[cross-posted at Liberty & Power and Mises Blog]
I was very sad to learn of Sudha Shenoy’s death [see here and here]. I didn’t know her well, but we spoke a few times at Mises Institute events (or on the Atlanta airport shuttle) and interacted on the L&P blog. She was a terrific economic historian, a radical libertarian, an inexhaustible fount of information (ask her a question and she would reply with a meticulous bibliography), with a witty and incisive mind disinclined to let b.s. pass unscathed.
In particular, I owe to Sudha the two following bits of information about her mentor Hayek:
1. Late in life Hayek once said that if he were younger, he would be a free-market anarchist.
2. Trusting Hayek’s notoriously unreliable memory, most writers have taken at face value his claim that he was never Mises’ student in the official sense, i.e., never enrolled in his university courses. But Sudha pointed out to me that Hayek’s grade book (reproduced on p. 13 of John Raybould’s Hayek: A Commemorative Album) bears the signatures of his professors, including Mises.
Haha, what does that Hayek remark about him being younger even mean? Is he saying if he were young and foolish he would be a free-market anarchist? Or that he was too old to change his mind?
Either way, seems silly, perhaps I misread what he meant by it.
Yeah, I was a bit puzzled too. One possible interpretation is that he didn’t want to adopt a position that he didn’t have the time or energy to defend.
Like what they say about Mises, the problem with Hayek is that he was not Hayekian enough.