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*Austrian economics "refuted" threads*

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John James Posted: Tue, Apr 17 2012 1:50 PM

Inspired by the *Abortion Threads* thread, I figured this would be a nice one to make as well.

This of course includes the famous Bryan Caplan "Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist" piece.  So no, you're not showing us anything new by posting it.

(And as with the Abortion thread, I'm sure there are more than this.  This is just a small sample, but you get the idea.)

 

"Why I am Not an Austrian Economist"  Nov 8 2007

Some critiques of Austrian economics (for those in the mood to dissect them)  Nov 8 2007

Why I Object to Austrian Economics  Jan 9 2008

Debunking, "Why I Am Not an Austrain"  Aug 14 2008

Guy calls Austrian Theory: The Hangover Theory  Sep 4 2008

Any Rebuttals to Critiques of Austrian Economics?  Sep 20 2008

Most cogent criticism of Austrian Economics?  Dec 8 2008

Austrianism = unscientific  Feb 9 2009

Caplan's Criticisms  Feb 14 2009

is there a response to Caplan's "Why I am not an Austrian Economist" by any of the professors?  Apr 16 2009

Critiques of Austrian Economics.  Aug 4 2009

Criticising Austrians  Sep 19 2009

My take on Bryan Caplan's criticism  Oct 3 2009

Why I am not an Austrian Economist  Oct 14 2009

Austrian Arrogance  Jan 9 2010

Critiques on Austrian Economics  Mar 11 2010

Critiques on Austrian Economics  Mar 11 2010  (Yes.  Two different people created different threads with the exact same title on the exact same day. This is what we're dealing with here.)

Refutations of The Austrian Business Cycle/Austrian Economics  Apr 5 2010

Most annoying criticism?  Apr 23 2010

Criticism of the Austrian School from wikipedia  May 6 2010

Robert Nosick's criticism of Austrianism and Indifference  Jun 25 2010

Does Rothbard Contradict himself with regards to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility?  Aug 3 2010

Rebuttals to Bryan Caplan's Critique of Misesian Economics?  Sep 16 2010

Arnold Kling Takes on Rothbard and the ABCT.  Sep 30 2010

Why I Am Not An Austrian Economist by Brian Caplan  Feb 25 2011

Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist by Bryan Caplan  Jan 11 2012  (Yes.  The exact same thread title (albeit spelled correctly this time) for a thread on the exact same topic)

Critisms of austrian economics, any weight to them?  Feb 4 2012

Criticism on the ABCT  Feb 16 2012

Rational Expectations Objection to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory  Mar 2 2012

Critique by Caplan on ABCT: Why dont consumption goods enjoy a boom during depressions?  Mar 3 2012

Caplan & empirical testing of economic theorem.  Mar 14 2012

Can the crash in the Baltics be explained by Austrian Business Cycle Theory? (austrian predictions)  Mar 31 2012

Rothbard refuted!  Apr 11 2012

The problem with ABCT  Jun 8 2012

 

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Cortes replied on Sat, Apr 21 2012 6:19 PM

I really feel like we need to have a FAQ of common statist canards and how to blow each one out of the water.

Such as: "Look at the auto industry, steel mills, manufacturing industry. It used to be big and huge, and the mills were full! Now the big corporations have moved overseas because of capitalism and now the workers are poor and have nothing because capitalism how dare you like capitalism etc"

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Cortes:
I really feel like we need to have a FAQ of common statist canards and how to blow each one out of the water.

Something like this?

 

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TheFinest replied on Sat, Apr 21 2012 7:52 PM

Possibly more like this

 

http://infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

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That's a pretty awesome setup.  Too bad it's filled with crap and I therefore can't send it to anyone.  (Did you read any of that stuff?)

If anyone has to the time to organize something like that from a strictly economics perspective (from an Austrian persuasion of course) it would be great.  But that's kind of what is underway at the Mises Wiki, in particular in that "Argumentation" category.  Tackling "common statist canards and how to blow each one out of the water" is precisely what that category is about.

If anyone can add to it, feel free.  As I've pointed out before, virtually everything you see on the Wiki now is the product of about less than half a dozen people, with the majority of the content being from maybe half that.  It would be great if more people would join in to help improve and expand it.

Also on another note, now that I think about it, Economics in One Lesson kind of fits the bill here as well.

