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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15181/the-human-action-study-guide-as-our-armor/

The Human Action Study Guide is our armor

December 30, 2010 by

Jeffrey Tucker noted that Murphy’s Human Action Study Guide finished seventh on the 2010 Mises bestseller list. In his write up of the book, Tucker noted that “it permits [him] to give well-organized, impromptu lectures on any aspect of economics.” I couldn’t agree more. I use the book to review and prepare for my small version of Isaiah’s Job.

A friend of mine teaches evening classes on economics at a local university. Sympathetic to the Austrian school, though not a convert or an apostle, he invites me and another friend – a state administrator – to provide overviews of competing theories on the last day of class. I present the Austrian school and our other friend the state school, so to speak.

In order to refresh my talking points, I spend the lunch before the class reviewing the study guide (and Murphy’s Study Guide to Man, Economy, and State) alongside standard micro and macro course outlines. Armed and ready for intellectual battle – a battle that is rarely joined, by the way – I head off to class after work.

Following my introduction, my presentation continues on familiar form. In order to put the Austrian school into an historical perspective, I ask, “Has anyone ever heard of Adam Smith?”


“Karl Marx?”

Only a mouse click disturbs the calm.

I continue, “How about Keynes?”


“Milton Freidman?”

I can’t even detect a movement from eyes buried in whatever is displayed on the ubiquitous laptops.

So, finally, I ask, “Ever hear the one about the guy who … ?”

Working Isaiah’s job can seem futile at times. But the occasional interested mind will challenge my presentation. And that is when the quick refresh from the study guide comes in handy. Maybe I can win one more for the movement. Maybe.

Isaiah’s job is our job. And the study guide is our armor.


Anmiho December 31, 2010 at 2:11 am

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Gerald Mucci August 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

At the rate we are going in the US, Juicy Couture will be manufacturing their togs in Tobago with the owner on a salarly paid by the US Federal government, taxed at 50%. Oh, and the togs won’t be all that Juicy and Sexy anymore, because they are sure to be transformed into a khaki uniform befitting our new National Homeland Defense Corp, better funded, better equipped and better trained than our nation-building overseas contingency force, aka Army.

Jim December 31, 2010 at 10:23 am

In consideration of the blank stares and clicking laptops bit – I suggest leaving the spambot post above about handbags and tracksuits undisturbed for the purpose of comic irony. Clever bot.

Glamor aside, I don’t envy your task. Students in night classes are the bottom of the brain barrel. They’re usually just taking the class to get any passing grade, they just got off work and just want to go home, and that’s on top of college students too often being kinda useless anyway.

Have you tried juggling?

Davidh Rodrigue January 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm


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