In End the Fed, Ron Paul writes:
Early on, I had heard Ludwig von Mises lecture at the University of Houston. This was probably in 1972, a year before his death. At that time I was extremely busy with my medical practice but saw a very small newspaper notice that Mises would be lecturing at the university on a weekday. I knew there was only one other physician in the town of Lake Jackson, Dr. Henry May, who would care about such an unusual event. I called him to see if he cared to travel the fifty miles to hear Mises. We arranged our office schedules and made the trip.
Mises, at the time, was elderly but sharp. His subject was socialism, and his lecture explained why socialism always fails due to the absence of a free market pricing structure for capital goods. He was on his last lecture tour of the United States, and Houston may well have been his last stop. (Mises died on October 10, 1973, at ninety-two years of age.)
Not to our surprise, the university did not give him a prestigious reception. The lecture was held in a modest-sized classroom, but the place was overflowing. Popularizing Austrian economics at the time was in its very early stages, but it was obvious even then that there was a starvation for truth in economics. The early 1970s were truly hectic, and since gold prices were soaring and the dollar was dropping more and more, people were searching for solutions. Today, of course, the problems are so much worse and the need for answers even more urgent.
To say the least, my trip to Houston to hear Mises in person was an inspiration. I suspect that when the definitive history of the twentieth century is written, Mises will be considered on of the greatest economists, if not the greatest, of the century.
This very 1972 Houston lecture on socialism has been rediscovered at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The recording was generously donated by Professor Jeffrey Calvert, who also attended.
This one may require headphones; the audio is not ideal. But it is definitely worth the effort it may take to listen to what really is a historical gem: a recording of the last knight of liberalism, at the end of his “intellectual lion in winter” phase, inspiring the man who has inspired a movement for liberty.