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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7057/the-historical-setting-of-the-austrian-school-of-economics-by-ludwig-von-mises/

The Historical Setting of the Austrian School of Economics, by Ludwig von Mises

August 31, 2007 by

  1. Carl Menger and the Austrian School of Economics
    1. The Beginnings
    2. The Austrian School of Economics and the Austrian Universities
    3. The Austrian School in the Intellectual Life of Austria
    4. Böhm-Bawerk and Wieser as Members of the Austrian Cabinet
  2. The Conflict with the German Historical School
    1. The German Rejection of Classical Economics
    2. The Sterility of Germany in the Field of Economics
    3. The Methodenstreit
    4. The Political Aspects of the Methodenstreit
    5. The Liberalism of the Austrian Economists
  3. The Place of the Austrian School of Economics in the Evolution of Economics
    1. The “Austrian School” and Austria
    2. The Historical Significance of the Methodenstreit

The peculiar state of German ideological and political conditions in the last quarter of the nineteenth century generated the conflict between two schools of thought out of which the Methodenstreit and the appellation “Austrian School” emerged. But the antagonism that manifested itself in this debate is not confined to a definite period or country. It is perennial. As human nature is, it is unavoidable in any society where the division of labor and its corollary, market exchange, have reached such an intensity that everybody’s subsistence depends on other people’s conduct….Governments, political parties, pressure groups, and the bureaucrats of the educational hierarchy think they can avoid the inevitable consequences of unsuitable measures by boycotting and silencing the independent economists. But truth persists and works, even if nobody is left to utter it. FULL ARTICLE

{ 1 comment }

Yancey Ward August 31, 2007 at 11:46 am

From the essay:

The unpopularity of economics is the result of its analysis of the effects of privileges. It is impossible to invalidate the economists’ demonstration that all privileges hurt the interests of the rest of the nation or at least of a great part of it, that those victimized will tolerate the existence of such privileges only if privileges are granted to them too, and that then, when everybody is privileged, nobody wins but everybody loses on account of the resulting general drop in the productivity of labor.[3] However, the warnings of the economists are disregarded by the covetousness of people who are fully aware of their inability to succeed in a competitive market without the aid of special privileges. They are confident that they will get more valuable privileges than other groups or that they will be in a position to prevent, at least for some time, any granting of compensatory privileges to other groups. In their eyes the economist is simply a mischief-maker who wants to upset their plans.

A few months ago, I was reading a blog that asked why economics causes more contention and strife than any other of the social sciences. I wrote a reply that had the essence of the above quote, but not nearly so clear and powerful.

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