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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Someone Has Missed Something

I ran across this:

"Back in August I had an interesting talk with Richard Maybury, an economist of the Austrian school and editor of the financial newsletter Early Warning Report. He is the author of a big idea, actually a model with which to help predict long term trends in global politics and finance. It's called Chaostan, and basically it means that enlighenment ideas of liberty and property never made it past Marx in Germany in their natural spread eastward..."

So, this fellow is supposed to be an Austrian, and he creates models that "predict" history and thinks that ideas have a "natural spread?!

3 comments:

  1. OK, OK, so Maybury's argument is probably not best represented by my retelling, but yes, I think it's about right to say that he thinks it was quite natural for ideas of individual liberty and property rights to spread around from town to town, (being so superior to notions of King's divine rights and such) and that they were speading quite rapidly until Hegel and Marx came along and turned liberalism back into collectivism.

    Did not Mises, Rothbard and Raimondo predict the fall of the Soviet Union based of the fact that communism doesn't work? Apparently, Maybury did too.

    I've read some Mises and Rothbard, and I was able to predict that invading Iraq would fail to accomplish the creation of a limited republic and a free market. Why? Simple: War is a government program, which means it is almost impossible for it to accomplish its goals, and Iraq is a place where they never believed in the basic laws of a free society: respect others' property and keep your contracts. Their society is divided by ethnicity and tribe rather than individual and property owners.

    It's this premise that backs up his Chaostan model: folks east of Germany don't believe in property rights, therefore they are going to war against each other non-stop unless held down by an imperial power like the USSR.

    Did you hear the interview?

    Is my man full of it, or what?

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  2. Did not Mises, Rothbard and Raimondo predict the fall of the Soviet Union based of the fact that communism doesn't work?

    I don't know about the other two, but I'm pretty sure Mises didn't. (If anyone has a relevant quote to prove me wrong, by all means I'd love to see it.)

    I don't mean to go off on your comment too much, Scott, but this is something that I think a lot of Austrians misinterpret. They say something like this: "Mises claimed in 1920 that socialism was impossible, and the fall of the Soviet Union proved him right." I don't think I need to spell out why this (typical) formulation is just plain silly.

    Anyway, what Mises did say was that socialist economy was impossible, from day one. I.e. it wasn't that it would take time for it to finally catch up with the central plenners; no, from the beginning, they would not be able to retionally allocate resources. But that is a different proposition from saying, "Not enough stuff would get produced to keep the masses from revolting."

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  3. Gene,
    I dig what you mean, and I sure didn't want to make Maybury sound like he promotes liberty and Austrian economics as "historical inevitabilities" like they claimed about communism, just that Marx helped to screw up what could have been a much greater liberal revolution based on individualism.

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