Fred Foldvary, RIP

I have been offline for awhile now. Michelangelo shot me an email the other day alerting me to the fact that Fred Foldvary passed away earlier this month.

Fred was one of the original Notewriters here at NOL. He supported this project from the beginning. Here’s his first ever post for NOL, and here is his last one.

I first met Fred in person at an undergraduate summer seminar hosted by the Independent Institute in Oakland, and I had no idea what he was talking about (he was lecturing on interest rates). His writing over the years has convinced me of the soundness of a land tax, so much so that I call myself a geolibertarian if push comes to shove, and his selflessness with his time will never be forgotten.

Fred was an important voice for liberty once the Ron Paul moment got libertarianism out of its doldrums. The brutalists, led by Jeffrey Tucker, were pushing liberty in a decidedly non-liberal direction and many Ron Paul fans got discouraged by what they found. Fred was one of the people laboring hard to stress liberty’s humane-ness.

Without his encouragement, NOL would have never gotten off the ground.

Fred’s death coincides with the death of another prominent libertarian: Steve Horwitz, who was also instrumental in making libertarianism humane at a time when liberty was being pimped as a creed for conservatives with no hearts.

May they rest in peace.

3 thoughts on “Fred Foldvary, RIP

  1. Just few weeks ago you inquired about which econ voices should we listen to, and now we hear that the econ liberty lines are actually thinning. A bitter irony.
    Unfortunately, I had never heard of Fred Foldvary (I read in his wiki page that some good calls of his had been ignored by the profession). Works of Steve Horwitz, from the other hand, have been featured even in Greek liberty-focused media.
    I think that the “humane” component the two men defended is of utmost importance, since the usual depiction of the liberty creed, even today, ranges from – as you say – “heartless” to “sinister” or worse.

    • I think that the “humane” component the two men defended is of utmost importance, since the usual depiction of the liberty creed, even today, ranges from – as you say – “heartless” to “sinister” or worse.

      Yeah, Michalis, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

  2. […] A review of four books challenging mainstream, neoclassical economics. In The Corruption of Economics, the author Mason Gaffney (btw, he passed away just over a year ago) proposes that the 19th century’s American universities perceived Georgist ideas as a threat to their vested interest in land-owning, and actively suppressed them. His work on the Stratagem against Henry George has been referenced in a NOL piece by – the also late – Fred Foldvary. […]

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