Economics Professor Participates in Online Book Forum Today

Posted: January 24, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

David Levy, Economics, presents an online book forum today at 4 p.m. for his most recent work, How the Dismal Science Got Its Name. The forum is hosted by the Cato Institute, and the interview can be heard live on its web site.

Economics is often called the dismal science, but why? The traditional answer is that it comes from the gloomy predictions of Thomas Malthus, but Levy shows that it came from Thomas Carlyle’s 1849 Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question, in which Carlyle attacked classical liberal economists for their support of black emancipation. The economist, Carlyle wrote, does not understand the true beauties of hierarchy and instead “finds the secret of the universe in supply-and-demand, and reduces the duty of human governors to that of letting men alone.” The George Mason community is invited to listen to a spirited defense of economics and a thorough exposé of the origins of anti-capitalist thought.

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