Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"The All Too Common Lumping of Mises with Rand"?

Outside of the Cato Journal paper Peter Boettke references, I am not sure what Boettke reads, but I have rarely come across the "all to common" lumping of Mises and Rand, as he claims. If I have seen it at all, it is in the very broad sense that they are both pro-capitalist, beginning and end of story.

In the Boettke post I quote above he also states:
I want to suggest that the syllogism Mises = Austrian economics; Mises = Rothbard; Rothbard = Austro-libertarianism; demonstrate fundamental flaws in Austro-libertarianism; therefore, demonstrated that Rothbard is flawed, therefore, Mises is flawed; is in fact what is flawed  and must by [sic] rejected [sic2] serious thinkers in social philosophy and political economy. 
Mises may have problems, but they are not the one's supposedly identified in Rothbard and Rand.
Who is making this type of syllogism, especially the part that reads "Mises=Rothbard"? Although Rothbard stands on the shoulders of Mises, I would think that even a rudimentary understanding of Mises and Rothbard, especially with regard to Rothbard on the role of government, shows that Rothbard has made major advancements  beyond Mises.

I understand that Boettke is, possibly (it's not clear), also saying that Mises does not equal Rothbard, but just where is he hearing this belief advanced outside this one very flawed Cato paper?

And , I have never heard, "Mises = Rothbard; Rothbard = Austro-libertarianism; demonstrate fundamental flaws in Austro-libertarianism".  Where is Boettke hearing this stuff?  It sounds as though it is a completely Beltarian view to me.


  1. The comparison sounds like something that you hear someone say trying to make intelligent conversation at dinner or cocktails. Everyone in DC tries to impress by sounding smart or appealing to some connection they have with a power broker (the famous I worked for Reagan... Comes to mind).

  2. Rothbard highlighted the role of the so called "intellectuals" as ideological prostitutes for the powers-that-are, being kept around in order to keep the stream of rationalizations for the slavery flowing.

    No wonder the "intellectuals" hate his guts. No prostitute likes to be reminded of what she is.