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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12275/the-second-austrian-revival/

The Second Austrian Revival

March 22, 2010 by

We can date the second Austrian revival almost precisely to the fall of 2008. From that point on, the use of online Austrian resources on Mises.org abruptly doubled from one year earlier. FULL ARTICLE by Joseph Salerno and Jeffrey Tucker

{ 13 comments }

Dave B. March 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Amen to that! Austrians are the true champions of economic freedom and long term prosperity. The growing interest (including myself) is astounding. I am so encouraged by the free media and the free minds that are finding it in growing numbers.

Thank you!

Dennis Sperduto March 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

“[Keynesianism] has lost its tactical advantage: it is no longer new and never was true.”

I do not believe that Keynesianism, at its core, was even new. Did not Mises once write (I paraphrase) that Keynesianism essentially is nothing but old inflationist fallacies, dressed up in mathematical notation, that had been 100 times refuted by true economists.

It is a terrible shame how intellectual garbage continues to be recycled and achieve acceptance because of politics. And truth and integrity are almost always the first casualties of anything that politics significantly impacts.

Dick Fox March 22, 2010 at 3:05 pm

While I agree that it is prime time for Austrian Economics to be considered seriously today’s Austrians need a shift in their thinking. Austrians are good at pointing to problems and telling us about creating unsustainable asset bubbles, and malinvestment, and the Boom/Bust, but where are those Austrians telling us how an Austrian economy should run?

Since the Great Depression we have had a series of booms and busts, but for over 50 years the Austrians have been singing the same tune whether we are in a boom or a bust – the artificial boom.

If the artificial boom has been unending for the past 50 years why have there been cycles? If for this entire time we have seen nothing but an artificial inflationary boom how is it that we are seeing busts and then returns of the artificial boom? Additionally, what should be happening for the economy to be healthy in Austrian theory.

I know the answer because it is given by Mises but Austrians have been so busy criticizing that they don’t show the way.

I first found the truth of economics, escaping the insanity of Keynes, through Human Action but the Austrians reveled in the “dismal science” without every giving a way to actually have prosperity. Supply side economics did that. It gives the answers to the question, “So how should we live?” Until Austrian economics answers that question it will be a fringe group of busy-bodies complaining with no real solution.

Eric M. Staib March 23, 2010 at 2:25 am

“…but where are those Austrians telling us how an Austrian economy should run?”

The central teaching is that no one man or group can ever say “how an economy should run.” Only consumer behavior in the past and present reveals how it is likely to operate (not how it is likely to “be run”) in the future.

“So how should we live?”

Peacefully.

Susan Carson March 23, 2010 at 8:10 am

I am also new to the Austrian Theories and know that there is much more I need to learn. So, I can only ask for patience in dealing with my lack of knowledge.

I understand what you are saying with no one man or group can ever say ‘how an economy should run’. But we are a far cry from that kind of environment. My question as I’m reading some of the Austrian Theory books is “How do we create this kind of environment?” What steps do we take to untangle this economic knot we are currently operating in? Short of blowing it all up and starting over!

More importantly, perhaps, is how do we explain the steps we advocate so that average Americans can understand them.

Adam Pearson March 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

No mention of the Ron Paul revolution?

James Knights March 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm

An example of this phenomenon can be found at

http://www.amazon.com/review/R14N3S0N1XYOO7/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

It is a review of Vox Day’s book, Return of the Great Depression, written by an economist of the Austrian school.

Discussion of the review can be found here:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/03/rgd-rather-good-review.html

I was introduced to the Mises.org site through Vox Day’s blog, and a course he ran on Rothbard”s “America’s Great Depression”.

Probably a lot of other traffic to this site has resulted from economic discussions there.

Havvy March 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

@Dick Fox: The answer to growing the economy has to be looked at ethically. Follow the non-aggression-principle, and the answers will solve themselves with the creative aspect of people.

Eric M. Staib March 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

“We gathered, not just to teach and learn from one another, but to set the agenda for the future of economic science.”

