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Radical Austrianism, Radical Libertarianism: A Steven Berger Seminar with Walter Block

July 25-30 2005

Auburn, Alabama


The Latin root of radicalism is radix for "root," and in this week-long Steve Berger Seminar, the roots and reach of both libertarian and Austrian theory are covered by a leading authority: Professor Walter Block of Loyola University, New Orleans. The economic theory is value free, deriving from relentless deductions from first axioms, but it takes flight when combined with a theory of natural rights in the Thomist-Rothbardian tradition. Professor Block is qualified to present the full package as you have never heard it; he is perhaps the most well published of any author writing within the Austro-libertarian tradition. (For more on Block, go here.)

Download a poster of the event.

This event is over but here are some student reviews:

  • “Dr. Block draws and captivates the next generation of Austrian Scholars with his brilliance from the lecturn. This seminar will fuel the mind geared toward liberty with arguments, both traditional and innovative, applied to the most difficult ethical and economic cases.
    -Noah Tyler, George Mason University
  • “Thanks Steven Berger! Dr. Block's seminar was a hard-hitting Austrian criticism of mainstream fallacies. I encourage more people to sponsor seminars such as this, the more the better!
    -Michael Hall, Clarkston, GA
  • “Dr. Block's lectures are outstanding and funny, but be ready to think! 100% value.”
     -Mark Sunwall, Hyogo University
  • “Seeing the attendance and reactions at this conference demonstrates the growing momentum of the Mises Institute and its message. Thank you for keeping the pace up.”
    -Daniel D'Amico, George Mason University
  • “Mises Institute seminars are innovative and provide the most intellectually stimulating environment I have ever found. As Dr. Block always says, asking questions and debating is the only way to get close to the truth!"
    -Carrie Ann Sitren, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • “Dr. Block has a singular talent for teaching the fundamentals while also taking the discussion to the cutting edge of theory, all within the span of 90 minutes. This seminar was evidence that Dr. Block is still a trailblazer in the Libertarian and Austrian movements.”
    -Adam Martin, George Mason University
  • “Dr. Block is a brilliant economist whose lectures are thought-provoking and inspiring. Chain him to the podium and force him to continue all night!”
    -Matthew Skelton, University of Texas
  • “Seminars like 'Radical Austrianism, Radical Libertarianism' are enriching academic experiences that provide a crucial breeding ground for new students and ideas that keep the Austrian and Libertarian movements alive.”
    -Prem Lee Barbosa, New College of Florida
  • “This seminar provided an unparalleled opportunity to speak face-to-face with one of the leaders in Austrian economics and philosophy. Seminars such as this are vital in promoting liberty, freedom, and prosperity through free markets. Thank you!”
    -Gabriel Mercado, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) 


The seminar will consist of two primary lectures per day for five days, July 25-July 29, 2005, and discussion time with the professor.

Schedule (Central Time Zone)
9:30 a.m. 
Shuttle departs Commons Dorm and AU Hotel for Mises Institute
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Lecture on Economics
Noon - Lunch
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Lecture on Libertarianism
4:30 p.m. - Shuttle departs Institute for dorm and AU Hotel
On Wednesday at 1:00pm, Mark Sunwall will lecture on Austrian anthropology. On Friday at 4:00 Cindy Sheehan will lecture on the Human Costs of War, followed by a closing pizza party at 5:00 p.m. with shuttle departing at 6:00 p.m.
1. Free Trade
2. Minimum wage
3. Environmentalism
4. A Statistical Calculation of Economic Freedom
5. Monopoly and Anti-Trust, Monopsony
6. Introduction to Libertarianism I
7. Introduction to Libertarianism II
8. Ronald Coase, a Libertarian Critique
9. Abortion
10. Reparations
Readings, Economics:
1. Free Trade: Hazlitt, Henry. 1979. Economics in One Lesson, Arlington House Publishers, New York, ch. 11, 12; relevant chapter in Defending the Undefendable
2. Minimum Wage: Hazlitt, Henry. 1979. Economics in One Lesson, Arlington House Publishers, New York, ch. 18, 19; relevant chapter in Defending the Undefendable
3. Environmentalism: Rothbard, Murray N., "Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution," Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring, 1982; reprinted in Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Walter Block, ed., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990;
4. A Statistical Calculation of Economic Freedom: Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995 Vancouver, B.C. Canada: the Fraser Institute
5. Monopoly and Anti-Trust, Monopsony
Rothbard, Murray N. 1993. Man, Economy and State, Auburn AL: Mises Institute; ch 10
Anderson, William, Walter Block, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ilana Mercer, Leon Snyman and Christopher Westley. 2001. "The Microsoft Corporation in Collision with Antitrust Law," The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, Winter, pp. 287-302;
Block, Walter. 1994. "Total Repeal of Anti-trust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen and Posner," Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 31-64.
Block, Walter. 1977. "Austrian Monopoly Theory -- a Critique," The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 4, fall, pp. 271-279;

