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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12293/got-geisteswissenschaft/

Got Geisteswissenschaft?

March 24, 2010 by

I’d like to think vigorous, but civil and productive, discussions can happen even with people outside of the Austrian School, and beyond. John Papola has demonstrated how it is possible to do that without compromising your position. FULL ARTICLE by J. Grayson Lilburne

{ 11 comments }

Philip Dimon March 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

Romans 12:21 is very similar to Mises motto.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.- Romans 12:21

Aubrey Herbert March 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

“It should now be clear how Mises’s epistemology and social philosophy reinforced his inner tendency to battle unwaveringly for the truth. Civilization and human existence are at stake, and to preserve and expand it, high theory and scholarship, though important, is not enough. Especially in an age of galloping statism, the classical liberal, the advocate of the free market, has an obligation to carry the struggle to all levels of society, to government, to the general public, to political parties. Not for Mises the view that general education or even political action was somehow beneath his dignity as a theorist and scholar. Not for Mises the artificial separation between theory and practice; with civilization at stake, and with freedom vitally important, there was no time for such pussyfooting. And even though Mises strongly believed that economic science was value-free, and that values are not objective, he also passionately committed himself to the ideology, yes the values, of classical liberalism, of freedom, peace, and free markets. For unlike standard utilitarianism, his insight into social affairs taught him that human life and happiness were at stake, and he was willing to take the “non-objective” step of coming out squarely in favor of human life and high living standards. Never for Mises, in short, the gathering of academic robes around him or refusing to engage in political controversy in the name of “value freedom.” Economic science may be value-free, but men can never be, and Ludwig von Mises never shirked the responsibilities of being human.”

http://mises.org/misesbib/pubpol.asp

J. Grayson Lilburne March 24, 2010 at 10:31 am

The discussion linked to above continued in the topic “Wertfreiheit”.

Daniel Kuehn March 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

[inser standard point that Skidelsky really, really, really doesn't speak for Keynesians here]

I thought the video was good and should be acceptable to Keynesians with a health understanding that some degree of artistic license applies. But I wouldn’t give it any more credit than that. It was good. It wasn’t deliberately misleading. But it certainly wasn’t complete and it certainly didn’t “demolish Keynes”.

Vanmind March 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Agreed, not demolished in the detailed way Hazlitt and others demolished his theories. In any case, demolished they remain.

Mattheus March 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

Hazlitt, and later Lewis, demolished Keynes so well that to do it again is an enormous redundancy. Did the rap video demolish Keynes? On some level it did. It didn’t get into his awful theory of interest or theory of capital, but it showed that there were enough inconsistencies with typical Keynesian thought (Just keep throwing money at it!) to allow those relatively unfamiliar with Austrian thought to comfortably discount him for what he was – a crank.

Lady Attis March 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

To me, the Motto of Mises meant both the impersonal evil of Nature (of earthquakes, floods, and other misfortunes) and the ever personal evil of Men (of force and fraud) should be surmounted. And to split hairs over it beyond what Mises meant is to be silly over an open phrase. Perhaps the division over the phrase’s meaning shows something deeper as to what the participants deal with everyday (impersonal vs personal evil) than it does about the quality of the phrase itself (and the Man who adopted it). On bad days for me, I see it as the motto for those who have to deal with evil men rather than evil times. On good days, I see it as a motto for the challenges that Nature provides. Either way, it’s a good motto to keep around when all else seems to fail.

Peter March 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I guess when Mises did learn latin at school he was still thinking in the german language. In German Vergil´s words would have to be translated in the following way:
Weiche dem Unglück nicht, nein, unverzagt gehe ihm entgegen!
I would translate Unglück in that context rather with some sort of desaster (not in the meaning of worst case). Missfortune does not fit – and evil does not fit at all.
Maybe the best translation into english would be with Shakespeare´s words: “Be bloody bold and resolute! (MacBeth)”.

Havvy March 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

“Be bloody bold and resolute! (MacBeth)”
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.- Romans 12:21
“do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.”

J. Grayson Lilburne March 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm

“I guess when Mises did learn latin at school he was still thinking in the german language. In German Vergil´s words would have to be translated in the following way:
Weiche dem Unglück nicht, nein, unverzagt gehe ihm entgegen!
I would translate Unglück in that context rather with some sort of desaster (not in the meaning of worst case). Missfortune does not fit – and evil does not fit at all.”

Thank you for that Peter! The German language element is key! From now on I’m translating my wristband to people who ask as, “Never give in to disaster”. Translating it as “evil” to people always seemed to come off as excessively moralizing, and seemed to give people a different impression of Mises than actually reading his self-possessed, scientific prose would convey.

Aubrey Herbert March 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm

“It is also – or may I say: first of all – a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society , a substantiated rejection of the self-styled “intellectuals” and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties. It is a devastating exposure of the “moral-cannibals”, “the gigolos of science” and the “academic prattle” of the makers of the “anti-industrial revolution”. – Ludwig von Mises (http://mises.org/etexts/misesatlas.pdf)

“All such laws constitute what libertarians call moral cannibalism. A cannibal in the physical sense is a person who lives off the flesh of other beings. A moral cannibal is one who believes he has a right to live off the “spirit” of other human beings—who believes that he has a moral claim on the productive capacity, time, and effort expended by others. (218)” – http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/law/lecture22_freedom1.html

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