re: Depressions. Retrieved from Ludwig
von Mises Institute:
North, G. (1976). Educational Vouchers: The Double Tax. The Freeman, 26(5). Retrieved from
North, G. (1990). Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus . Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian
North, G. (1992). The Coase Theorem. Tyler, TX: The Institute for Christian Economics.
North, G. (2002, Fall). Undermining Property Rights: Coase and Becker. The Journal of Libertarian
Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, 16(4), 75-100. Retrieved from
North, G. (2011, 06 30). Just Say No to School Vouchers . . . Again. Retrieved from
Northrup, C. C. (2003). The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia (Vol. 2). Santa Barbara,
California: ABC-CLIO, Inc. Retrieved from
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
24 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
Pena, D. S. (2011, 04 04). You Might Be a Marxist If ... You Believe in From Each According to Their
Abilities, to Each According to Their Needs. Retrieved from PA Political Affairs - Marxism.
Fresh. Daily.:
Polya, G. (2007). ‘To each according to his needs’ for Spaceship Earth. State of Nature: An Online
Journal of Radical Ideas. Retrieved from
RB. (2012, 02 15). For the Welfare of All. Retrieved from Hannah Arendt Center Bard College:
Rockwell, J. L. (1998, 09 1). Vouchers: Enemy of Religion. Retrieved from Ludwig von Mises Institute:
Rockwell, L. (2000). Education and the Election. Retrieved from
Rockwell, L. (2002, 07 02). Vouchers: Another Name for Welfare. Retrieved from
Rome, G., & Block., W. (2006). Schoolhouse Socialism. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 33(1), 83-
88. Retrieved from;col1
collection of flip-flips and suit changes from the past, present and no doubt the future….
Ron, P. (2010). End the Fed. New York, N.Y.: Grand Central Publishing.
Rothbard, M. N. (1971 [2002]). Milton Friedman Unraveled. Individualist, 3-7. Retrieved from
Rothbard, M. N. (1973, Spring). Value Implications of Economic Theory. The American Economist, 35-
39. Retrieved from
Rothbard, M. N. (1982, Spring). Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution. Cato Journal, 2(1). Retrieved
Rothbard, M. N. (1994). Vouchers: What Went Wrong? In M. N. Rothbard, Making Economic Sense
(pp. 1, 8). Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved from
Rothbard, M. N. (1995). Making Economic Sense. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute.
Rothbard, M. N. (1997, Spring). Value Implications of Economic Theory," Logic of Action I
(Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar), pp. American Economist, 35-39.
Rothbard, M. N. (2002, Fall). Milton Friedman Unraveled. Journal of Libertarian Studies, 16(4), 37-54.
Retrieved from
Rothbard, M. N. (2004 [1962]). Man, Economy and State. Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute,
Scholar’s Edition. Retrieved from
Saletan, W. (2012, 08 23). The Abortion Weathervane. Retrieved from Slate:
Salisbury, D. F. (2003, 08 28). What Does a Voucher Buy? A Closer Look at the Cost of Private
Schools. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, 486.
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
Published: 15 January 2013 MESTE | 25
Seagraves, J. (2008, 08 26). "Privatize The Roads!" Says PhD Economist. Retrieved from Cutizen
Shugart II, W. F. (1987). Don't Revise the Clayton Act, Scrap It! Cato Journal(6), 925.
Smith, J. F. (1983, Jan-Feb). Why not Abolish Antitrust? Regulation, 23.
Smithson, J. (2010, 02 25). Secession as a way of achieving anarchy. Retrieved from freedomain:
Stringham, E. (2001, Summer). Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency and the Problem of Central Planning.
Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 4(2), 41-50. Retrieved from
Stringham, E. P., & White, M. (2004). Economic Analysis of Tort Law: Austrian and Kantian
Perspectives. (M. Oppenheimer, & N. Mercuro., Eds.) Law and Economics: Alternative
Economic Approaches to Legal and Regulatory Issues, 374-392. Retrieved from
Summers, L. (2006, 11 19). The Great Liberator. The New York Times. Retrieved from
Terrell, T. D. (1999, Fall). Property Rights and Externality: The Ethics of the Austrian School. Journal
of Markets and Morality, 2(2). Retrieved from
TiMT. (2012, 08 13). Mitt “The Lubricated Weathervane Candidate” Romney’s 18 Flip Flop Positions
with Videos. Who is Mitt Romney and Can You Really Trust Him to be Your President?
