It’s with much sadness that we learned the news this week that Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise and “bleeding-heart libertarian” Steven Horwitz passed away after his long battle with multiple myeloma.
Tributes have been flowing thick and fast and for good reason. Steven was an inspiration to many, and his personal vision was to get us closer to a world “in which all 7.5 billion of us can all sit under our vines and fig trees, and none shall make us afraid”.
This after all is why we who advocate for the free-market, classical liberalism and libertarianism do what we do. We want to make the world a better place, and we believe that personal and economic freedom is the best way achieve those ends.
Steven touched many lives with his personal outreach as the following testimonials illustrate:
“Steve was a great man, with an immense legacy in developing and advocating a modern form of liberalism that is both emancipatory and humane.” Mikayla Novak
“Steve inspired us with his positivity about how the work of exploring ideas can bring about prosperity for all. He was particularly interested in seeking how best to empower those who have been historically marginalized. Steve was a passionate scholar, teacher, colleague and friend, and he will be greatly missed. May his memory be a blessing.” Institute for the Study of Political Economy
“He made the people around him better—even when we only got to be ‘around him’ online. Farewell, Steve. Your memory is a blessing. It always will be.” Art Carden
On December 17, 2019 Steven addressed the Center for Liberal Studies Annual Prometheus Awards Dinner at which he was presented with the Prometheus Award for the promotion of Economic Literacy.
In his acceptance speech he outlined his belief that economic literacy is the key to a peaceful and cooperative society:
“The reason to care about economics, and the reason to study it, is not just to understand material well-being, but instead it’s about a much bigger picture: how we cooperate in a world of strangers and diversity, and how we turn that cooperation into better and longer and more peaceful lives for more people.”
I urge you all to read his speech for yourselves as a reminder of what we are seeking to achieve when we promote freedom and prosperity, and the importance of economic literacy which “is all about helping people to understand this grand story of human progress by explaining both the underlying processes and institutions that make it“.
More of Professor Horwitz’ writings can be found on his website.
Our condolences go out to his wife Sarah, his children and all those that were close to him.
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