I suspect that the predominate source for libertarian luminaries and names are New York and California, plus other larger states. But–and hailing from the bayou state, I could be biased–it’s long seemed to me that Louisiana is oddly over-represented in modern libertarian thinkers, especially among the Austro-anarchist Rothbardian type. This is especially odd given that the state is arguably the intellectual armpit of the nation in many ways. Off the top of my head, here are some of the young or older libertarians–mostly hard-core types–from Louisiana or who do or have lived there:
- The Loyola-New Orleans economics department contingent, containing Walter Block,* Bill Barnett, Dan D’Amico,* and previously Deborah Walker;*
- Stephan Kinsella (me);
- Geoffrey Allan Plauche;
- Don Boudreaux;
- Eric Mack;*
- Bob Higgs;*
- John Levendis;
- among the younger/student crowd: Manuel Lora,* Dick Clark, Greg Rome, Michael Barnett (and a couple others who asked to be omitted).
*=believed to be a non-native.
I would not be surprised if Louisiana was close to a good 3rd place after California and New York, when by all rights it ought to be in the bottom fifth. (Okay, maybe 4th place, after Alabama—but that’s due almost exclusively to the presence of the Mises Institute in Auburn.) Now I could be wrong that Louisiana’s influence is disproportionate, but it sure seems like it to me. (If you have other names to add to the list, send ‘em on.) But assuming this phenomenon is real, the question is–why? I have no good explanation. Must be a fluke. But an odd one. It’s one of the few things that makes me proud to be a Louisianan!
Update: Manuel Lora tells me that Manuel Ayau, R.I.P., got an EE degree from LSU in the 1950s.