Category Archives: Austrian Economic Theory

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis

Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis
by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Department of Economics
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The Journal of libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 2 (Fall 1990)

I want to do the following in this paper: First to present the theses that constitute the hard core of the Marxist theory of history. I claim that all of them are essentially correct. Then I will show how these true theses are derived in Marxism from a false starting point. Finally, I will demonstrate how Austrianism in the Mises-Rothbard tradition can give a correct but categorically different explanation of their validity.

Let me begin with the hard core of the Marxist belief system: 1 Continue reading

The Libertarian Alliance Christmas (sermon): I did want to say something positive, but I can’t. Sorry.

David Davis

Well, this is Christmas, I guess, and time goes around and comes around, and it seems like five minutes ago that I wrote the LA’s first Christmas Message on this blog, six or seven years ago. I’m not sure that there’s much else new to say from that time, but the Chimpanzee Type-Writors in the Blog’s freezing, damp Nissen-Hut must at least pretend to keep up appearances.

On every day and in every way, our rulers (do we need such people, really?) conspire to push us further and further down the outfall-pipe. It’s actually very depressing to be alive in Britain in 2013, knowing that one was being born some number of decades before, in a country which, while less blessed with the planet’s offerings, was at least less unfree in most ways.

All I’d really like to say to Libertarians this Christmas is that I think we are running out of time. It’s slipping by us all fast and I don’t know when there might be another time. I’m certain I said it before, possibly last year and the year before that and the year before that: it’s quite fortunate that statistNazis are rather inefficient and take longer than they might, to do what they need to do. Even Enoch Powell said once: “be of good cheer: for the rot has set in, but it will take quite some time”. There are some choices now open to us, as follows:-

(1) We can continue to try to “influence debate”, by publishing, by some of us (not enough to make a difference) going about having eggs and turned-off-mikes thrown at us in universities and on radio stations and in “Conservative” gatherings and meetings and stuff like that. We can continue to do that thing. But I don’t think anyone that matters, or is on our side, is listening. The ones not on our side will simply delete the file they got sent for airing, or turn off the mike when we get too near the truth.

(2) We can espouse “activism”, but all this will do is get us imprisoned, possibly for ever for we are right, and out families broken up, our computers “taken into local authority-care”, and our children “seized for hard-drive analysis”. As a strategy, this will therefore avail other people nought. The trouble is that we have been shown time and time again that “activism” pays, since people like Nelson Mandela, Gerry Adams, the dead pigs Castro and Stalin, the other dead leftist pig Hitler (he got lucky while young) and Ho Chi Mhinh “got into government”. But I don’t think any living Libertarian conservatives are willing to pay the price or are even young enough to see it redeemed.

(3) Each of us can build an “armoured library”. How you all do this is entirely up to you. It needn’t even be armoured, so long as you didn’t tell policemen, who’d of course tip off scumbag mobsters to come and accidentally burn it as soon as it was convenient for (them).

Sorry to be so depressing this year. It’s no use getting excited that “over 145 people” got to see the lecture at (somewhere or other) by “Dr Human Hope”, the really really articulate and perspicacious founder of the “freedom free thingy”, at some place or other, and which several hundred Libertarians from at least “20” countries attended. Nor, even, that his lecture got “published on the internet.

Merry Christmas: the time has come to face reality. Nobody’s really interested enough in liberty – either for themselves or for others, and certainly not for others – for us to make a difference any more.

I’m not saying we should give up and die. Just that we must not expect victory, for we shall not get it.

Hierarchy or the Market

by Kevin Carson
Hierarchy or the Market

The following article was written by Kevin Carson and published by The Freeman, April 1st, 2008.

In an article in last June’s Freeman, I applied some ideas from the socialist-calculation debate to the private corporation and examined the extent to which it is an island of calculational chaos in the market economy. I’d like to expand that line of analysis now and apply some common free-market insights on knowledge and incentives to the operation of the corporate hierarchy. Continue reading

Economics and Its Ethical Assumptions

by Roderick Long
Economics and Its Ethical Assumptions

The following article was written by Roderick T. Long and published with the Mises University, May 20, 2006.

When I was given the title “Ethical Assumptions of Economics,” my first thought was to say, “economics has no ethical assumptions.” But then I thought this might not be the best way to earn my keep here. So I’m going to talk about some senses in which economics might have implications for ethics. Continue reading

Thoughts on Capital-Based Macroeconomics

by John P. Cochran

Thoughts on Capital-Based Macroeconomics

Part I.

In 1979 the Cato Institute published a collection of Hayek’s post-Nobel-laureate contributions to Austrian monetary theory, policy, and macroeconomics titled, Unemployment and Monetary Policy: Government as Generator of the Business Cycle. The monograph made more available to an American audience material originally published by The Institute of Economic Affairs in London in 1975, including the foreword by Gerald P. O’Driscoll and “A Note on Capital Theory” bySudha R. Shenoy. This volume has been one ofmy favorites and has been a source I have used frequently during nearly 30 years of commentary on Hayek’s business cycle theory.It is good to see others highlight passages from the work as was done most recently in the “Quotation of the Day” posted by Don Boudreaux on November 12, 2012 at Café Hayek. Much of the content or similar content is available in New Studies in Philosophy, Economics and the History of Ideas. For those who prefer an audio rendition of many of Hayek’s arguments during this same period of time my mentor, Fred R. Glahe , has made an audio of Hayek’s lecture given at the Department of Economics of the University of Colorado on April 28th, 1975 available at the Mises Institute web site. The question and answer period with CU-Boulder faculty is quite interesting, especially in the context of the then-emerging stagflation and the breakdown of the Keynesian synthesis that occurred along with and because of the development of the Phelps-Freidman natural unemployment rate theory. Continue reading

The Story of the Mises Institute

The Story of the Mises Institute

[The Free Market, May 1988]

The Mises Institute comes at both economic scholarship and applied political philosophy from a very different perspective. It believes that “policy analysis” without principle is mere flim-flam and ad-hocery—murky political conclusions resting on foundations of sand. It also believes that policy analysis that does not rest on scholarly principles is scarcely worth the paper it is written on or the time and money devoted to it. In short, that the only worthwhile analysis of the contemporary political and economic scene rests consistently on firm scholarly principles. Continue reading

You Call That Austrian?

by David Gordon
You Call That Austrian?

[The  Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure
Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope
• By
John A. Allison • McGraw Hill, 2012 • Viii + 278 pages]

This book contains the oddest sentence I have ever read about the current financial crisis, or for that matter about any financial crisis. John Allison, President of the Cato Institute, writes,

I also thought of titling the book How the Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (1783) Caused the Financial Crisis, but that was too obscure for most people, although it was more accurate, since Kant was the major philosophical opponent of reason who put an end to the Enlightenment century (1700s) that indelibly shaped the founding of the United States. (p. 255, n.3)

It is not enough that Kant lies at the origin of Nazism, as Leonard Peikoff so cogently demonstrated in Ominous Parallels. (It comes as no surprise that Allison admires this great contemporary thinker and scholar. “Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand enabled me to integrate Rand’s philosophy and use it as a major competitive advantage for myself and for BB&T.” [p. 277]) No, he also caused the recession of 2008! The way in which this machine gunner of the mind brought about the catastrophe is not altogether apparent. Perhaps, by weakening confidence in reason, Kant’s destructionism made people blind to the errors of the inflationist doctrines that led to financial ruin. But were not inflationist and mercantilist policies popular long before Kant? Continue reading