Otto von Habsburg, RIP

This classical liberal scholar, who should have been emperor of Austria-Hungary, has died at 98. See the Telegraph obituary. As Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, another brilliant Austrian classical liberal Catholic, whose daughter was the Archduke’s secretary, once told me: The Archduke was the only member of the European parliament not to need translation earphones, since he spoke all the languages. Such was the education of a future Kaiser. A courageous opponent of national socialism and communism, the Archduke was a friend and colleague of Ludwig von Mises’s. It was an honor for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, though controversial in the Beltway, to welcome him to Auburn in 1999 as the first recipient of the Schlarbaum Prize. Here is his talk on “The Mises I Knew.”

The next year, Dr. Ralph Raico said:

I am happy, too, to be the second recipient of the Schlarbaum award, following in the footsteps of Dr. Otto von Habsburg.Otto von Habsburg was a man for whom Ludwig von Mises had great respect, and, at a certain historical moment, even great hope, as a possible leader of Austria after the Second World War. Dr. Habsburg is a noted scholar, and, in fact, he contributed an excellent article to our graduate student journal, New Individualist Review, back in my University of Chicago days.

In awarding Dr. Habsburg the Schlarbaum prize, the Institute was also acknowledging the immense role that Old Austria has played in the intellectual history of the twentieth century—above all, in giving birth to and nurturing the school of economics and social philosophy that is our most powerful tool in making sense of social reality, which goes by the name of the Austrian School.

(Thanks to Jørn K. Baltzersen)


1:30 pm on July 4, 2011