Don’t Talk Dirty To Me, Talk Austrian Economics To Me

In a post titled Opinion Changes, Mike Fagan brings to our attention the following interesting bit of news regarding the recent International Leadership Summit held in Opatija, Croatia, as reported by summit participant and The Cobden Center chief executive Dr. Tim Evans.

Now, beyond the content of our presentations and the debate that ensued, what was really interesting to me about this venture was how every time I or Dan Hannan mentioned the Austrian school of economics, a majority in the audience nodded as if in ‘knowing approval’. Clearly, a small minority of those present were familiar with Austrian school ideas but I suspect the overwhelming majority were not; yet all nodded.

To me, what is interesting about this is that if the gathered selection of people were in anyway representative of similar audiences further afield then maybe Austrian school ideas are starting to spread in such a way that even those ignorant of its details are starting to feign appreciation.

If so, then this all strikes me as being reminiscent of that time in late 1950s when across Western Europe and parts of North America it suddenly became fashionable for’ leaders’, ‘intellectuals’ and ‘opinion formers’ to ‘know’ and be able to comment on Socialism and Marxism. By the time of all the political and social upheavals of the late 1960s, few guests at any smart dinner party in London, Paris or New York wanted to admit that they knew absolutely nothing about these paradigms. So often they gave the impression that they did and in so doing aided a self-fulfilling prophecy much to the advantage of genuine and learned Marxists.

Maybe with the undermining of banking and monetary socialism, a similar whisper is emerging to the great benefit of Austrian ideas. In providing powerful diagnoses and explanations perhaps its ideas are now slowly starting to become fashionable even amongst elements of the so called smart set. Who knows? Only time will tell. But it is an interesting thought.

Now, a bunch of nodding leadership heads tends to inspire me about as much as bobbleheaded Obama, and I am even less inspired by knowing that alleged ‘leaders,’ ‘intellectuals’ and ‘opinion formers’ of the 1950s thought it was fashionable to comment on Socialism and Marxism at that time, because I am quite certain we are currently suffering from their 1950s socialist and marxist fashion sense.

With that said, one can only hope that if what Dr. Evans reports regarding a rise in interest in Austrian economics has some validity to it, that ‘leaders,’ ‘intellectuals,’ and ‘opinion formers’ are causing a run on Ludwig von Mises’ books Human Action and The Theory of Money & Credit, and are signing up, willy nilly, for classes in Austrian economics available through the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Quote obtained from The Cobden Center article titled A useful nod for the Austrian school of economics?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/05 at 04:39 PM
  1. It was not meant to inspire, but to provoke curiosity. See also here.

    Posted by mike  on  07/07  at  12:40 AM
  2. Also here. Small things to be sure, but perhaps they are happening in places that might, if they are repeated and repeated and repeated… precipitate larger things. Or perhaps not: I don’t know.

    Posted by mike  on  07/07  at  12:48 AM
  3. It was not meant to inspire, but to provoke curiosity.

    Mike, Evan’s observations definitely provoke my curiousity, and I’m very interested in these “small things,” or indications.  The additional two you provided in comments I also was not aware of, and both also pique my curiousity.

    My not being inspired is more the result of the reality that the time required for the idea of Austrian economics to work its way through to ascendacy, so to speak, may be too far in the future to provide any relief from socialism’s and marxism’s half-century and more fashion craze which the world is currently suffering under.

    Thanks for those additional links.

    Posted by John Venlet  on  07/07  at  08:11 AM
  4. Mike,

    An additional thought.  I do not want Austrian economics to rise because it’s “fashionable,” and fashions wane, but because it’s grounded in reality and reality neither waxes or wanes through the ages.

    Posted by John Venlet  on  07/07  at  08:23 AM

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