Monday, August 29, 2016

The Things That I Have Figured Out That Einstein Never Did

Robert Higgs writes:
Sometimes when I criticize something maintained by a great intellectual such as Ludwig von Mises, people respond by writing shorthand comments such as "Mises > Higgs." This is silly. Am I the intellectual equal of Mises? Of course not. I would be an idiot to suppose I am. However, my overall intellectual inferiority does not imply that when I disagree with him on a specific point, I am always the one who is wrong.
Am I the intellectual equal of Einstein? The question is ludicrous. Yet on certain matters where Einstein and I differ, he was clearly the one who was wrong. I can explain -- I believe, quite convincingly -- why socialism is an arrangement wholly unsuited for the attainment of the objectives that well-intentioned socialists such as Einstein believed it would attain. Einstein simply did not know much about economics, however great a physicist he surely was.
This same sort of difference may arise with anyone. There must be millions of people -- maybe hundreds of millions -- who are in some overall sense my intellectual superiors. Yet it does not follow that when I differ with one of these persons, I am the one in error.


  1. Whether we need a state or not is a major disagreement between Rothbardians and Misesians. Every libertarian should study this debate. I believe Mises was right and limited government is actually the foundation of capitalism.

  2. People who use arguments like Mises > Higgs are not abel to think for themselves and only rely on an argument from authority.