Expanding Icons?

by Carol Iannone

On certain blocks in New York, you can find pavement paintings, huge and quite accurate likenesses of famous people done in some kind of long-lasting colored chalk on the sidewalk. Usually they are of liberal figures, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, or pop icons, such as Michael Jackson. But yesterday, on Broadway near Columbia University, there was the likeness of none other than Friedrich von Hayek. (Wikipedia says that he dropped the “von,” but it continues to be used.) Rather amazing, given that he hardly has the face and name recognition of the others, which is why his name appeared with his likeness. Could this be a sign of a turn in economic understanding? Also good news was that the required Columbia Contemporary Civilization still features the great works such as Aristotle and the Bible and Locke. Also the Koran, which might be a relatively recent addition, but an appropriate one for a course called ”contemporary.” And if it’s read honestly, it should go a long way toward helping students understand the Muslim world.