 

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Apr 21 2012 11:04 PM

For whatever it's worth, if someone wanted to make a counter to the anarchist FAQ I'd be happy to help make it if we get enough people on board. I've never been too enthused about the wiki just because there's so much material to specifically cover, rather than being able to make a concise presentation or grouping of an argument, as it were. 

I do enjoy the anarchist FAQ, it's wonderfully well written and acts as a terrific primer. It's just too bad that it doesn't present a very strong argument to someone who actually understands what they're critiquing. For instance the assertion there that production, and not exchange, is not important is fallacious because of the very economic method which they refuse to utilize, the individualistic one, during the critique of which they utterly fail to explain how a market phenomenon could not act as the outcome of individualistic behavior. 

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Neodoxy:
I do enjoy the anarchist FAQ, it's wonderfully well written and acts as a terrific primer.

...a terrific primer for socialist nonsense...

  • "To quote libertarian socialist Cornelius Castoriadis:..."   [what the hell is a libertarian socialist?]
  • "the need for the capitalist to make a profit from the workers they employ is the underlying cause of the business cycle."
  • "["anarcho"-capitalists] use a dictionary definition of anarchism. However, this fails to appreciate that anarchism is a political theory. As dictionaries are rarely politically sophisticated things, this means that they fail to recognise that anarchism is more than just opposition to government, it is also marked a opposition to capitalism (i.e. exploitation and private property). Thus, opposition to government is a necessary but not sufficient condition for being an anarchist -- you also need to be opposed to exploitation and capitalist private property. As "anarcho"-capitalists do not consider interest, rent and profits (i.e. capitalism) to be exploitative nor oppose capitalist property rights, they are not anarchists."

 

They literally define "anarchism" as being against the concept of property.  It's supposed to be an FAQ for people who are trying to learn about anarchism, and the very foundation upon which these authors have built is an inherently socialist one.

How in the hell you can find this useful, I have no idea.

 

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Apr 22 2012 1:19 AM

"...a terrific primer for socialist nonsense..."

Exactly. I'm not saying that it's a good primer for what I believe, or any sort of "right anarchistic" philosophy, I'm saying that it does exactly what it is supposed to do, it explains quite a complex social philosophy in a simple and relatively concise way, after reading the Anarchist FAQ you should have no questions as to the philosophy of leftist anarchism. 

"They literally define "anarchism" as being against the concept of property."

Which is part of the problem with leftist and traditional anarchism, is that they try to paint property as inherently exploitative, when, if it is, then human actions are necessarily exploitative, as civilization necessitates property. 

"How in the hell you can find this useful, I have no idea."

It depends on what you're looking for. It's incredibly useful if you're trying to understand leftist/traditional anarchism. I never said it was a good primer on all forms of anarchism. Leftist anarchists love to believe that they have a monopoly claim on the term "anarchism"

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Cortes replied on Tue, Apr 24 2012 10:00 PM

That leads me to another canard that's really convincing (like, in the "there is practically a church based off of this in San Francisco whose members swear eternal jihad on the heretics"  style convincing) lfor many people:

'private property is exploitation and coercion!"

If you respond, 'well, you have the right to live in a leftliberwhatevertopia where you all have no property', they'd respond "well, YOU'RE FORCING US TO LIVE ON A RESERVATION!!!11"

They seriously do not understand the idea that their idea of freedom is self-contradicting; that it is forcing you to live under their standards. 

However, even my simple response doesn't feel convincing enough to even myself; wouldn't the whole concept of homesteading, private property etc be yet another kind of "artificial socially constructed coercive" etc standard?

What I'm saying is that I'd really love a resource where the argument that civilization entails private property is nailed down pat, which I can use to counter the most emotional of arguments. My current arguments in favor of it don't feel convincing enough to myself, and I sure know that they wouldn't to anybody I'd come across.

How do you get across the logic that private property entails no coercion? Every "left-anarchist" is apparently under the impression that they are enslaved at gunpoint to have to live in their own little asylum rather than be "free" to force everyone else to live in their asylum with them.

The devotion to the "anti-property as true freedom" ideal is a huge indicator of a person's understanding of logic.

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Cortes replied on Tue, Apr 24 2012 10:58 PM

On the whole mutualist objection to private property:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/p/27393/449434.aspx#449434

 

Birthday Pony's last responses to that thread raise pretty thorny but common objections that do not get refuted quite easily. Shame that thread ended with those objections as they are clearly not the last word. Anybody care to continue?

Btw, I always feel that I am begging for answers sometimes. I hope that isn't the case. I try to be Devil's Advocate and call out things I think are unanswered. I think I'm actually obligated to do so. I'd love to get a response like "figure it out yourself", only if that response has a link to it where I can figure it out for myself.

The Mises wiki is a good start for me, not in the sense that I could add anything substantive to it on my own though.

I also try to get my reading on when I get free time.

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John James replied on Wed, Apr 25 2012 12:06 AM

Cortes:
What I'm saying is that I'd really love a resource where the argument that civilization entails private property is nailed down pat, which I can use to counter the most emotional of arguments. My current arguments in favor of it don't feel convincing enough to myself, and I sure know that they wouldn't to anybody I'd come across.

In order of relevance to your request:

 

What Libertarianism Is

What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist

How I Became A Libertarian (from I Chose Liberty: Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians)

...all mentioned in this excellent interview (which I highly recommend)

 

For a a greater extrapolation, see here.  (In particular, the Law and Economics lecture from 2009, and the resources on ownership, which are linked in that post as well.)  However, you might still start with "What libertarianism is", as it's probably the best overall primer I've ever read.

 

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impala76 replied on Wed, Jul 25 2012 2:11 AM

Of course there's always arguments like this, refuted by such cogent arguments as "how can you know that economic growth matters?" or "empirical evidence cannot be used by economists (unless they're investing in stocks or working for a bank in which case it's praxeology!)".

Right wing economics worse for economic growth

Inadvertent Austrian Refutation Thread

 

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Um, some guy cites a bunch of esoteric papers, and a bunch of amatuers on a forum fail to counter him (to your liking apparently), and that counts as a refutation?

Well, lucky enough for us, our amatuers are pretty smart, and did well to refute the fallacious methodology Mustang's arguments relied upon below and onward in the thread. 

(begin about halfway through the first page)

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/29485.aspx?PageIndex=2

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impala76 replied on Wed, Jul 25 2012 5:02 AM

That's page two, on page three some guy is left citing a source which shoots down his own point.

Just as a bit of support proxyamenra's excellent post, I thought I might link here, to where a most recent Nobel Prize winning economist just got through admitting how "[economic models] are abstractions that make very simple assumptions that aren't realistic."

There's nothing to "admit". He acknowledges that models aren't perfect- big whoop. He then goes on to note that models are potentially very powerful. And that doesn't do much to answer why models aren't useful in economics alone among other sciences.

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I meant to say page 2. Other than that, I have no idea what the fuck your point is.

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David B replied on Fri, Aug 3 2012 12:01 PM

Property is very simple to defend.

It's unavoidable as a concept.  I've been doing this over and over and over in these forums over the last couple of months, and if we can get it written up in a FAQ I'd participate.

Property is an emergent category.  It's actually an owner->property relationship.

The root event in reality is the intersection of human mind (intended action) + matter + time (boundary = start + stop) + space (volume within which that matter exists for the duration of the use).

So, using something is an instance of the construct above.  If I use a stick I pick up off the ground, I'm creating such an intersection.  I use it for a length of time, I move it through space, and in fact I may alter it.  My mind (indirectly through the use of my body) directs it's behavior in reality.

I don't know how it is possible to think of or imagine a world in which what I stated above isn't true.  A concept (a category used in language and thought) of property arises as a solution to a different occurence which is also a fact of reality which one can't deny exists.  Conflict.  Now this is not a conflict in reality, this is a conflict at the level of the human mind.  When two different human minds want to use the same matter or same location at the same time for different metaphysically incompatible uses.  Meaning same matter in different locations, or different matter at the same location.

A claim of ownership is the solution to that problem.  The owned thing is called property.  This establishes a "right of way" for one mind over the other.  That's a political solution.

So the question isn't whether or not the concept of property is right or wrong.  It exists a priori, now all we have to argue about is what are the social norms, laws, rules that a social group uses to legitimize a claim.

That's it.  Chomsky can say he doesn't believe in property, but he absolutely must act, and therefore he must use matter.  At a minimum his action in reality on matter is a de facto claim of a right of use.  Now the only question is how to resolve conflicts over conflicting claims.  

Anarcho-communists gloss over this part.  But even their rules must consist of describing legitimate use (legal) and illegitimate use.  Some social mechanism must arise to resolve disputes over use.  One cannot describe or talk about a world where this is not true.

So, please, lets push this point hard, and get rid of this argument about whether or not property exists.  It exists, now we're just arguing about how to define legitimate claims.  A legitimate claim is a socially constructed solution, to the phenomena of dispute over the use of matter.

There is no "no private property solution"  There is always the use of matter by individuals.  Always, there is no reality we can describe without it.  Under "community ownership" disputes will arise over scarce resources.  Regardless of how you resolve the dispute, by doing so you are establishing rules or criteria that make a claim to that use legitimate or more legitimate than another conflicting claim.

This micro-problem can't be glossed over.  We have to pound this point, it changes everything about such arguments.

 

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David B replied on Fri, Aug 3 2012 12:14 PM

As a simple example of my post.

Why do you get to eat that ham sandwich, if I want to eat it too?

Why does your desire to eat it take precedence over mine?

This question requires a mechanism for solution.  If we don't come up with social non-violent means of resolving the question, we end up with a simple "Might makes Right" political solution.

Natural Property Rights are a solution.  But don't think that throwing out the idea of property solves the problem.  Whatever you bring back to solve it in a non-violent way will have the features of claims of ownership.  You can call it anything you want to, but it won't matter what you call it if the features are the same, the results will be the same.

The only thing left to do then is to argue about how to establish legitimate claims, and how to arbitrate disagreements about such claims!  That's it, please deconstruct that analysis and show me I'm wrong.  Otherwise, let's argue about what basis to use for calling a claim legitimate.

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Marx addresses this point in the Grundrisse:

The aim is, rather, to present production – see e.g. Mill – as distinct from distribution etc., as encased in eternal natural laws independent of history, at which opportunity bourgeois relations are then quietly smuggled in as the inviolable natural laws on which society in the abstract is founded. This is the more or less conscious purpose of the whole proceeding. In distribution, by contrast, humanity has allegedly permitted itself to be considerably more arbitrary. Quite apart from this crude tearing-apart of production and distribution and of their real relationship, it must be apparent from the outset that, no matter how differently distribution may have been arranged in different stages of social development, it must be possible here also, just as with production, to single out common characteristics, and just as possible to confound or to extinguish all historic differences under general human laws. For example, the slave, the serf and the wage labourer all receive a quantity of food which makes it possible for them to exist as slaves, as serfs, as wage labourers. The conqueror who lives from tribute, or the official who lives from taxes, or the landed proprietor and his rent, or the monk and his alms, or the Levite and his tithe, all receive a quota of social production, which is determined by other laws than that of the slave’s, etc. The two main points which all economists cite under this rubric are: (1) property; (2) its protection by courts, police, etc. To this a very short answer may be given:

to 1. All production is appropriation of nature on the part of an individual within and through a specific form of society. In this sense it is a tautology to say that property (appropriation) is a precondition of production. But it is altogether ridiculous to leap from that to a specific form of property, e.g. private property. (Which further and equally presupposes an antithetical form, non-property.) History rather shows common property (e.g. in lndia, among the Slavs, the early Celts, etc.) to be the more original form, a form which long continues to play a significant role in the shape of communal property. The question whether wealth develops better in this or another form of property is still quite beside the point here. But that there can be no production and hence no society where some form of property does not exist is a tautology. An appropriation which does not make something into property is a contradictio in subjecto.

to 2. Protection of acquisitions etc. When these trivialities are reduced to their real content, they tell more than their preachers know. Namely that every form of production creates its own legal relations, form of government, etc. In bringing things which are organically related into an accidental relation, into a merely reflective connection, they display their crudity and lack of conceptual understanding. All the bourgeois economists are aware of is that production can be carried on better under the modern police than e.g. on the principle of might makes right. They forget only that this principle is also a legal relation, and that the right of the stronger prevails in their ‘constitutional republics’ as well, only in another form.

When the social conditions corresponding to a specific stage of production are only just arising, or when they are already dying out, there are, naturally, disturbances in production, although to different degrees and with different effects.

