My Economics Book Is Censored in the Philippines

“All underdeveloped countries are flooded with translations of the writings of Marx, Lenin and Stalin and of the books of all shades of non-Marxian socialism and anti-capitalism. … In no other way can the United States contribute to the improvement of the economic conditions of the underdeveloped countries than by transmitting to them the ideas of economic freedom.”

— Ludwig von Mises

I just received word from a “friend in the Philippines,” who wished to remain anonymous, that my book, The Making of Modern Economics, has been pulled from the shelves — along with Ayn Rand’s novels — from the libraries at the University of the Philippines, a hotbed of Marxism.

Here’s the story:

In 2002, a student named Franscisco (a pseudonym) at the University of the Philippines read my book, The Making of Modern Economics (ME Sharpe, 2001). The book is a popular textbook that tells the story of the great economic thinkers, from Adam Smith to modern times, all written from a free-market perspective. (It’s now in its third printing, and has been translated into three languages.)

One of the most controversial chapters is chapter 6, “Marx Plunges Economics into a New Dark Age.” The student was a member of a Communist front student organization at University of the Philippines, but was so impressed with my critique of Marx that he typed the entire chapter into an email and sent it to all his Marxist friends and sociology professor. As a result, they all abandoned Marxism in favor of free-market economics, including his professor.

Now apparently my book has become so effective in countering Marxism in the Philippines that it has been removed from the major university libraries in Manila — along with Ayn Rand’s books!

Here is the latest email from my “friend in the Philippines.”

From the Philippines, dated December 8, 2005:

Hi Mark:

Remember you sent me a box of The Making of Modern Economics?

I donated a copy to the libraries of each of the four major universities here. Later, a friend of mine checked the library at the University of the Philippines and sure enough, they were there on the stacks. And had become a little dog-eared … meaning it had been read and read.

Well, just yesterday she looked again — and it was gone! Also all Rand’s books have disappeared (they were in both the main library and the library of the College of Arts and Letters — gone from both).

Also, the copy of your book had been heavily highlighted by the librarian — complete with annotated comments disputing what you said. Especially in the chapter on Marx. For example, where you talked about Marx theory of exploitation “exploitation” was crossed out with the comment: not true. Apparently, as good Marxists (UP is riddled with them) they use the term “superstructure” instead.

Apparently, both you and Rand are too radical and revolutionary for tender young Filipino minds — at least, according to their Marxist minders!

[Name removed by request]

PS. If you reprint/forward this any where, I’d prefer you leave my name out; just refer to “a friend in the Philippines.”

Final note: The Making of Modern Economics is available from Eagle Publishing, 1-800-211-7661, either in paperback ($24.95) or hardback ($39.95), plus $4 postage & handling. It’s fully illustrated with chapters on Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and all the modern-day free market economists, such as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.

William F. Buckley, Jr., has said about The Making of Modern Economics: "Skousen’s book is a reference bible I keep at my bedside and refer to it often. What an absolutely ideal gift for college students."