September 11, 2007 Leave a comment
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever contribute anything original to scholarship. That’s never really been a goal. (Well, I may have toyed with the idea briefly when I was about 20.) To the extent that I’ve ever had any grand-scale goal, it has been to “spread the word.”
Among scholars, there’s a certain dismissal in terms like “popularizer.” Even among libertarians, who should aim at broad dissemination of their message, Hayek’s “professional secondhand dealers in ideas” aren’t exactly honored for their contributions. I think this a huge mistake, strategically.
Tom Woods has probably made his unique contribution. He’s not supposed to have a PhD without having done so. But I haven’t read it, and however good it may be, it’s not his original scholarship I want to honor him for. What I want to praise is summarized in this passage from How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization: