- New Libertarian: Since joining Libertarian groups and educating myself about liberty I've had to work through biases to understand things better, now other people see me as a compassion-less asshole because I've invested the energy in doing so and to understanding things better.
- Konrad Graf: I think this is a very common experience. Part of what is happening is that intellectual thickets, including false associations, outright lies, and falsifications of history accepted as dogma, have been constructed over a very long period of time to actively prevent people from discovering and understanding these kinds of insights. Some initial strategies include trying to prioritize being constructive over being critical (there is just way too much to criticize anyway...) and learning to watch out for how people have been trained to rapidly topic-shift to avoid real issues and keep discussions within the approved narrative tracks. Fortunately today, there are a lot more people on the same page (or similar) and more ways to make contact with them than there were 25 or so years ago when I was taking first steps in this direction.
"On a miniature golf course in summer 1977, Murray Rothbard demonstrates the logic of purposeful action, while Sudha Shenoy prefers to be a praxeological voyeur, watching with amusement."
"…My very first step in the following chain of reasoning, then, has been called “the a priori of argumentation” by such philosophers as Jürgen Habermas and K.O. Apel. […] With this step I lose, once and for all, the company of philosophers like Habermas and Apel. Yet, as will become clear immediately, it is directly implied in the previous step. That Habermas and Apel are unable to take this step is, I submit, due to the fact that they, too, suffer, as do many other philosophers, from a complete ignorance of economics, and a corresponding blindness towards the fact of scarcity. The step is simply this… […]
- Apel and Habermas are essentially silent on the all-decisive question of what ethical prescription actually follows from the recognition of the “a priori of argumentation.” However, there are remarks indicating that they both seem to believe some sort of participatory social democracy is implied in this a priori. The following explains why nothing could be further from the truth.”
— Hans-Hermann Hoppe, EEPP, pg 335
“Austro” golfing lessons. In the summer of 1977, Murray Rothbard and Gary Short give putting directions to Sudha Shenoy (1943-2008) on a miniature golf course in Menlo Park, California. Watching the play in the red shirt is Chicago School economist, Sam Peltzman.
The emphasis, of course, is on the process of the ball’s movement on the green, and not whether an “equilibrium state” of landing the ball in the cup is the end-result.”
For those interested in her work and several anecdotes from Block, Raico, and Long they can be read here. Richard Ebeling provided the above picture and text. The following is also worth noting:
"The late Sudha Shenoy, who taught in Australia, once told me [Lew Rockwell] that her adopted country was “freer than the US.” Why, I asked. “Because Australia never had a civil war, and so we still have states rights.” She added: “Jefferson was correct about competitive sovereignty helping to preserve liberty.”
[Sudha Shenoy] was a terrific economic historian, a radical libertarian, an inexhaustible fount of information (ask her a question and she would reply with a meticulous bibliography), with a witty and incisive mind disinclined to let b.s. pass unscathed.
In particular, I owe to Sudha the two following bits of information about her mentor Hayek:
1. Late in life Hayek once said that if he were younger, he would be a free-market anarchist.
2. Trusting Hayek’s notoriously unreliable memory, most writers have taken at face value his claim that he was never Mises’ student in the official sense, i.e., never enrolled in his university courses. But Sudha pointed out to me that Hayek’s grade book (reproduced on p. 13 of John Raybould’s Hayek: A Commemorative Album) bears the signatures of his professors, including Mises.
Bleeding Heart ‘Libertarians’ — Deleted Comments
If you’re looking for some entertaining commentary see Stephan Kinsella’s post here. It involves Jason Brennan claiming "…Yes, libertarians, Paul Krugman is a better economist than Murray Rothbard…". I made some well received remarks there. Interestingly enough Danny Sanchez pointed towards a recent post from the same author now attempting to address “The Measure of an Economist or a Philosopher”:
What makes someone a good economist or a philosopher? Is it better to be 1) a person who comes to the right conclusions but with bad or weak arguments for those conclusions, or 2) a person who comes to the wrong conclusions but with strong evidence and arguments for those conclusions?
