An Economist’s Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy: David Henderson at Hoover

David Henderson, April 09, 2014

The Naval War College, based in Newport, Rhode Island, runs a special 11-month course for foreign Navy officers. On February 3, the Naval War College held a special morning session at the Hoover Institution, where I am a research fellow. I was invited to speak. The best invites, in my experience, are those for which I get to choose the topic. That happened in this case. So the topic I chose was “An Economist’s Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy.”

The four speakers, in order, were Gary Roughead (Admiral-Retired), formerly the Chief of Naval Operations and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover, me, Bruce Thornton, a professor of classics and humanities from Fresno State University and a research fellow at Hoover, and George P. Shultz, formerly Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan and a Distinguished Fellow at Hoover.

The audience was, I believe, all Navy officers. There were 47 of them, representing 44 countries. I was warmly received by many of them, especially the officer from Bangladesh, and courteously received by the few U.S. military officers in attendance.

Listen to the speech (30 min).




5 Responses to “An Economist’s Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy: David Henderson at Hoover”

  1. "…free choice can at least exist under a dictatorship that can limit itself but not under the government of an unlimited democracy which cannot"

    –Friedrich August von Hayek

    "As long term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. [...] Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism. My personal impression – and this is valid for South America – is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government."

    –Friedrich August von Hayek

    So-called "democracy" 'bad'…so-called "dictatorship" 'good'?!?!?!?!

    Agree or disagree…can you please explain Hayek here Mr. Henderson?

  2. I can explain, I think. But I won’t bother. It has nothing to do with my article or the insights from Hayek that I quoted and used to discuss foreign policy.

  3. I guess I'm just not understanding… Persuasion is "good" when it works…but when it doesn't: "I won’t bother"..

    I don't want to sound like an a-hole…but this doesn't seem to add up. Perhaps the 47 Navy officers "representing 44 countries" can answer this and change US society?

  4. What is most odd is that the right-wingers on the attack against the small libertarian-leaning wing of the party that opposes rabid interventionism seem thoroughly unaware that what they call “naive” foreign policy is actually backed up by history and much of academia.

  5. What is most odd is that the right-wingers on the attack against the small libertarian-leaning wing of the party that opposes rabid interventionism seem thoroughly unaware that what they call a??naivea?? foreign policy is actually backed up by history and much of academia.