catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Good news everybody!

with 12 comments

The good news for students of Futurama is that the scripts are available on line. This is a particularly helpful and topical number because it is about global warming. It not only demonstrates the mechanism that causes the problem in a graphic and easily understood manner, but it hints at some possible solutions.

I like the vignette of the gay who built an ark to survive when the polar ice caps melted but he filled it up with same sex animals.

The other good news which is not likely to arouse anywhere the same interest or excitement is that the Mises Institute has put a heap of Ludwig’s books on line. One of these is an absolute gem,  Liberalism, or  The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth in its English translation, replacing Liberalismus (1927) because the term liberalism had been completely taken over by socialists in the US. The original title was used in the 1985 edition.

This book is subtitled ‘An exposition of the ideas of classical liberalism’ and in 200 pages it provides a superb account of the political and economic principles required to deliver peace, freedom and prosperity. It is a great tragedy that this body of ideas became almost invisible for most of the 20th century, after the partial implementation of the liberal program during the 19th century resulted in unprecedented progress in human welfare.

It is my plan to run a series of posts to summarise the ideas in this book chapter by chapter, with a link to the full text for people who have the time and interest to read it.


Preface, 1985.




Written by Admin

November 5, 2006 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. This is one of Mises’ best books.

    Jason Soon

    November 5, 2006 at 3:10 pm

  2. Seeing as there is no open forum this week, I will link here to my blog which describes the situation and events leading to my arrest last night. I am seeking legal advice from anyone willing to offer it.


    November 5, 2006 at 6:09 pm

  3. Yobbo, Open Forum is way down the blog.

    Jason Soon

    November 5, 2006 at 6:24 pm

  4. Question for Rafe: who are the most influential Austrians writing today? Is there a leader of the school?


    November 5, 2006 at 8:14 pm

  5. The senior Austrians at present are probably Israel Kirzner and Ludwig Lachmann but they are quite elderly and not very active these days. This piece gives an overview of the major figures and developments in the school in recent decades.

    The most active writer appears to be Pete Boettke at George Mason University, he collaborates with students and colleagues to produce a heap of papers in print and in draft form that can be found at his website.

    He also blogs with three colleagues.

    In addition to George Mason, there is the Mises Institute which has masses of stuff on line and a daily newsletter on a mix of topics ranging from current policy to history and philosophy.

    There is no identifiable leader and there are some differences in tone and temperament between different groups within the movement, although I am not a full bottle on the details.

    Rafe Champion

    November 5, 2006 at 10:09 pm

  6. Rafe
    I’m afraid Ludwig Lachmann passed away 16 years ago. Israel Kirzner is still around though – and another interesting factoid is that he’s also an ordained Haredi rabbi

    Jason Soon

    November 5, 2006 at 10:26 pm

  7. Lachmann passed away – as Jason says, and Kirzner has retired. As I understand it, he has actually ceased working as an economist.

    Lachmann was head of economics from 1949 – 1970 at my alma mater. (This was long before I got there). Away he used to hang around from time to time and could be seen in the library or visiting some of his former students. But there was no official recognition of him – until he died. Then, all of a sudden, lecture series were named after him (joint with Hutt who died a couple of years before) and a seminar room. It also became fashionable to recount Lachmann stories and to have been a former students of his. (Although some had both unhappy experiences and unhappy memories that time had not healed).

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 6, 2006 at 6:10 am

  8. Thanks Rafe.


    November 6, 2006 at 6:59 pm

  9. You are more than welcome CL! I could modestly mention my own introductory piece in 1985, showing how Austrian ideas relate to economic rationalism and deregulation.

    That was printed in the Age Monthly Review, which was such an influential vehicle due to its high powered and well connected readership that the article acted as the trigger for the deregulatory push of the Hawke Keating administration. This is apparent from the timetable of reforms shown in the chart that starts on page 8 of this report.

    Rafe Champion

    November 6, 2006 at 7:17 pm

  10. It seems that Austrianism is now in a sedevacantist phase without a leading light. Would that be a fair conclusion? If so, is this a bad thing per se or have Austrian ideas simply become part of mainstream libertarian thought?


    November 6, 2006 at 8:09 pm

  11. Mainstream liberatarian thought. This may or may not be a good thing. Bryan Caplan is a non-Austrian libertarian (see debate and follow links etc.

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 7, 2006 at 8:00 am

  12. The mainstream of libertarian thought is rather narrow and the situation is complicated by fragmentation (even within subgroups such as the Randoids). There is also the problem of deciding where libertarianism stops and classical liberalism starts. You also have left-libertarians like Mark Bahnisch.

    As Sinclair noted there is no simple relationship between Austrian and libertarian thought, although for me they do form a natural partnership, provided that you don’t mean zero state libertarianism.

    Mises was very concerned with what he regarded as the proper and indispensable role of the state which will become clear as the readings proceed.

    Rafe Champion

    November 7, 2006 at 11:18 am

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