Readings: Libertarianism:

6. Introduction to libertarianism I: Block, Walter. 1991 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable, New York: New York: Fox and Wilkes, first half of book
7. Introduction to Libertarianism II: Block, Walter. 1991 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable, New York: New York: Fox and Wilkes, second half of book
8. Ronald Coase, a Libertarian Critique:
Block, Walter. 2003. "Private property rights, economic freedom, and Professor Coase: A Critique of Friedman, McCloskey, Medema and Zorn," Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer, pp. 923-951

Block, Walter. 2000. "Private Property Rights, Erroneous Interpretations, Morality and Economics: Reply to Demsetz," Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, pp. 63-78; ;
Block, Walter. 1996. "O.J.'s Defense: A Reductio Ad Absurdum of the Economics of Ronald Coase and Richard Posner," European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 265-286; Demsetz, Harold. 1979. "Ethics and Efficiency in Property Rights Systems,"  in Time, Uncertainty and Disequilibrium: Explorations of Austrian Themes, Mario Rizzo, ed., Lexington Mass.: D.C.Heath and Co.
Block, Walter. 1995. "Ethics, Efficiency, Coasean Property Rights and Psychic Income: A Reply to Demsetz," Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 61-125, ;
Demsetz, Harold. 1997. "Block's Erroneous Interpretations," Review of Austrian Economics,Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 101-109;
Block, Walter. 1977. "Coase and Demsetz on Private Property Rights," The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 2, Spring, pp. 111-115, ; reprint translation: "Coase y Demsetz sobre el derecho de propiedad privada," Libertas 37, octubre de 2002, año XIX, pp.5-20.
9. Abortion: Block, Walter and Roy Whitehead. 2005. "Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy," Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45Block, Walter. 1978. "Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?" Reason, April, pp. 18-25.
10. Reparations: Block, Walter. 2002. "On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery," Human Rights Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-September, pp. 53-73

Block, Walter and Guillermo Yeatts. 1999-2000. “The Economics and Ethics of Land Reform: A Critique of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s ‘Toward a Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrarian Reform,’” Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 37-69
The Seminar is open to full-time students (no charge for qualifying students), faculty, and current Members of the Mises Institute (Click HERE to join).Registration is $125 for Mises Institute Members and faculty, including daily boxed lunches and refreshment breaks, and the use of Mises Institute research libraries and computers. You may register online . Dormitory rooms are available for $35 per person per night double-occupancy or $45 per night single-occupancy. For other Auburn accommodations, go here. For Atlanta-Auburn airport shuttles, see Express85.

Students may apply for tuition scholarships by submitting the online application form along with a copy of student ID and an informal transcript copy. A limited number of travel scholarships are available. This information can be mailed to Block Scholarship Committee, Mises Institute, 518 West Magnolia Avenue, Auburn, Alabama 36832, or faxed to 734-448-8148, or emailed to pat@mises.org.

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