William Beveridge’s “mock trial of economists”




The 1933 Mock Trial of Economists is occasionally noticed and then interpreted as a representation of popular discontent with the economists’ “crime” of “conspiracy to spread mental fog.” William Beveridge’s papers in the London School of Economics archives contain the written record of the performed composition and an unperformed frame for the Trial. Both are reproduced below. The performance singles out J. M. Keynes for his changing points of view. The unperformed frame provides evidence of Beveridge’s defense of diverse viewpoints in light of his worries about totalitarian repression. Long after he had left LSE, F. A. Hayek called attention to Beveridge’s worries about the fate of multiple viewpoints under socialism.

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Copyright © 2019 Springer. This article first appeared in The Review of Austrian Economics (2019), 1-32.

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Levy, David M., and Sandra J. Peart. "William Beveridge’s 'mock trial of economists'." The Review of Austrian Economics (September 2019): 1-32.