Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

On the intellectual uselessness of a certain method of socioeconomic analysis

| March 27, 2018

A few brief observations: 1. The Labor Theory of Value is incapable of functionally explaining even basic economic relationships. See Menger 1871. 2. The notion that class identity functionally drives political or any other type of collective action is hopelessly incoherent and undermined by a pervasive free rider problem. See Olson 1965, Section IV. 3. […]

The Marxist Devil and Free Speech on Campus

| March 9, 2017

Jason Brennan authored a long post the other day that presented multiple challenges to anti-speech activism on campus. The entire piece is worth reading, but I wanted to call attention to one point in particular: Some people say we can’t “platform” ideas that could be used for evil. I look forward to seeing those same people […]

Commie Chic & Quantifying Marx on the Syllabus

| August 15, 2016

A recent story about the prominence of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto on U.S. college syllabi has sparked a number of lively debates and discussions about the proper role of such an economically discredited yet philosophically prominent thinker in the classroom curriculum. I’m personally of the view that Marx’s intellectual contributions are severely overrated and I […]