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Thanks. I can remember being dissatisfied at first with the Austrian assertion that their theory can be neither proved nor disproved by reference to empirical data, thinking it was kind of a cop out. But, as I read further, it became clearer to me that it actually is the truth of reality that empirical data can do nothing to confirm or deny the theory, and I saw that this was intellectual honesty of the highest sort exhibited by the Austrians. It is hard to advance this position, though, in this day and age, given most everybody's aversion to theory and worship of empiricism. Even the layman, when he sees something that doesn't work according to plan, says, "Well, in theory, it should've worked . . ." I hate this . . . it's simply because the theory in question was wrong, but another theory (whether it is discovered or not) is the correct one; but this is not a disparagement against theory, but against the faulty theorizer. Anyway, regarding the finer points/basic tenets, I've found that my thinking and explanation has become much more clear and concise when I've read Ludwig von Mises, Joseph T. Salerno, and Jesus Huerta de Soto (there are others, too) . . . I like Rothbard, but for me, at least, Mises is able to strike directly at the essence of an issue with amazing clarity.
Thank for your additions. You and Traverser do a much better job of quickly and concisely explaining the basic tenets and finer points than I usually do. What irritates me is that the books with all this information on the actual positions of Austrianism are freely available, so any misinformed characterizations and strawmen are a result of pure laziness or disinterest in an informed critique.
I agree. Too many people, though, seem to see debating as a game that must be won at all costs. On the other hand, I really want to discern the truth, and so I see debates as a learning experience, as an opportunity to raise new points of discussion, etc.
Intellectual honesty is rare indeed. I've got a admitted socialist professor friend who manages to actually be intellectually honest. We are able to engage in rational discourse even though our conclusions often differ, admitting points made on either side of an argument, and agreeing to disagree when we see things differently, and still able to proceed with the discourse. I don't know why it's so difficult for so many to take that route. We don't have to agree to get along. What we can't do is substitute violence for discourse. That is the entire political apparatus in the world, including voting.
Yeah, I had a long debate on Facebook with the pastor of my church over political/economic philosophy. I'll tell you, it's as if they don't even listen to or consider what you have to say. No matter how much you explain the workings of the market economy to them, they still think there's this vast unlimited fund of wealth in the possession of the rich, greedy capitalists and that therefore it ought to be taxed, since they're taking "more than their fair share." They don't realize that government actually helps big politically-connected businesses to drain wealth from the rest of society, thereby hampering the production of real goods and services in conformance with consumer demand. They look around at the present situation and blame it on capitalism, no matter how much you point out the workings of the Federal Reserve (but it's private, they say . . . yeah, and created by an act of congress) in generating booms/busts. Ah, it's frustrating. I just wish people would be intellectually honest.
I suppose there have been "hints" which had been disregarded by me relating to a perception of my being a "know-it-all", but really I just figured those folks were just irritated because I'm rarely wrong and most of them were/are college educated. There have been SO MANY time when I've tried to communicate that I'm not married to an idea or conclusion but until someone offers something better (backed by logic) the assumption must be my conclusion is most likely correct.
This is from his introduction thread. Is this a surprise at all?
Well, most people want to the government "do something" about economic affairs . . . hence, the economists who advocate interventionist governmental policies become the mainstream. The Austrians get pushed to the fringe in this situation.
Mises.org is great, especially their bookstore and the online academy. I'm taking one of their online courses now, actually . . . it's on Mises' The Theory of Money and Credit.
Yeah this is relatively new to me as well. I am bouncing around reading a lot fo the free resources at LRC and mises.org.
It's so clear and logical, and praxeology lines up perfectly from a psychological perspective. Humans are stones, not bricks. Every one is different, and has different needs/wants/values, and act accordingly. The repeated success of Austrian predictions of boom/bust, and the constant blindness to such by "mainstream economists" should be reason enough to pursue this school of thought.
Yeah, I wasn't so much posting in that thread to try and win him over as much as I was doing it to hone my economic skills, so to speak. Still, it does get exasperating when he is so willfully ignorant. He also thinks that formal logic is for cloistered eggheads and has no practical relevance for reality, so he says he's mastered practical logic.
Anyway, I discovered Austrian economics just last year and have been hooked ever since . . . I'm actually reading Human Action right now. What about you?