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Ludwig Von Mises - A Primer

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Published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs: http://www.iea.org.uk/record.jsp?type=book&ID=514

Download the whole book for free here.

Of some interest is the foreword by one Mr Stephen Baker, now the Conservative MP for Wycombe. In fact, I'm going to post that foreword in full:

When I left the Royal Air Force in 1999, entrepreneurial

business was booming. By the time I completed my master’s

degree in computer science, it was over.

Why, I wondered, had everyone made the same mistake at

once?

And so I discovered the Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle

and Ludwig von Mises. The credit crunch reinforced in my mind

the value of the Austrian School and, in short order, a group of us

established the Cobden Centre. The Centre was envisaged by Toby

Baxendale to further the tradition of Manchester Liberalism and

to provide a British home for the Austrian School of economics

which would complement the more general work of the IEA in

promoting various schools of free market thinking.

Though the intellectual chain was not continuous, Mises was

perhaps the dominant author in a system of thinking that began

in Salamanca in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries among the

Dominican and Jesuit scholastics who first wrote systematic trea-

tises on economics. They knew, as Mises knew, that intervention

in the mutual cooperation of free individuals was not reasonable

or just. Price fixing in money, as in other commodities, is unwise

and counterproductive, yet the central control of interest rates is

just that: price fixing. Its fruit is our present crisis.

Mises’s achievements are astonishing. Few people know that

F. A. Hayek was a socialist until he understood Socialism: An

Economic and Sociological Analysis. People wrestle to reconcile

individualism and society and yet Mises, a methodological indi-

vidualist, wrote simply: ‘Society is cooperation; it is community

in action.’

How I wish every self-declared ‘liberal’ would read Liberalism,

every banker The Theory of Money and Credit, every social scien-

tist Human Action and every politician Theory and History. Mises is

both neglected and misread by his critics: some truths are waiting

to be rediscovered.

My particular choice among Mises’s works is Bureaucracy.

We learn that, for all the management styles and tools we may

know, there are just two alternative categories of management:

the private citizen’s way and the government’s way. That is, profit

management or bureaucracy. Until we come to terms with profit

as a measure of the value we have created for others and entrepre-

neurship as the creative search to help other people, our public

services will languish: unhampered market prices are vital to

rational economic calculation.

This is why Mises matters today: we appear to be living

through his ‘Crisis of Interventionism’. While we pile interven-

tion upon intervention, it is increasingly apparent that our reserve

of private wealth is becoming exhausted. Restrictive measures

can only restrict output. Intervention in the market is demon-

strably counterproductive: witness bonuses to staff at bailed-out

banks which still fail to lend. Wealth is generated, not given, and

present policies must eventually extinguish prosperity, security

and freedom. What lies down this road is socialism of the German

pattern, a present reality reported by David B. Smith in his IEA

monograph Living with Leviathan.

The way out is not further intervention and the quality of

countless lives depends on our discovering this fact. Over the last

100 years, public spending has risen inexorably from 10 to 15 per

cent of factor-cost GDP to a forecast for 2010 of 53.4 per cent. We

might reflect on what Mises wrote about the ‘third way’: ‘The

middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last.

It is a method for the realization of socialism by instalments.’

Mises was a prolific author and in setting out to provide a

representative primer, Eamonn Butler has attempted a giant

task. He has succeeded magnificently in extracting the essence of

Mises’s thinking from thousands of pages of original work. I hope

you enjoy this short book as much as I have. No academic would

ever suggest to his students that they should not read the original

works. As far as an introduction to Mises is concerned, however,

Eamonn Butler’s primer is superb: it will provide a valuable

resource for all those setting out better to understand Mises’s

work.

Steven Baker

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http://www.stevebaker.info/ - his home page.

Also, he is a member of http://www.cobdencentre.org/.

I only found these links today - I've never heard of either before (so I created a thread: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=143479).

Yes, I found the Mises pamphlet through clicking around from one of your links - thanks!

I do find it interesting that somebody who knew they were a pcp candidate should write the above for publication. I wonder if he got it cleared? Or if he didn't have to? One particular bit that sprang out at me was:

Price fixing in money, as in other commodities, is unwise and counterproductive...

