It has finally been released. Bob Murphy and Jordan Peterson. If I recall, it was scheduled to be released about a month ago. My understanding is that Peterson has suffered some health setbacks (if I am wrong about this, I apologize), and, therefore, he has released his videos in a more drawn-out manner than originally planned.
The conversation was focused on Austrian Economics. Peterson asked some probing questions – after things that are easy to take for granted if one is bent in a free-market direction. But necessary questions if one is after opening a conversation with those not so inclined.
A couple of things struck me about the conversation. First, as was seen by many who are familiar both with Austrian Economics and Peterson: although he has had no previous formal exposure to this school of economics, his fields of study and focus made it easy (natural) for him to grasp the points Murphy was making.
But it was more than this: he was able to anticipate the points, with Murphy, often, replying with a statement of clarification or example. In other words, Murphy often didn’t have to make the points – just offer some depth as a teacher would do for an inquisitive and promising student.
Second, Murphy. How to keep up with Peterson in a thoughtful manner, and on topics that are potential landmines. Murphy really excelled at this. Certainly, he is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. But Peterson is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful (and quick) thinkers in the West – whether or not you agree with him on everything (or anything), this cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, there was no real conversation about natural law – but this wasn’t the point of the conversation. Murphy had one opportunity to mention it, noting that Mises’s approach was utilitarian, but that other Austrians held a natural law foundation (or something like this). Peterson didn’t pursue this, and it certainly wasn’t Murphy’s place to push the subject – it was a tangent to Peterson’s purpose.
Enough about the video. The comments to the video were quite interesting:
BobWidlefish: “Choice” by Dr. Robert Murphy is very easy to read: no math, no obscure language, etc. It’s written very clearly in simple language anyone can understand without any prior knowledge of or interest in economics. I highly recommend it!
Robert Griffis: This is epic. Bob Murphy is the poster child for "low key" epic. Mild mannered dude, with super human knowledge of economics.
Gustavrsh: I've always seen some Mises on Peterson's arguments. Libertarianism has a lot to do with personal responsibility. A lot of people think libertarianism is about free market, but free market is a consequence, not a basis.
I am always careful to not intermingle Austrian Economics and libertarianism, but I understand both the sentiment and the reason why many do so.
Ross Lambert: Bob Murphy influencing Peterson is what the world needs.
Ancap Adam (who represents himself with a picture of Hans Hoppe): We're slowly watching Dr. Peterson become a Rothbardian. I love it!
Steve B: Bob Murphy is great. One of the most fun people you can talk to about economics and not want your eyes gauged out.
These comments, it seems to me, offer a glimpse into the reality of the overlap of Peterson’s work, Austrian Economics, and a healthy liberty.
Now let’s figure out how to get Peterson to host a conversation with someone on natural law. It really is the necessary step for Peterson; I just don’t know if he knows that.