Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

When I Hear The Words “Austrian Economics”…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 20, 2009

…I reach for my SPLC references.

For people wondering who is behind “Austrian economics” or the Mises Institute, check out the Southern Poverty Law Center’s research thereon:

Ludwig von Mises Institute
www.mises.org

The Ludwig von Mises Institute, founded in 1982 by Llewellyn Rockwell Jr. and still headed by him, is a major center promoting libertarian political theory and the Austrian School of free market economics, pioneered by the late economist Ludwig von Mises. It publishes seven journals, has printed more than 100 books, and offers scholarships, prizes, conferences and a major library at its Auburn, Ala., offices.

It also promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive. The institute seems nostalgic for the days when, “because of selective mating, marriage, and the laws of civil and genetic inheritance, positions of natural authority [were] likely to be passed on within a few noble families.”

But the rule of these natural elites and intellectuals, writes institute scholar Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is being ruined by statist meddling such as “affirmative action and forced integration,” which he said is “responsible for the almost complete destruction of private property rights, and the erosion of freedom of contract, association, and disassociation.”

A key player in the institute for years was the late Murray Rothbard, who worked with Rockwell closely and co-edited a journal with him. The institute’s Web site includes a cybershrine to Rothbard, a man who complained that the “Officially Oppressed” of American society (read, blacks, women and so on) were a “parasitic burden,” forcing their “hapless Oppressors” to provide “an endless flow of benefits.”

“The call of ‘equality,'” he wrote, “is a siren song that can only mean the destruction of all that we cherish as being human.” Rothbard blamed much of what he disliked on meddling women. In the mid-1800s, a “legion of Yankee women” who were “not fettered by the responsibilities” of household work “imposed” voting rights for women on the nation. Later, Jewish women, after raising funds from “top Jewish financiers,” agitated for child labor laws, Rothbard adds with evident disgust. The “dominant tradition” of all these activist women, he suggests, is lesbianism.

Institute scholars also have promoted anti-immigrant views, positively reviewing Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation.

(If you’re wondering what brought this on, it’s the efforts being made by the Alabama Slammers to mainstream themselves and their racism as legitimate, using Ron Paul as the conduit.)

9 Responses to “When I Hear The Words “Austrian Economics”…”

  1. Charles II said

    The reference to Alabama Slammers is pretty obscure. An ice hockey team? A cocktail? A band?

    I’m also surprised to see them connected to specifically to racism. I don’t think the level of xenophobia is noticeably greater than in the rest of the so-called “conservative” movement. They do tend to go for the “Jewish banker” talk, but that’s actually a “conservative” myth, one that permeates all through the right-wing movement and even into the far left. The major danger of the Ludwig von Mises people, in my view, is that they might well bore one to death. They give the Jehovah’s Witnesses tough competition in monomania.

    The Ron Paul boomlet appears to be the latest incarnation of the John Birch Society, which is to say, the paranoid right. I haven’t noticed any racism, gay bashing or misogyny, though there is anti-immigrant xenophobia. This is a reasonably good fit for the Ludwig von Mises people, but it’s a matter of overlap rather than identity.

  2. “Alabama Slammers” refers to the location of the Mises group. (And also to a beverage popular for decades on the college bar circuit.)

  3. defensor said

    I thnk SPLC is a little out of date. Hoppe’s views on immigration are the minority opinion. in general, LvMI people are pro-immigration and anti state interference in the free flow of people, ideas and goods. Also, the idea of being anti-Jewish is a canard – Rothbard was Jewish, Mises was Jewish and Walter Block, one of their other adjunct scholars, is also Jewish. They are, however, suspicious of untoward influence of the pro-Isreal lobby as LvMI generall holds to a free trade internationalism not an imperial interference intenationalism. exemplified by Irag I and II, Afghanistan, still being in Korea, Japan, Germany, etc. They’ve also consistently criticized both Dems and Reps on the craptastic foreign policies they’ve advocated for the last 90+ years. This gets dismissed as being naive and unrealistic, but has the current foreign policy regime of the last century really been that successful? It’s been nothing but war, war, war. Not so good, unless war is the success sign for your policy goal. As to the economics – they’re much more spot on (and in general agreement) than anything (yes, anything) put forward by Krugman or his ilk over the last year.

  4. Charles II said

    Um, well, you might find that there’s not entirely unanimity of opinion on the latter point, Defensor. I particularly think, in my ever-humble opinion, that one of Professor Brad DeLong’s comments gets at the core issue:

    My view is that Money and Credit is very readable–compulsively readable, in fact: I have just spent two and a half hours telling myself “it’s OK; I will just read one more page…”. But it is only readable in a rhetorical-excess-train-wreck mode, for it is also totally bats— insane.

  5. omen said

    ron paul likes to refer to austrian economics.

    remember the racist newsletters he was busted for sending out?

  6. omen said

    oops, didn’t see the ron paul reference at the bottom.

  7. Karl Kraut said

    Sure, the banking system is fine and dandy haha. That must be why Bernie Sanders supports Ron Paul’s proposal to audit the FED.

    “It also promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive.”

    Well, the majority of intervention, on behalf of those corporations involved in the, so-called, defense industry, to me at least, does seem to be pretty rather destructive. It might look that way to a lot of others as well.

    I myself am selective in who I’m mating, though marriage doesn”t apply. Neither can I and my spawn defy the laws of civil and genetic inheritance. Pretty reactionary, yep.

    Don’t rely on CIA-backed neocon-crap magazine like The New Republic, it has been promoting war since its founding. It’s a smearsheet.

    Bush: War! Obama: More War! You’d better really check out the lot at the Mises Institute. Take of your blinkers. Alexander Cockburn gets published in Chronicles, Paul Craig Roberts on Counterpunch. Figure out what you have in common, versus neocon and liberal hawks. That’s the way out.

    • Charles II said

      It’s always nice to have an illustration of the topic at hand.

      Let’s first dispose of the strawman. Nowhere is it claimed that “the banking system is fine and dandy haha.”

      Next, you say that “the majority of intervention, on behalf of those corporations involved in the, so-called, defense industry, to me at least, does seem to be pretty rather destructive” But of course interventions on behalf of the defense industry are not likely to be for social justice. It is interventions on behalf of social justice that the Ludwig van Mises Institute finds destructive. Interventions on behalf of the defense industry it might well approve of.

      Next, you say that “I myself am selective in who I’m mating, though marriage doesn”t apply. Neither can I and my spawn defy the laws of civil and genetic inheritance.” This appears to be in response to the point that the Institute believed in eugenics because it would lead to aristocracy, a position with which the Nazis would have been very comfortable. While you and your “spawn” (are they crawfish? sturgeon? That would explain why marriage does not apply) cannot escape the laws of genetic and “civil” (whatever that is) inheritance, they can escape the brain-deadening social effects that lead to admiration for the Ludwig van Mises Institute.

      The New Republic may or may not be CIA-funded: it’s irrelevant to whether the article claiming that there’s a connection between the Alabama Slammers and Ron Paul is accurate.

      Disappointment with the mainstream parties is no reason to go fishing on the lunatic fringe. If one is disappointed with the mainstream parties, one should work to change them.

  8. […] by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2009 Earlier this week, the following comment was received in response to a May post on Ron Paul’s connection to the whole “Austrian […]

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