To summarize: There are characteristics which all stages of production have in common, and which are established as general ones by the mind; but the so-called general preconditions of all production are nothing more than these abstract moments with which no real historical stage of production can be grasped.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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David B replied on Sat, Aug 4 2012 5:14 PM

Fool on the Hill:

Marx addresses this point in the Grundrisse:

The aim is, rather, to present production – see e.g. Mill – as distinct from distribution etc., as encased in eternal natural laws independent of history, at which opportunity bourgeois relations are then quietly smuggled in as the inviolable natural laws on which society in the abstract is founded. This is the more or less conscious purpose of the whole proceeding. In distribution, by contrast, humanity has allegedly permitted itself to be considerably more arbitrary. Quite apart from this crude tearing-apart of production and distribution and of their real relationship, it must be apparent from the outset that, no matter how differently distribution may have been arranged in different stages of social development, it must be possible here also, just as with production, to single out common characteristics, and just as possible to confound or to extinguish all historic differences under general human laws. For example, the slave, the serf and the wage labourer all receive a quantity of food which makes it possible for them to exist as slaves, as serfs, as wage labourers. The conqueror who lives from tribute, or the official who lives from taxes, or the landed proprietor and his rent, or the monk and his alms, or the Levite and his tithe, all receive a quota of social production, which is determined by other laws than that of the slave’s, etc. The two main points which all economists cite under this rubric are: (1) property; (2) its protection by courts, police, etc. To this a very short answer may be given:

to 1. All production is appropriation of nature on the part of an individual within and through a specific form of society. In this sense it is a tautology to say that property (appropriation) is a precondition of production. But it is altogether ridiculous to leap from that to a specific form of property, e.g. private property. (Which further and equally presupposes an antithetical form, non-property.) History rather shows common property (e.g. in lndia, among the Slavs, the early Celts, etc.) to be the more original form, a form which long continues to play a significant role in the shape of communal property. The question whether wealth develops better in this or another form of property is still quite beside the point here. But that there can be no production and hence no society where some form of property does not exist is a tautology. An appropriation which does not make something into property is a contradictio in subjecto.

to 2. Protection of acquisitions etc. When these trivialities are reduced to their real content, they tell more than their preachers know. Namely that every form of production creates its own legal relations, form of government, etc. In bringing things which are organically related into an accidental relation, into a merely reflective connection, they display their crudity and lack of conceptual understanding. All the bourgeois economists are aware of is that production can be carried on better under the modern police than e.g. on the principle of might makes right. They forget only that this principle is also a legal relation, and that the right of the stronger prevails in their ‘constitutional republics’ as well, only in another form.

When the social conditions corresponding to a specific stage of production are only just arising, or when they are already dying out, there are, naturally, disturbances in production, although to different degrees and with different effects.

To summarize: There are characteristics which all stages of production have in common, and which are established as general ones by the mind; but the so-called general preconditions of all production are nothing more than these abstract moments with which no real historical stage of production can be grasped.

Good, Marx understood that the property relationship exists regardless of how you define it, but it seems from the comment on shared ownership, that he misunderstands that conflict is inevitable and social groups develop mechanisms to arbitrate the disputes, and that those arbitrated decisions result in rules, laws, norms that establish what constitutes a legitimate claim of ownership, even if it's as ephemeral as a short-term use norm, but a free-for-all appropriation norm when not in use.  Those shared ownership claims do not function as some form of shared ownership in fact...  Groups may establish norms for legitimate uses, but individuals act on the matter in question.  Within the group there will be norms about use by individuals, because there is no use by a group - and before you argue with me on that, yes I can understand that you might characterize 3 soccer teams attempting to play on 1 field.

But then at the end, he "summarizes", by saying so what.  "There are characteristics that all stages of production have in common, ..." (Please define stages of production, and then provide qualitative and significant differences between them.) ".. and which are established as general ones by the mind;"  (Good, even more so there's the start of an acknowledgement of the praxeological nature of human action.) "but the so-called general preconditions..." (So-called? why so-called, my conditions clear up any misunderstandings he might have had.) "... of all production are nothing more than these abstract moments with which no real historical stage of production can be grasped."  WTF?  He acknowledges them, and then says, sorry can't use them, cause they don't explain anything?

