Obituaries

Burt Blumert, R.I.P.

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Burt Blumert, a coin dealer and longtime supporter of libertarian intellectual causes, particularly those associated with Murray Rothbard (Blumert served at various times as president of both the Center for Libertarian Studies and chairman of the Mises Institute and was a longtime Ron Paul booster), died today of cancer at age 80.

I interviewed Blumert at the Burlingame office of his coin business for my book on the history of the libertarian movement, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, and found him a charming, joshing, and self-effacing man with a good memory for the amusing detail, and a view on life and government that managed the difficult task of being both clear-headed yet not depressingly pessimistic.

Like many involved in the movement who were more backers than active contributors to writing and activism, he downplayed his own accomplishments and importance. But such sponsorship and patronage of intellectual movements are of course vital to the survival and spread of ideas.

Two of his friends, and longtime recipients of his support, Lew Rockwell of the Mises Institute and Eric Garris of Antiwar.com, eulogized him today.

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  1. Terrible, terrible loss. In contrast with leftists thugs and sophists, this guy was a gentleman.

  2. Llewellyn Rockwell’s eulogy to his friend Burt, at Lewrockwell.com, is particularly moving.

  3. It is from your book that I recognized Blumert’s name before reading the rest of the post. A true defender of liberty, and guys like him who are willing to write the checks for those who get all the public credit truly are necessary in the long-term libertarian project. Without guys like Blumert, or the Volker Fund back in the 50s, or the Koch brothers more recently, there simply wouldn’t be the current multi-faceted anti-statist movement in America, and all of its associated institutions and organizations.

  4. I may have had some disagreements with LRC, but Burt himself was always a gentleman, always friendly.

  5. Bit shameful using a eulogy to plug your book.

  6. If you’re gonna plug your book in the obit, maybe you can give us a taste of the interview or an excerpt from the book? That would honor the man a bit better and maybe give me a reason to want to buy and read the book.

  7. I don’t se this as a plug for a book at all. Blumert was a fascinating writer who deserved a bigger audience and people who knew him seemed to invariably say good things about him.

    If, then, he’s mentioned in a book, I want to read about that mention, even if the author has to bring it up.

    RFC was great, anyway, in part because it brought guys like Blumert to the forefront.

  8. hi,
    everybody, take your time and a little bit.fgdhrth

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