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Yes, I found the Mises pamphlet through clicking around from one of your links - thanks!

I do find it interesting that somebody who knew they were a pcp candidate should write the above for publication. I wonder if he got it cleared? Or if he didn't have to? One particular bit that sprang out at me was:

Yes, it's interesting (and very encouraging!) that there is at least one new MP with a good handle on the monetary system and free markets. Is this what they mean about these being Thatcher's children coming through? If he is one of a number with such beliefs, it gives me hope that we can turn this mess around, given the will. Have we found our fresh faced version of Ron Paul? :)

TBH though, it shows just how poor our politicians have been in regard to economics. Shouldn't the benches (particularly on the Tory side) be full of people with such ideas? Reading the guy's blog, he isn't the typical Tory either - schooled in a comp, a chartered engineer, helps the homeless etc.

I hope people like Steve Baker get into the ears of the likes of Vince Cable and George Osborne and push them for genuine financial reform.

EDIT: I notice he is part of the Progressive Conservatives, a group of classic Liberals (i.e. Libertarians who advocate a small state) in the Conservative party. Interesting...

Edited by Traktion

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Statism is slavery

Nationalism is bigotry

We are free range slaves, and we can only be free if we dismantle the state, a good way would be to stop paying taxes and the ultimate option would be for the UK to default on its debts.

This is a guy who interviews the likes of Marc Faber, Peter Schiff and Max Keiser

http://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot#p/u/0/P772Eb63qIY

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Guest happy?

Yes, it's interesting (and very encouraging!) that there is at least one new MP with a good handle on the monetary system and free markets. Is this what they mean about these being Thatcher's children coming through? If he is one of a number with such beliefs, it gives me hope that we can turn this mess around, given the will. Have we found our fresh faced version of Ron Paul? :)

TBH though, it shows just how poor our politicians have been in regard to economics. Shouldn't the benches (particularly on the Tory side) be full of people with such ideas? Reading the guy's blog, he isn't the typical Tory either - schooled in a comp, a chartered engineer, helps the homeless etc.

I hope people like Steve Baker get into the ears of the likes of Vince Cable and George Osborne and push them for genuine financial reform.

EDIT: I notice he is part of the Progressive Conservatives, a group of classic Liberals (i.e. Libertarians who advocate a small state) in the Conservative party. Interesting...

Most of the Conservatives have recognised the ideological trajectory of Thatcher and Reagonomics have led us to the current disaster - which is why they fights shy of crackpots like Mises. Their first move will be to re-instate the UK version of Glass Steagall - the exactly opposite direction that Mises and his fan boys want when they argue for further de-regulation. They will be doing this because de-regulation was the cause of the mess we are in.

In the case of Baker - there's always one loon in every party. And as for having Vince Cable's ear the man has no chance whatsoever - Cable fully recognises the disaster that cutting public sector spending would have on the economy. Where Cable disagreed with the Keynesianist policies of the last government was their failure to build-up counter-cyclical surpluses. Cable may find he has far less room to manouevre than he would have wished (especially in a coalition government) but one thing I can say with certainty is he ain't about to get into bed with the Austrian fanatics - regardless of the number of wet dreams you may have on the subject.

I'd take a look at The Storm - it may help you have a more pragmatic view of the problem.

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Most of the Conservatives have recognised the ideological trajectory of Thatcher and Reagonomics have led us to the current disaster - which is why they fights shy of crackpots like Mises. Their first move will be to re-instate the UK version of Glass Steagall - the exactly opposite direction that Mises and his fan boys want when they argue for further de-regulation. They will be doing this because de-regulation was the cause of the mess we are in.

In the case of Baker - there's always one loon in every party. And as for having Vince Cable's ear the man has no chance whatsoever - Cable fully recognises the disaster that cutting public sector spending would have on the economy. Where Cable disagreed with the Keynesianist policies of the last government was their failure to build-up counter-cyclical surpluses. Cable may find he has far less room to manouevre than he would have wished (especially in a coalition government) but one thing I can say with certainty is he ain't about to get into bed with the Austrian fanatics - regardless of the number of wet dreams you may have on the subject.

