Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Really Galls University Economists About Rothbard and the Mises Institute

By Gary North

For over 40 years, I have watched university economists attack Murray Rothbard in print. They never laid a glove on him.

They had certain things in common. They never published anything comparable to his book,Man, Economy, and State: With Power and Market - Scholar's Edition(1962). They never published anything comparable to America's Great Depression (1963). They did not publish widely in any mainstream scholarly journals. Their existence was not acknowledged by Keynesians. But they knew Rothbard was a second rater, and some of them even said so.

Why was this? I offer this theory. He published in newsletters aimed at the general public. He published easy-to-read books on numerous topics. His theoretical works did not have equations. He did not rely on statistics, although he was aware of statistical trends. He was a skilled mathematician, but he did not rely on mathematics. Most of all, he took the message of Austrian School economics to young scholars and intelligent layman. He built Mises's reputation, and he thereby built his own reputation.

I can think of one free-market economist of no particular reputation who has referred to Rothbard as a mediocre monetary theorist. He also has said that Rothbard spent his time developing a cult of himself. This man has never written a book that has had any impact, either in the economics profession or in the general public. His books are published mostly outside the country, and mostly for over $140. He has built his curriculum vitae by being published by a publisher that rakes in money by charging outrageous prices to tax-funded American university libraries. A lot of academicians use this approach. Then they grant tenure to each other, based on the fact that...

Read the rest here.

(ht Robert Blumen)


  1. Hazlitt, who was not cursed with a college education.

    1. There's hope for you yet, jerry....

    2. Will the real Jerry Wolfgang please stand up?

  2. When North speaks out in this way.... it is Definitive! Take that!

  3. Always fun and informative to read Gary North.

    Don't always agree, but that's the fun....testing your ideas against other people's ideas.
    Trying to convince...being convinced...

    It's part of the rough and tumble of intellectual life that any real intellectual loves.

    Silencing other people whether by the state or by internet lynch mobs is the work of a different kind of creature.
    One that loves power, not truth..

  4. Google says, "one free-market economist of no particular reputation who has referred to Rothbard as a mediocre monetary theorist == George Selgin".

    Google knows all, and remembers it for eternity. Watch what you say in public!!

  5. Lets name names where Gary North is too polite to.... he is talking about the 'Austrians' centred around George Mason University and in particular academics like Steven Horwitz.

    These people worship Hayek, because Hayek is so subjective and contradictory that almost any meaning can be taken from his writings. He has no rigor at all.

    They give the faintest nods to Mises, only because they have to, and they absolutely loathe Rothbard and Hans Hermann-Hoppe, simply because these two guys are the most clear and consistent logicians and exponents of Libertarianism and Austrian economics.

  6. George Selgin has to be who Gary north is referencing