The college’s second Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar begins Sunday and will examine the ideas of Austrian economics and its two most famous philosophers.
Director of Programs for External Affairs Matt Bell said the point of the CCAs is to further the mission of the college in educating students and now a greater audience because of the ability to stream the lectures online. The ideas of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek perpetuated the values of liberty and independence, Bell said.
“If you don’t have civil and religious freedom, you probably don’t have economic freedom,” Bell said.
The CCA is part of the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series started by former college President George Roche the year after von Mises’ death in 1974 to honor him and further understanding of the economic system he promoted.
The seminar’s speakers will include Austrian economists Israel Kirzner, Lawrence H. White, Hillsdale alumnus Robert P. Murphy ’97, and Peter Boettke as well as authors Nicholas Wapshott and Eugen-Maria Schulak.
Professor of Economics Ivan Pongracic said given that the work of Mises and Hayek covered not only economics but politics, policy, and philosophy, condensing it all into a roughly hour-long CCA speech would be difficult.
“Mises and Hayek revolutionized Austrian economics,” Pongracic said.
Pongracic said although Austrian economics is growing in popularity today, it was “heterodox” during much of the time von Mises and Hayek were alive. The thinkers, however, promoted their theories in the midst of the Great Depression and the rise of Communism after World War II.
“For my money, these were two of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century,” Pongracic said.