Simple rulesets that operate on a population in a simulation can provide for very diverse and complex emergent behavior.  But if they're well-defined and you have sufficient data, one can trace the emergent behavior back to the rules; you can explain the behavior in terms of the rules, and you can analyze and predict the effects of changes to the system.  Praxeology provides just such a path to trace the macro-level economic phenomena back to the simple micro-level phenomena.  When you understand for example, how ants leave trails of pheromones on the ground, the social behavior of walking a specific trail to a known source of food becomes obvious, and predictable.  Before that you are left guessing about how they found the food source, and inferring that they have a "hivemind".  The same is true of group economic action, of class "mind" etc.  When you don't understand the underlying phenomena that produce the behavior, one might talk in terms of a hivemind, or a class logic, but when you've got the underlying mechanisms understood and explained, the behavior no-longer requires such false explanations.  You throw them out and use the more informative and accurate one.  Praxeology is that explanation.

I'm going to have to go back and read the timeline and the history of Austrian Economics on one side, and Socialism on the other side.

I like that Marx keyed in on conflict and property as the core phenomena that give rise to political power.  But he never performed a Praxeological analysis of it.  I feel I've provided that.  

Obvioiusly he died in 1883 and didn't see the rise of Austrian Economics.   I'd like to think that if he's as smart as he seemed, he'd have seen that methodological individualism also applies to conflict, i.e. that one can reduce conflict to it's essential form as a metaphysical incompatibility between the intentions or goals of two human beings.

For whatever reason, as far as I can tell in my readings, no Austrian - Mises, Rothbard, etc. - ever looked at or talked about the micro-political event.  The conflict.  Marx did, but before Praxeology arises (Mises, I believe), and so his conflict archetype was at the group level, since that is a significant class of phenomena.  He keyed in on the conflicts and struggles that arise within what's considered to be a cohesive social unit (a country).  He ignored the macro-level events at the nation-state or city-state level.  He didn't talk about the struggles and conflict within the family unit, or within older tribal groups.  But he did talk about it inside the social structures that have arisen in modern industrial societies.  But if one is to build a science that talks about those phenomena, it must arise out of a science of human action.  Which means starting at the bottom.  If we do that, we can bind all of Politics and Economics as Theoretical Social Sciences under their parent science Praxeology.  We can use such a theoretical science to analyze history, and to analyze current events.  We can use such a theoretical science to analyze our social technological solutions (the institutions that we use to engage in economic action and in conflict resolution).  Why is social science still stuck in the dark ages?!

 

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David, good posts. I've utilised some of these arguments myself before (on the inevitability of property.) Hoppe also bases a good deal of his argumentation on ethics on conflict and the inevitability of property in some shape or form.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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David B replied on Thu, Aug 9 2012 4:20 PM

@John

I've seen some of his arguments, "Argumentation Ethics" and while I understand his point, my problem is I don't find it to be binding or predictive about the various mechanisms we see in reality that solve the conflict problem.

I'm going to continue to look and think.  We'll see where I get with it.

 

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He doesn't intend it to do either of those things. Look at arg. ethics as a high level theory against socialist/non-libertarian theories of property (it is sort of a filtering device) and as an abstract theory of appropriation. Hoppe's positive element of the theory is predicated on the notion that individuals desire peace and cooperation and therefore to reduce conflict. Hence I noted the similarity.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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David B replied on Thu, Aug 9 2012 5:44 PM

@Jon 

I like the idea that individuals desire peace and cooperation, but I would probably argue that language appeared first as a generic tool for sharing information, and that it's existence in humans allowed  abstract negotiation (a positive description of argumentation).

For example, he seems to state that because you argue you implicitly acknowledge ownership of self and the self-ownership of other.  I don't think that follows directly.  My reasoning is that we treat dogs and human beings the same as means to be used to our own ends.  We aren't acknowleding their right to self-ownership, we're acknowledging the presence of agency, not that there are rights inherent in the fact of agency.  It's not that we CAN'T force them, it's that it's easier (more profitable in some scenarios) to convince them (Argumentation).

The dog is the same way, but it's agency is different in that I have to use different actions in order to "fool" it into doing the thing I want it to do.  And a rock is the same way, except that it's agency category is "inert".  (that was kind of a joke).  With a rock I only have to deal with natural laws.  With a dog, there is an agency which controls its behavior, through experience I learn about what how that agency works, and I learn how to kick off causal chains that get the dog (with varying levels of success) to serve as a means to some end of mine. - Note I did not mean I kick the dog...

