The September issue of The Free Market, the Mises Institute’s monthly, is now online!
September’s issue features a new book review from David Gordon, and on the 100th anniversary of World War I, Hunt Tooley reflects on modern views of the war:
In his new book Money, Steve Forbes offers a new scheme for tying the dollar to gold. But, of course, things are not what they seem, and in the Forbes plan, there is no true gold standard to be found. David Gordon writes:
Imagine that someone wrote an eloquent book about price and wage controls. The book showed how attempts to control prices led to economic disaster. Faced with an abundance of incontrovertible evidence that demonstrated the bad effects of these measures, an informed policymaker would find only one rational choice available to him. He should not impose comprehensive price controls but rather should use controls in moderation. Would it not be obvious what had gone wrong with our imagined book? If price controls do not work, they should be done away with altogether. “Moderation” in the use of a bad measure is no virtue. If cyanide is poison, “drink in small doses” is not the appropriate response. Money falls exactly into the bad pattern just described.
Also in this issue, historian T. Hunt Tooley examines how historians’ views of the First World War have varied greatly over time. Dr. Tooley looks in detail at how the written history of the war has evolved, and the role of Austrian economists in shaping those views:
Mises really offered the revisionist school a theoretical framework which had been missing. He also encouraged many students in this direction, including Murray N. Rothbard and Ralph Raico. Rothbard contributed very substantially to the field of technical studies of World War I as he folded the theory of Mises into the older revisionist school. His works on war collectivism, “war as fulfillment,” the financial history of the war, and other topics stand at center stage in modern paleo-revisionism.
Indeed, Rothbard really expanded the agenda of revisionism to encompass a variety of new topics in intellectual, economic, and social history relative to the first conflict. Along with Mises, Rothbard took revisionism in a direction away from the unqualified support of Germany under the Kaiser, a kind of caricature position in which some revisionists had become stuck. Rothbard critiqued the state as state, including the German version of it.
And don’t miss our round-up of this year’s exciting Mises University.10:48 am on October 1, 2014