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Obama Deserves the Nobel–or Two!


Manuel, Lew, David — Yes, we should not be surprised at this. Hans Hoppe once noted that f you want to win the Nobel peace prize, it helps if you are a mass murderer; if you want to win the economics Nobel prize, it is always of advantage if you have contributed to ruining various countries’ economies or you have written completely irrelevant mathematical treatises that are of no concern to anyone whatsoever (he also notes that the economics prize is donated by the Swedish central bank and the committee members are life-long appointees and except for two years social democrats have run the show so that it is roughly predictable who can possibly win the prize; thus, James Buchanan has advocated a 100% inheritance tax and is hailed as a free marketeer, so he can win; Milton Friedman, a free marketeer who fought for paper money all his life, endorsed the negative income tax (guaranteed income), educational vouchers (like food stamps for education), can of course win. I.e., socialists can win and be presented to the public as free marketeers. See Hoppe’s Mises University 2001 lecture “Mises and the Foundation of Austrian Economics“, at about 1:10:20 to 1:12:. See also Hoppe’s ruminations on the Nobel in economics here.)

I can’t say I relish confronting even more smug, preening Obamaites, though. One solution would be to just award Obama the Nobel prize in economics too–that would help smash the credibility of both prizes.

Update: See Roderick Long’s post from 2003:

A lot of people were outraged when Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 – a choice which people are still protesting.

I’m no fan of Arafat, but look at the list of folks he shares that dubious honour with. There are certainly some good people on that list (including, I believe, the only libertarian: French economist Frédéric Passy, recipient of the very first prize in 1901, and perhaps the only person ever to accuse Gustave de Molinari of not being sufficiently libertarian!), but it also includes such pestilent warmongers as:

Theodore Roosevelt – 1906
Woodrow Wilson – 1919
Henry Kissinger – 1973
Mikhail Gorbachev – 1990As far as I’m concerned, the Nobel Peace Prize became meaningless as of 1906. Arafat is welcome to it.


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • David Johnson October 9, 2009, 11:49 pm

    Those who were (and are) particularly outraged by Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize, are not outraged out of a conviction for libertarian principles. Arafat was a political opportunist not deserving of any honor, but those who won the prize with him, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, in their lifetime, helped bring about injustices to a great many human beings, and ones far more antithetical to libertarian principles, than Arafat ever did, or ever could (as he never had the means at his disposal they both did many times in their lives). Using Arafat as the example of one of those who have received that “dubious honour”, IMO is a politically correct cheap shot that sends a message counter to a respect for the particular property assignment rules libertarianism is supposed to be about. Regards.

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