Retrieved from The People's View:
Tucker, J. (1998A, 03). Controversy: Are Antitrust Laws Immoral? Journal of Markets & Morality, 1(1),
75-82. Retrieved from
Tucker, J. (1998B, 03). Controversy: Are Antitrust Laws Immoral? A Response to Kenneth G. Elzinga.
Journal of Markets & Morality, 1(1), 90-94. Retrieved from
Vance, L. M. (1996, 11). Friedman’s Mistake. The Free Market, 14(11).
Wiki. (2012, 12 02). Ludwig von Mises. Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Wright, G. (2010, 01 24). The secession approach to convert people to anarchy. Retrieved from
Ludwig von Mises Institute:
Yates, S. (2002A, 07 06). “Vouchers and Government Control. Retrieved from
Yates, S. (2002B, 07 13). Refuting the voucherites. Retrieved from
Young, A., & Block., W. ( 1999). Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System.
International Journal of Value Based Management, 12(3), 195-207. Retrieved from;;
Received for publication: 10.12.2012
Accepted for publication: 28.12.2012
Block W. Was Milton Friedman a socialist? Yes.
MEST Journal Vol.1 No.1 pp. 11 - 26
26 | MESTE Published: 15 January 2013
How to cite this article?
Style APA Sixth Edition:
Block, W. E. (2013, 01 15). Was Milton Friedman A Socialist? Yes. (Z. Čekerevac, Ed.) MEST Journal,
1(1), 11-26. Retrieved from
doi: 10.12709/mest.
Style Chicago Fifteenth Edition:
Block, Walter E. "Was Milton Friedman A Socialist? Yes." Edited by Zoran Čekerevac. MEST Journal
(MESTE NGO) 1, no. 1 (01 2013): 11-26.
Style GOST Name Sort:
Block Walter E. Was Milton Friedman Socialist? Yes. [Journal] = Was Milton Friedman socialist?
Yes // MEST Journal / ed. Čekerevac Zoran. - Belgrade - Toronto : MESTE NGO, 01 15, 2013. - 1 :
Vol. 1. - pp. 11-26.
Style Harvard Anglia:
Block, W. E., 2013. Was Milton Friedman Socialist? Yes.. MEST Journal, 15 01, 1(1), pp. 11-26.
Style ISO 690 Numerical Reference:
Was Milton Friedman Socialist? Yes. Block, Walter E. [ed.] Zoran Čekerevac. 1, Belgrade - Toronto :
MESTE NGO, 01 15, 2013, MEST Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 11-26.
... See on thisBlock, , 2003Block, , 2010Block, , 2011Block, , 2013 Barnett, 2012-2013;McChesney, 1991; ...
On Stalin’s orders, about 1 million were shot during the 1937-1938 Great Terror (including the bulk of the Soviet officer corps); about 22,000 Polish officers were shot in 1940; and at the 1943 Tehran Conference, Stalin proposed that 50,000 German officers ‘must be shot.’ Hayek’s ‘Plan for the Future of Germany’ began with a description of what became Pinochet’s ‘Plan for the Future of Chile’: ‘Neither legal scruples nor a false humanitarianism should prevent the meeting out of full justice to the guilty individuals ... There are thousands, probably tens of thousands, who fully deserve death; and never in history was it easier to find the guilty men.’Hayek, Hitler and Pinochet sought to create irreversible versions of the past. Hitler’s method was to ‘cleanse the nation of its enemies,’ and the ‘Model Constitution’ that Hayek sent to Pinochet ‘would of course make all socialist measures for redistribution impossible’ and ‘could, therefore, only be imposed when socialists were unable to effectively object.’ In Pinochet’s Police State, tens of thousands were rounded up, maltreated and tortured, which left Hayek celebrating: ‘I have not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende.’
