My Talk at Berkeley
By David Henderson
One enterprising student, Scott Gibb, recorded all but the first two minutes of the talk I gave at Berkeley earlier this month. The sound quality is quite high. My talk is titled, “The Case For a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy.” It’s here. Scroll down to under my picture and then click on the relevant link. (There are links to talks by Jeff Hummel and David Friedman also.)
My talk, which lasts about 45 minutes, is the lengthiest case I’ve made for non-intervention. In it, I apply the thinking of Hayek’s information problem, unintended consequences, and public choice to the issue of intervening forcibly in other countries’ affairs.
One of the biggest problems one has in making the case is going against what so many people think they know about history, especially about World War II. I spend about 10 or more minutes on World War II alone.
The last few minutes are Q&A. Unfortunately, you can’t hear the questions. The first one, though, which was rather lengthy, was an accusation that I used “we” when describing the actions of the U.S. government. I told the questioner that I was pretty sure I hadn’t and now, having heard the talk, I know I didn’t. The reason I was pretty sure about this is that I have been saying for years that using “we” when what is really meant is the government, is sloppy, misleading, and dangerous. See these two articles I wrote (“Who Is ‘We'” and “Who is ‘We’? Part Two) for more on that.