April 2022

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I tend to err on the side of caution in linking dead intellectuals, like Marx, to later generations of thugs and other illiberal a-holes. In other words, Marx is not to blame for Lenin, Stalin or Mao. Kind of like Nietzche and the Nazis, or Darwin and the Eugenics movement.

But the Che thing is spot on because he was an actual murderer with terrible plans for society, much of it realized in his lifetime, under his direction.

As for Friedman, he did not approve of Pinochet's actions and could hardly be his source of inspiration.

Thank you for bringing the protest to light and for posting the link to John Cochrane's letter. I enjoyed reading both your comment and Professor Cochrane's letter. I am outraged and, frankly appalled, by the extremely irresponsible, selfish, and (for lack of a better word) STUPID petition written and signed by those non-economists at University of Chicago. More importantly, the letter seems quite malicious: It does not recognize Dr. Milton Friedman's well-known contribution in economics at all. Instead, it focuses on some arbitrary social implication of founding the Milton Friedman Institute. I cannot phrase it, so I am copying Professor Cochrane's words near the end of his letter:"...Friedman also has a legacy in economics as a first-rate researcher, which is what the MFI will do and honor. The consumption function and the monetary foundations of inflation, are as important to 20th century economics as the discovery of DNA was to biology, quantum mechanics to physics or plate tectonics to geology. But the letter-writers didn’t have anything to say about any of this, so neither will I, here."

I sincerely hope the the Milton Friedman Institute will be founded on time and the petition will not sway the minds of the president and the provost at the University of Chicago, despite the fact that both of them are not trained economists. (One in mathematics, and one in physics, to the best of my knowledge). Considering that some of the people who signed the petition are from those two disciplines, perhaps economists should write a letter backing up the rationale for founding the Milton Friedman Institute.

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