This chapter highlights a number of issues that require further investigation. What, for example, is the numerator and the denominator of the Austrian tax dependency ratio (X/Y), where X is the millions (or billions?) of dollars that Austrians have appropriated, and Y is their ‘research’ output? It would be useful to have a metrics-based examination of what type of producer-sovereignty students of Austrian economics have been exposed to; what ‘free’ market donors believe they are funding; plus a systematic study of Mises’ influence over the anti-democratic spectrum—including those who funded Hitler. Most if not all of those ‘scholars’ who promote the ‘free’ market are on the payroll of the Tobacco, Obesity and Fossil Fuel industries. It would be useful to examine the cluster of behavioural characteristics of those who put ‘financial considerations’ ahead of their ‘professional’ reputation. What would be revealed by a Mises-inspired examination of ‘life history by the psycho-analytical method’ (or any other method) of those who assert that ‘Waking and dreaming man’s wishes turn upon sex’?
Full-text available
Predatory pricing is logically impossible, because it necessarily involves pricing below cost. However, cost, properly understood as opportunity cost is subjective and is incommensurable with money prices; more important, to price below cost implies rationally choosing an alternative (selling at price) that is suboptimal, since cost is the most highly valued alternative not chosen. When critics declare that predatory pricing is to price below cost, they mean to set a price below some measure of money expenses. But this entails all kinds of problems; which concept of expense - marginal is most obvious; but also the issue of the present value of alternatives, which means discounting expected revenues and expected expenses.
We take Rothbard to task for claiming that governmental agents must of necessity engage in consumption in their expenditures; that it would be equivalent to a logical contradiction to suppose the inverse.
Along with the renewed interest in the Austrian school of economics over the last two decades, important advances have been made in applying its princples to concrete issues that typically face market economics. However, very little has been done in the area of externalities and the concept of social efficiency. The overarching purpose of this book is to establish a sound theoretical basis for further empirical and public policy analysis in the area of externalities. In order to do this, a general theory of welfare economics is required. The author offers an alternative to the conventional neoclassical welfare paradigm -- his construct does not include perfect competition or general equilibrium. After the author develops his theory of welfare economics, he interprets externalities in light of the theory and discusses policy remedies and directions for further research.
Part One: Economics. 1. Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security. 2. The Economics and Sociology of Taxation. 3. Money, Banking, and International Politics. A Sociological Reconstruction of the Present Economic Order. 4. Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis. 5. The Theory of Employment, Money, Interest, and the Capitalist Process. The Misesian Case against Keynes. Part Two: Philosophy. 6. On Praxeology and the Praxeological Foundation of Epistemology 7 Is Research Based on Causal Scientific Principles Possible in the Social Sciences? 8. From the Economics of Laissez Faire to the Ethics of Libertarianism. 9. The Justice of Economic Efficiency. 10. On the Ultimate Justification of the Ethics of Private Property. 11. Austrian Rationalism in the Age of the Decline of Positivism.
The world is split today into two hostile camps, fighting each other with 13 the utmost vehemence, Communists and anti-Communists. The magniloquent rhetoric to which these factions resort in their feud obscures the fact that they both perfectly agree in the ultimate end of their programme for mankind's social and economic organization. They both aim at the abolition of private enterprise and private ownership of the means of production and at the establishment of socialism. They want to substitute totalitarian government control for the market economy. No longer should individuals by their buying or abstention from buying determine what is to be produced and in what quantity and quality. Henceforth the government's unique plan alone should settle all these matters. 'Patemal' care of the 'Welfare State' will reduce all people to the status of bonded workers bound to comply, without asking questions, with the orders issued by the planning authority.
Professor James Flynn is one of the most creative and influential psychologists in the field of intelligence. The ‘Flynn Effect’ refers to the massive increase in IQ test scores over the course of the twentieth century and the term was coined to recognize Professor Flynn’s central role in measuring and analyzing these gains. For over twenty years, psychologists have struggled to understand the implications of IQ gains. Do they mean that each generation is more intelligent than the last? Do they suggest how each of us can enhance our own intelligence? Professor Flynn is finally ready to give his own views. He asks what intelligence really is and gives a surprising and illuminating answer. This book bridges the gulf that separates our minds from those of our ancestors a century ago. It is a fascinating and unique book that makes an important contribution to our understanding of human intelligence.