18 November 2006
Milton Friedman, capitalism's Che Guevara
I had the honor to meet Milton Friedman in San Fransisco in 2005. It was the annual pilgrimage of the Milton Friedman Group from the University of Chicago, where I was at the time co-chair. the first strong impression when we met him was his short stature, that further emphasized by contrast this intellectual giant of the 20th century. In that three-hour lunch we bombarded him with all kinds of questions. His knowledge and tireless defense of freedom was impressive.
I havent read any obituaries yet, but I personally believe that Milton Friedman's major contribution will be considered not his vigorous analysis or the creation of new models, but rather his passion in defending liberalism and transforming the movement to a romantic cause. After MF liberalism was not a boring ideology that stinked conservativism. It was the pursuit of freedom, that could inspire the young people hungry for an idealistic cause to fight for. No wonder that at UChicago we used to wear Milton Friedman t-shirts, similar to the Che Guevera ones.