The Human Action Podcast

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Rothbard and Adam Smith

The Human Action Podcast

Tags Book ReviewsHistory of the Austrian School of EconomicsOther Schools of Thought

10/08/2021Jeff DeistHunter HastingsJonathan Newman

We continue our look at Murray Rothbard's two volume An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought with a show focused on Adam Smith. Rothbard attacked him mercilessly as a plagiarist who set economic theory back decades with his muddled views on value and price. But was this criticism justified, or was Smith actually an early and valiant proponent of laissez-faire?

Our guest Hunter Hastings defends Smith in this rollicking discussion, while Professor Jonathan Newman is not so sure. They also discuss the Scottish Enlightenment and Smithian thinkers like Bentham and Malthus, and even tackle the contentious question of whether Smith produced Marx. Don't miss this!

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Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

Hunter Hastings

Hunter Hastings is a member of the Mises Institute, Business Consultant, and co-chair of the Rescue California Educational Foundation. He is also host of the Economics for Business podcast. You can find Hunter’s writings on entrepreneurship at

Contact Jonathan Newman

Dr. Jonathan Newman is an Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at Bryan College and a Fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD at Auburn University while a Research Fellow at the Mises Institute. He was the recipient of the 2021 Gary G. Schlarbaum Award to a Promising Young Scholar for Excellence in Research and Teaching. His research focuses on Austrian economics, inflation and business cycles, and the history of economic thought. He has taught courses on Macroeconomics and Quantitative Economics: Uses and Limitations in the Mises Graduate School.

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