Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Libertarian Cowards

I noticed had a few comments on LJ:

The LibertarianJackass has little problem with the Mises Institute promoting a paleo-libertarian political agenda under the name of economic study. He writes,

"Talk about price theory all you want, but don't touch the fundamental issues facing society today ("national defense," galloping statism, etc.)?"

More "fundamental" is price theory, the capital structure, and how knowledge is used in an economy. These are more fundamental because they need to be understood in order to better address the more political questions Mises Institute scholars talk about. I've been following the Austrian School for over ten years (the Mises Institute sent me monthly Free Market issues when I was in college) so I can safely say the Misesians wear their anarchist advocacy on their sleeves (I just wish they'd publically say it). I compare the essays and weblog entries at to the discussions that take place on the Hayek-L e-mail list. Part of it may just be scholarly politeness, but those postings to the e-mail list aren't knee-jerk libertarian.

My main complaint with the Mises Institute is their straying from economic analysis into defending the South in the Civil War and beating the hell out of Lincoln. DiLorenzo actually compared Lincoln to Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe. As a learning institution, they have done the most of anyone in the world to keep Ludwig von Mises' ideas alive. For economics students and lovers of liberty, that's a great accomplishment for which they deserve tremendous praise.

Libertarian Jackass comment: Anarchists? And all this time I've been bashing these Austro-libertarians for being cowardly "minimal State" liberatians! I'm reminded of a statement by Murray Rothbard in War, Peace and the State: "And the forestalling of massive annihilation is far more important, in truth, than the demunicipalization of garbage disposal, as worthwhile as that may be. Or are libertarians going to wax properly indignant about price control or the income tax, and yet shrug their soldiers at, or even positively advocate, the ultimate crime of mass murder?"

Yes, price theory, the capital structure and the use of knowledge in the economy are fundamental (although it must be stressed that the use of property is far more important than this ridiculous "knowledge" garbage). The Mises Institute scholars excel in such pure economic theorizing. Althought I certainly do not speak on behalf of the Mises Institute, the real question is: why do the other so-called advocates of a free society (libertarians, free market economists, conservatives, etc) shy away from advocating the policy implications of such theories? Where are the intellectual heros of our time? My opinion: the intellectual heroes of the free society are at, or are affiliated with, the Mises Institute.

At this time the Libertarian Jackass--as a "knee-jerk libertarian"--would like to challenge to a fist fight any individual challenging the "Austro-libertarian political agenda." This includes any clown of the opinion that "the State" is a necessary institution in society. Please email at mail at libertarianjackass dot com.

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