Dishonest Marxist Claims About Austrian Economics

Posted on April 4, 2011 by

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In an attempt to refute the ideas behind Austrian Economics, a Marxist website (no hyperbole here), stooped to the level of blatant intellectual dishonesty in order to dissuade people from one viewpoint and proselytize them to their own. This deception was so glaring and obvious that I felt compelled to stop their attempt to persuade the easily deceived. The author, John Case, did a terrible job researching his subject.

In Frederic Bastiat’s introduction to “Economic Sophisms – First Series,” Bastiat wondered why it is that liberty is “so hidden as to be discovered only by professional Economists.” His timeless conclusion was repeated by Milton Friedman, in Friedman’s own words, over two centuries later in his book “Free to Choose.” Bastiat said:

We must confess that our adversaries have a marked advantage over us in the discussion. In very few words they can announce a half-truth; and in order to demonstrate that it is incomplete, we are obliged to have recourse to long and dry dissertations.

Fortunately there is no need for me to write a dissertation here and writing one would do more harm to my purpose than good as the folks atpoliticalaffairs.net do not seem inclined to read as much as would be required. Instead I will quickly address three of their claims.

First, the claim that proponents of Austrian Economics are “calling for the end of public schools, roads, post offices, Internet, media of any kind, health care, retirement, fire stations, etc, etc, etc” is wrong. Austrian Economists are not against things like health care and the internet. Rather, Austrian Economists have enough of an imagination to suppose that things can be produced and created without the use of the initiation of coercion as a means for wide-scale social cooperation. In fact, many libertarians believe the use of coercion limits the creativity of the individual and impedes the development of society as a result. The internet is not a result of coercion but the result of many dispersed individuals cooperating to create something amazing. The internet embodies the results of non-coercive social cooperation that economists like Mises and Hayek espouse.

My second point of contention is Case’s mysterious imbuement of religion into the Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT) that cannot be traced back to a single major proponent of Austrian Economics (or anyone but Case himself). In describing how his version of ABCT he says:

Every graph of the financial crises showing crashes and bubbles is just God’s continuing morality play. Government intervention in this “virtuous” cycle prevents God and/or nature from rendering justice with the “tough love” everyone needs

The most prominent model used as an explanation for the business cycle is Hayek’s triangle. I searched the internet for one that included “God’s Wrath” but the best I could come up with is mining tools depicted in the most elongated portion of the its representation of the market.

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Posted in: Statist Logic