The Economics of Libertarianism

I've started reading Mises's classic, Human Action. Ludwig von Mises was one of the first economists from the Austrian School to bring his thoughts to America. Mises was also one of the first to attack the works of Marx and Lenin and promote what today is known as Libertarianism. His defense of libertarianism proceeds from an economic standpoint. And that economic standpoint is dependent on the requirements of human action, hence the title of his book. While his dicussion of ethics is thoroughly subjectivist, he manages to cling to enough Carl Menger's evalutaion of value to develop a defense of capitalism similar to Ayn Rand's, even though Rand explicitly rejects a subjectivist ethics in favor an objectivist ethics.

So far, I've found his text to be difficult to read, not because he's a bad writer, but because he doesn't address the topics I found most interesting about economics. Mises starts his discussion in the world of philosophy (good in principle) and spends nearly 200 pages discussing human action, praxeology, and society (bad in his wordiness). While it does provide a good foundation for his beliefs, it is a bit tedious getting through it.

With any luck, I'll be able to land a part-time fellowship at the Mises Institute this summer, where I can study the works of Mises, Menger, Hazlitt, and Reisman in greater detail. I've already inquired with the Institute and they've encouraged me to apply. This could work out great as I'm interested in defending the Austrian tradition against game theory economics prevalent in management literature.

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