I'd take a look at The Storm - it may help you have a more pragmatic view of the problem.

Interesting viewpoint and very interesting assumptions - that people like Cable will have any real say in what follows, that austrian economics is imposed by the state and so on.

Bullying people so they do what you want costs money. What is a state to do when it is out of money?

And what is an economy when the largest predators have to get out of the way due to their own resource constraints if not a more free market than previously?

And can jimmy Carr have his joke book back?

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Most of the Conservatives have recognised the ideological trajectory of Thatcher and Reagonomics have led us to the current disaster - which is why they fights shy of crackpots like Mises. Their first move will be to re-instate the UK version of Glass Steagall - the exactly opposite direction that Mises and his fan boys want when they argue for further de-regulation. They will be doing this because de-regulation was the cause of the mess we are in.

snip

I think youll find Glass Steagall is very Misean.

Ie, banks should stand on their own two feet....

Mises saw a problem with Central Banking...its OK if its there for a quick fix...say overnight, but to use it to fix systemic failings is just plain stupid.

Extreme Mises supported will call for an end to central banking altogether. I think you are reading the reverse of what Mises actually discusses and theorises.

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Most of the Conservatives have recognised the ideological trajectory of Thatcher and Reagonomics have led us to the current disaster - which is why they fights shy of crackpots like Mises.

I think youll find Glass Steagall is very Misean.

Ie, banks should stand on their own two feet....

Mises saw a problem with Central Banking...its OK if its there for a quick fix...say overnight, but to use it to fix systemic failings is just plain stupid.

Extreme Mises supported will call for an end to central banking altogether. I think you are reading the reverse of what Mises actually discusses and theorises.

Indeed, another one confusing Thatcher/Reagan conservatism with free-markets and laissez-faire.

The thing with Misesean writing is that it's quite methodical, logical and sensible. It is also very cogent; hardly the work of a crackpot, which probably betrays the fact that you haven't read any of it?

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Statism is slavery

Nationalism is bigotry

We are free range slaves, and we can only be free if we dismantle the state, a good way would be to stop paying taxes and the ultimate option would be for the UK to default on its debts.

This is a guy who interviews the likes of Marc Faber, Peter Schiff and Max Keiser

http://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot#p/u/0/P772Eb63qIY

Interesting.

I don't have time to look at the moment, but does this guy, that website etc have suggestions regarding what to do about it?

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that austrian economics is imposed by the state and so on.

who does impose it then? or does it just come about effortlessly - like communism was supposed to? Communism is also the absence of a state - except in that world there is no need for property rights - and no need for people to lawlessly respect property right - at least that is what Marx claimed - who knows.

Economics is not a science, so i suppose the gap is filled by religious certainty.

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who does impose it then? or does it just come about effortlessly - like communism was supposed to? Communism is also the absence of a state - except in that world there is no need for property rights - and no need for people to lawlessly respect property right - at least that is what Marx claimed - who knows.

Economics is not a science, so i suppose the gap is filled by religious certainty.

Well, a free market is just a venue where there is no coercion if you refuse someones offer.

That's all.

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Most of the Conservatives have recognised the ideological trajectory of Thatcher and Reagonomics have led us to the current disaster - which is why they fights shy of crackpots like Mises. Their first move will be to re-instate the UK version of Glass Steagall - the exactly opposite direction that Mises and his fan boys want when they argue for further de-regulation. They will be doing this because de-regulation was the cause of the mess we are in.

In the case of Baker - there's always one loon in every party. And as for having Vince Cable's ear the man has no chance whatsoever - Cable fully recognises the disaster that cutting public sector spending would have on the economy. Where Cable disagreed with the Keynesianist policies of the last government was their failure to build-up counter-cyclical surpluses. Cable may find he has far less room to manouevre than he would have wished (especially in a coalition government) but one thing I can say with certainty is he ain't about to get into bed with the Austrian fanatics - regardless of the number of wet dreams you may have on the subject.

