Soho Forum's Gene Epstein: Socialism, Capitalism, Chomsky, Rothbard, and Bitcoin

TL;DR: Gene Epstein is a longtime columnist for Barron’s, and he’s also heading a wonderful debating platform, The Soho Forum. We discuss his intellectual development from socialism to free markets, and along the way find ourselves talking about cryptocurrency in the context of Noam Chomsky, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and how capitalist-oriented economists and thinkers are somewhat split on the idea of crypto. The episode is available embedded in this article, below, or on YouTubeiTunesSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherRadio PublicBreakerPocketCasts, and PodBean.

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Gene Epstein of The Soho Forum

Gene Epstein is longtime columnist for Barron’s, but more recently has turned a lot of his focus toward reviving Oxford style debate. He’s come up with The Soho Forum, a night out in New York City with a live audience engaged and listening to two top thinkers hash out a serious resolution.

Soho Forum's Gene Epstein: Socialism, Capitalism, Chomsky, Rothbard, and Bitcoin
After the Voorhees and Schiff debate, Voorhees posted, “Me, and @niccary of helping @PeterSchiff with his first Bitcoin transaction ever. Had a great time at the debate tonight. Peter was reasonable and curious, and it was an honor and privilege to share the stage this evening.”

Of those, its most popular iteration happened when ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees took on noted money manager Peter Schiff. Is Bitcoin the Future of Money? is creeping up on 500K views, helped by the ReasonTV’s slick distribution and production.

Epstein is a personable fellow, modest to a fault, and always ready to challenge assumptions. He takes us through his intellectual development, and gives a really nice run-down of a large controversy within the Austrian School of Economics about the nature of money and squaring that with the advent of crypto.


  1. Introduction
  2. Noam Chomsky 05:10
  3. Socialism 06:50
  4. Murray Rothbard 08:50
  5. Austrian School of Economics 15:15
  6. Ludwig von Mises’ Regression theorem 18:00
  7. Cryptocurrency mental blockage, gold 20:15
  8. Voorhees v. Schiff and “The Picture” 28:00
  9. The Soho Forum 29:15
  10. Oxford debate style 37:30
  11. Crypto is the king of interdisciplinary studies 40:00
  12. 2008 Financial Crisis and crypto 41:30
  13. Resolution: Bitcoin is poorly suited to the purpose of becoming any nation’s main medium of exchange (Monday evening, Aug. 12th, 2019) —

Soho Forum's Gene Epstein: Socialism, Capitalism, Chomsky, Rothbard, and Bitcoin

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