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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14298/orthodox-historiography-of-economic-thought/

Orthodox Historiography of Economic Thought

October 19, 2010 by

Schumpeter is properly assiduous about Smith. He obviously had total contempt for Smith, and for good reason. And he hates Ricardo — that’s another great thing about Schumpeter. His hatred of Ricardo shines through. FULL ARTICLE by Murray Rothbard

{ 4 comments }

Ned Netterville October 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

“The orthodox historiography of economic thought starts as follows: There were a bunch of mercantilists running around, talking about specific things like sugar. Should the government keep bullion in the realm? Should we have tariffs? And then in 1776, emerging like Athena out of the brow of Zeus, is Adam Smith, who, out of his head, creates all modern economics, free-market economics, the whole business, and that’s it.”

At the time Rothbard gave this lecture in the mid-1980s, he was describing my own understanding of the history of economic thought. I didn’t wise up until much later, after his two-volume history of economic thought was published in 1995. Not right after, because at $200 for the pair my personal parsimoniousness prevented purchase, but I knew I had to have them. Within a year, however, I swallowed my penny-pinching prudence and popped for the price. Rothbard’s scholarship therein literally blew me away. Now one can buy both volumes from the MIses book store for a quarter of what I paid. (http://mises.org/store/Product.aspx?ProductId=273&utm_source=Resources) Now I know just how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Jordan Viray October 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Of course you can also download the volumes no-charge online at:

http://mises.org/books/histofthought1.pdf
http://mises.org/books/histofthought2.pdf

For anyone unfamiliar with Rothbard, the article might have looked to be an all too glib look at economic history but an examination of his History shows he is anything as comprehensive and exhaustive as any scholar. I felt the same way as Ned … it blew me away.

cryptocode October 19, 2010 at 11:20 pm

A pleasant change in the style of writing that makes enjoyable reading.

Paul Stephens October 20, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Murray, please! Murray is a Scottish name! These are your brothers! Surely you don’t agree with J.K. Galbraith that “Adam Smith is parochial to the Scotch” (whiskey, maybe?)

Of course, The Wealth of Nations isn’t just a work in economics. It’s one of the Great Books of world literature and humanistic studies. And yes, Marx learned most of his economics there, and from Ricardo. He was writing a “critique of political economy,” not a blueprint for socialism or communism.

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