I'd take a look at The Storm - it may help you have a more pragmatic view of the problem.

You do know that Glass Steagall is a form of narrow banking, which is also what Steven Baker and the Cobdem Centre are suggesting. The difference is, Steven Baker, the Cobdem Centre and many other experts in the field (including members of the IMF, even Mervyn King has expressed interest) suggest that this doesn't go far enough.

TBH, I could go on, but I think you are just demonstrating your Tory prejudices and a lack of reading in the subject.

EDIT: BTW, classical liberals tend to agree with much of what Adam Smith has written. You may know that he was one of the first to realise that a land value tax would be needed to stop people monopolising land, to extract rent from others. This, of course, is the other linchpin for most of today's woes, but both demonstrate how to exploit monopolies - one in money, one on land.

I suppose that a LVT is for loonies too? Yeah, Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Chris Hume and many other LibDems want that, so I guess they must be crackpots! :rolleyes:

Edited by Traktion

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Well, a free market is just a venue where there is no coercion if you refuse someones offer.

That's all.

In practice, most examples of stateless societies have been pretty terrifying. Without any state, there is a tendency for people to prey on the weak, murder, rape and enslave - there is empirical data centuries long to justify this statement - feudalism is brought into existence by the weak begging for protection.

so the questions arises as to what laws are needed to prevent this hell. Once you have laws, what do you do when they are broken? you need enforcement - hey presto a state.

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In practice, most examples of stateless societies have been pretty terrifying. Without any state, there is a tendency for people to prey on the weak, murder, rape and enslave - there is empirical data centuries long to justify this statement - feudalism is brought into existence by the weak begging for protection.

so the questions arises as to what laws are needed to prevent this hell. Once you have laws, what do you do when they are broken? you need enforcement - hey presto a state.

Does the existence of states preclude free markets?

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Does the existence of states preclude free markets?

Does that depend on what the laws are?

You might outlaw slavery - so there will be no free market in slaves etc...

In principle I could imagine a free market requires a state to function

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Does that depend on what the laws are?

You might outlaw slavery - so there will be no free market in slaves etc...

In principle I could imagine a free market requires a state to function

I have often wondered whether states evolved merely as a convenience to amalgamate the opinions of free economic agents and whether this convenience became outmoded once states became so corrupted that they lost sight of their genesis.

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Interesting.

I don't have time to look at the moment, but does this guy, that website etc have suggestions regarding what to do about it?

He advocates anarchism and makes some good arguments for it. Whether you agree with all which he says is besides the point; he philosophies about it and encourages you to do the same.

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In practice, most examples of stateless societies have been pretty terrifying. Without any state, there is a tendency for people to prey on the weak, murder, rape and enslave - there is empirical data centuries long to justify this statement - feudalism is brought into existence by the weak begging for protection.

so the questions arises as to what laws are needed to prevent this hell. Once you have laws, what do you do when they are broken? you need enforcement - hey presto a state.

And a free market is just a venue where you don't get attacked for refusing someone elses offer.

That's all.

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And a free market is just a venue where you don't get attacked for refusing someone elses offer.

That's all.

which is why it requires a state...

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which is why it requires a state...

A state is a group of people who attack you if you refuse their offers.

A free market is a venue where if you refuse an offer, you don't get attacked.

Either you are crap at logic or I have outlined the two concepts badly.

Edited by Injin

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which is why it requires a state...

In an ideal world, you might be correct if the state accurately and precisely reflected the collective will of the people.

As soon as you get to the stage where the state becomes self serving and for the benefit of the state's heirarchy rather than the people, the state effectively forces coersion in what would otherwise be a free negotiation between bid and offers.

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A state is a group of people who attack you if you refuse their offers.

A free makret is a venue where if you refuse an offer, you don't get attacked.

Either you are crap at logic or I have outlined the two concepts badly.

i am big - i ask for you geese at a market - you say no, I take your geese anyway - what stops me doing that?

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i am big - i ask for you geese at a market - you say no, I take your geese anyway - what stops me doing that?

The 20 other goose sellers at the market who will beat the snot out of you for goose theft.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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