10x more inspiring than any of the repetitive statist garbage Bush and Obama ever sold to their audiences.

Ross March 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Susan, I found this, it could explain for you: http://mises.org/daily/3232

Ross March 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm
Gene Berman March 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

Dick Fox and Susan Carson:

There’s a very old joke about the man who goes to a doctor and says, “Doc, look at my arm–whenever it bend it like this (demonstrating), it hurts quite a bit.

The doctor examines his arm carefully, especially where the pain had been experienced, and says,
“Hmmm–my very best recommendation would be that you stop bending it like that. Yes, I think that’ll do the trick!”

Economics is somewhat the same. We can grant that the overwhelming number of people would just like to know the best way to “run an economy.” And that’s quite a good part of the problem–the idea that “an economy” is something that requires “running” (which, in itself, conjures the idea of a “system” of sorts and “experts” installed as administrators of one sort or another).

Your questions tell me that, even though you’ve acquired some acquaintance with Mises, you’ve missed entirely the gist of his message. An economy is nothing but the sum of the existing economic relationships between people. By a process very akin to evolution, the surviving “fit” are those who most adopted the advantages to be gained by peaceful relations and development of trade (and this despite the continuing inclination on the part of many both to resort to belligerence and to provoke it in others). If the result is a “system,” so be it; but I’m quite sure that that’s what neither of you had in mind. What you’d like is something like a “magic formula”–a set of rules in a book, which, if followed faithfully, lead ever onward and upward. The tendency is quite human and, in many endeavors, successful–just not in economics. One of the problems is that there are distinct advantages to be gained by some (enhanced power, esteem, and income) from even slightly gaining influence over the economic behavior of others. The great bulk of mankind may content itself with receiving such benefits by figuring out just which occupation or enterprise will bring them the best chance of the highest income: they serve in order to be served (whether workers or entrepreneurs and whether producers of goods or of services). You might say (up to this point) that the “system” is not really a system or, if it’s to be considered as such, is a self-generated system brought into existence by (and consisting in) the ordinary, self-interested behavior of virtually everyone. Such a system, cooperative as it is, will even generate many other systems–groups organized for specific purposes, whether as traders, transporters, lenders, makers of stuff of every description (and even of gangs intent on predation of others), some offering physical protective services, and yet others offering “expert” advice on almost any subject; all those (except the predators) might well be said and considered to be “productive” or “contributory” to the economy–at least those that continue viably.

But some advise other “systems.” Earliest (historically) to arise are those erected to deal coercively with the negative aspects of predatory behavior, whether of individuals or of gangs (and frequently extended to include other behaviors considered intolerable from some moral viewpoint–whether or not economically-related). These we understand as “government” or “law,” are legally entitled (because they’ve no other way to support themselves and their activities), within certain limits, to certain entitlements, support, and income, all derived, not as others must derive such, by exchange, but by one or another coercive force (that’s just their nature–they’ve got nothing else to sell).

If history can tell us anything about human nature, it would be that few are entirely immune to the idea that some unsatisfactory aspects of their own economic existence, due to competitive effort of others, might be ameliorated by some semi- or actual prohibition of such competition. “Law” is sought and enlisted by many–both individuals and groups–to assist them against such others. And, of course, “experts” arise both to plead the need, to argue the cases, and both to construct and to administer the “systems” that will “regulate” affairs, most especially economic, “for the benefit of all.” I have been long (and, perhaps, tedious) but I think that, by now, you can understand the emergent pattern.

Josiah March 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

The Second Austrian Revival was 49% Ron Paul, 49% Mises Institute, and 2% FEE, Independent Institute, etc.

I know about a dozen Austrian economics adherents at the college I just graduated from, and every single one of them were brought to Austrian economics because of Ron Paul. Had Ron Paul never run for President, making chants like “End the Fed” and signs like “Support HR 1207″ popular, the revival would never have happened. Had the Mises Institute not been there to catch all of Ron Paul’s supporters as they sought to educate themselves further, the revival would have never happened.

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