The Market for Austrian Economics

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Around the world there are many academics who make a living from Austrian economics. They write books, publish articles, organize conferences and are the people at the forefront of the movement. By constantly critiquing themselves and others, they build upon the Misesian framework, enriching, developing and deepening our understanding of praxeology. This group of people could be referred to as the producers of Austrian economics.

There is another group of course: the consumers of Austrianism. Though the producers of economic theory often write to other producers and peers, it is nonetheless true that people like myself and other non-academic/non-professional hobbyists enjoy and support what Hans-Hermann Hoppe calls the "anti-intellectual intellectuals." Indeed, organizations such as the Mises Institute and the Instituto Juan de Mariana not only promote the creation of more theory but also its consumption and enjoyment outside of the inner core of economists, ethicists and philosophers.

The market for Austrian economics is growing and potentially huge. As people wake up from their dogmatic socialist slumber, correct epistemology and methodology must replace the debunked yet still popular positivism, scientism and historicism that are found in the mainstream media and academic thought.

Government intervention in the economy causes poverty and corrupts the peaceful social order. Almost everyone on this planet hates some part of their government yet the statist mentality remains. They do not reject statism but instead usually call for more funding (taxes), more regulation or some sort of "reform." This seemingly insurmountable barrier to freedom requires a principled look at ethics and morality (property rights) and its implications and conclusions (market anarchy). But that is not all, however. Rights and property are, in my opinion, only a necessary component but not sufficient.

As I previously pointed out, economic education is extremely important. In a perfect world, for example, the masses would be able to point out how wealth is created, what interest is and what determines its rate, and be aware of the consequences of intervention. But it’s not a perfect world; not everyone will know this. Also, division of labor tells us that not everyone should be an expert on the same subjects. Thus, the best alternative is for socialist/statist mentality to be replaced by market/anti-state mentality via a new generation of intellectuals. Thanks to the internet and other advances in communication, the consumers of economic theory — always eager to satisfy their craving for alternatives — can and hopefully will continue to demand more of it

Becoming a consumer of economic theory is easy. Download and read the many books, journals and articles that are available free online. For those who can spare some change, buy the print versions. Going further, many of the economics institutes and foundations hold events throughout the world; they would be happy to have one more in attendance. And finally, become an official supporter of Austro-libertarian organization.

Today, the state interventionist apparatus holds captive most educational institutions. Private, pro-market and pro-freedom groups seem to be the only way out of intellectual stagnation. Throughout most of his life, Mises was marginalized and it was thanks to private groups and donations that he was able to continue his work. A travesty like that must never happen again. Join the Austrian revolution and heavily consume economic knowledge.

Manuel Lora [send him mail] works at Cornell University as a TV and multimedia producer. Visit his blog.

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