Day 1: It's popular and successful, so it must be stopped! (summary) (response)
Day 2: Jackbooted thugs (summary) (response)
Day 3: The sophisticated theology of the market (summary) (response)
Day 4: Economics as theology
Day 5: A socialized straw man
Day 6: The cause of, and solution to, all the world's problems (summary) (response)
Day 7: An unproductive critique
In a display of synchronicity too odd to dismiss (as Bokonon says, "Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.") Allen Small recommends Robert Wenzel's The 30 Day Reading List that will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian just as I begin my winter break and am free for a month from my academic and professional responsibilities. So, on his suggestion, I will tackle one article
I've chosen the title of this post advisedly. A quick survey of the first few articles reveals, unsurprisingly, a tone I became intimately familiar with before I ever thought about studying economics: Christian apologetics. Libertarianism, as presented by Wenzel and endorsed by Small, is a faith. Indeed, a luminary no less than Ludvig von Mises explicitly equates economics and religious faith: the "particular theorems [of economics] are not open to any verification or falsification on the ground of experience. . . . The ultimate yardstick of an economic theorem's correctness or incorrectness is solely reason unaided by experience." Without exception, all of the first half dozen of the articles tell the reader what to believe; they do not even attempt to persuade the skeptical, critical reader. It is, so far, pure catechism. We'll see how later works play out, but I strongly suspect that, like Christianity, we'll move from catechism to Sophisticated Theology, with the only hint of science or critical thought being an adoption of the forms and vocabulary of skepticism without its actual content.
I will do my best to get through the series, but I make no guarantees.
See you on the other side!