Is it better to be 3) novel and visionary or 4) technical, rigorous, and precise, but not as adventurous? What about the combination of 1+3 vs 2+4
I tend to think 2 is obviously better than 1, while 3 is better than 4, though not as obviously.
At any rate, it turns out that because I think Krugman’s contributions to the field of economics are better than Rothbard’s, I’m a statist. Remember how you were all getting mad at me for talking about “cartoon libertarians”? They’re out there, and they’re tagging me on Facebook.
Beyond the ridiculous false dichotomy of the above, my comment seems to have struck a nerve because it was deleted within minutes:
"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.” — Frédéric Bastiat
Ergo Rothbard is exceptional and Krugman is a neophyte and/or naïf.
If I had to guess why my comment was removed it’s because an actual definitive answer was proposed. These BHL types all tend to be cut from the same cloth and the following probably applies to all of them. As Rothbard wrote:
"In the good old days, this was a common style in philosophy [logical and deductive], employed by Kantians, Thomists, Misesians, and Randians alike. In the modern age, however, this method of thought and writing has gone severely out of fashion in philosophy, where truth is almost never arrived at – and certainly never argued for in a deductive fashion. The modern mode is utilitarian, positivist, tangential, puzzle-oriented, and pseudo-empiricist. As a result, modern positivist types have gone flabby and complacent, and reading hard-core deductivists – to say nothing of hard-core libertarians! – hits these people with the force of a blow to the gut.
Well, shape up, guys! In argument as in politics, those who can’t stand deductivist heat should get out of the philosophic or economic kitchen.
With the aid of Jeffrey Tucker and Konrad Graf I created my first bitcoin wallet when showing them around Brisbane after last years Mises Seminar. I preferred this as a kind of ceremonial tip of the hat to their work and analysis than simply creating one myself. Jeffrey also sent me my first bit of bitcoin.
Originally I was pretty sceptical. Bitcoin did not fit the old Austrian analysis and so I suspected it should be rejected, as opposed to the theory being extended and thus accepted. In the early days the responses to my queries were incredibly sloppy. Many proponents could not agree amongst themselves whether it violated Mises Regression Theorem or not and the relevancy of such a consideration. What I was adamant about was that there did not appear to be any objective use value. It was not until Konrad Graf came along that I was shown the way forward (See in particular Part III 14m03s—19m45s: The “money” question, Mises Regression Theorem, and the Bitcoin regression Timeline) which put briefly, posits that “bitcoin may therefore be the best documented historical illustration of the origins aspect of the regression theorem.”
Whilst I was right that it did not constitute money at that point in time, I was wrong regarding speculation of its growth. One other concern was that I predominately saw it as a reaction to that of the current statist environment. What I wanted to know and what was not presented for the longest period of time was a reasonable response to this: "…And I’d be interested to hear the ‘positives’ / ‘arguments for’ bitcoin - that would still exist, if there was a voluntary society (free market in money & the law) etc…" With the point being I thought I understood the benefits but wondered whether should e-gold.com and other currencies be free to operate on the market in a competitive environment that they would be more likely to succeed and become adopted as money.
It wasn’t until Konrad Graf’s analysis adequately addressed my first concern by placing Mises Regression Theorem above it all that the benefits of bitcoin became much more apparent.
I have a lot to learn moving forward and I acknowledge I am still pretty ignorant. Early on I lacked the time to investigate further given the task of organising the Australian Mises Seminar’s but should be free to do so now. Konrad’s Decrypted series has been helpful. Parts I and II are good for beginners. Part III is good for those interested in Bitcoin within the context of Austrian Economics.
Edit: When I created my fist account via mobile, I some how entered a different password to what I intended. Haven’t been able to login-so made a new wallet above, and forwarded on the bitcoin I had received from JT. Lesson learnt!
Bitcoin Decrypted: Part III - Social Theory Aspects is an introduction to Bitcoin that spans practical, technical, historical, and social-theory perspectives in an integrated narrative. For those with already an interest in Austrian Economics and an understanding of money, this is the one to watch.
Bitcoin Decrypted: Part II - Technical Aspects is an introduction to Bitcoin that spans practical, technical, historical, and social-theory perspectives in an integrated narrative.