With human beings the nature of the agency is even more complex, BUT I can identify it as similar to mine in many respects, and yet different from mine in others.  But I haven't ACCEPTED his self-ownership.  I've accepted that it's easier to get him to want to do what I want him to do by engaging in certain types of action...  Coercive (threats), communicative argumentation, and violent action are all different ways I can interact with other people.  Where the end I seek varies, the means by which I might achieve it will also vary and could include any one of these options.  It just happens that we tend to choose argumentation or negotiation, because it's more profitable.

I would argue not that individuals desire peace and cooperation and therefore to reduce conflict.  I believe this begs a question for a condition that was the necessary outcome of selection.  

Meaning that warlike, non-cooperative, and conflict loving individuals (and/or societies with norms or ideologies that infected their members with such memes) would tend to get themselves removed from the playing field.

I don't think that the general emergence of a specific end as a generally preferred and highly valued end (like long life) makes it RIGHT.  It cannot be used to move a specific theory of legitimate property claims from the normative realm into the descriptive realm, i.e. turns it from an Ought back into an IS.

If Praxeology deals with Ultimate Ends as givens, not subject to evaluation or judgment, then it a praxeology of politics must take them as givens also.  Peace is an End, it may be for me and for you a GOOD end.  We can analyze the consequences of specific systems of politics without judging the conditions that must arise due to them. 

If this the of analysis is performed, I don't have to judge the outcome.  That's left as an exercise for the consumer of that analysis.  The defeat of socialist and interventionist ideas isn't because it's "Bad";  It's because an honest appraisal of the outcome results in a society few men will prefer, if they understand the truth about what it necessitates.

The ascendence of a libertarian political system will not happen because of some "absolute goodness" but because an logical and true analysis of the consequences for society will be results that most men will prefer.

My point in distinguishing these two realms the normative and descriptive is that libertarianism gets attacked very effectively by it's desire to blur and conjoin these two realms instead of accepting the dualism of mind/reality and the rise of the normative from action (subjective value).

Herein lies the crux of choice, and we are the only ideology that embraces it.  A MAN  MUST CHOOSE HIS OWN ENDS.  Our job is simply to make clear that when he picks up one end of the stick (intervention) he picks up the other end (oppression).  Necessarily!  There is no escape. 

Then, the question each man must ask is, do I want what's on the other side?  Luckily, intervention and oppression grow to create sufficient frustration, anger, etc. in the individuals.  Eventually they will seek to throw off these conditions.  

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I think you are envisaging his argument as a tool for convincing. He doesn't intend it this way, rather he explicitly defines argumentation in a narrow way so as to capture the sense in which it's a filter for true theories. He is trying to show that any theory put forth in a way that denies the preconditions necessary for argumentation annihilates itself since it denies the very means by which it would be proposed to begin with; it's thus a heavily Kantian flavoured argument. But he puts forward a separate argument for first-comer appropriation, which is what I had intended to refer to.

If this the of analysis is performed, I don't have to judge the outcome.  That's left as an exercise for the consumer of that analysis.  The defeat of socialist and interventionist ideas isn't because it's "Bad";  It's because an honest appraisal of the outcome results in a society few men will prefer, if they understand the truth about what it necessitates.

Yes, exactly. This is why he addresses his theory to people who prefer peace and cooperation. Those who value conflict (to the degree that they accept that consistent valuation of it means it can also be employed against them) will not listen anyway to the extent that they refused to believe otherwise, and since they value conflict they can also be treated with it in kind. I think this strengthens his argument, because precious few people deny the value of peace and prosperity and desire conflict.

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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David B replied on Fri, Aug 10 2012 7:40 PM

Jon Irenicus:

I think you are envisaging his argument as a tool for convincing. He doesn't intend it this way, rather he explicitly defines argumentation in a narrow way so as to capture the sense in which it's a filter for true theories. He is trying to show that any theory put forth in a way that denies the preconditions necessary for argumentation annihilates itself since it denies the very means by which it would be proposed to begin with; it's thus a heavily Kantian flavoured argument. But he puts forward a separate argument for first-comer appropriation, which is what I had intended to refer to.

If this the of analysis is performed, I don't have to judge the outcome.  That's left as an exercise for the consumer of that analysis.  The defeat of socialist and interventionist ideas isn't because it's "Bad";  It's because an honest appraisal of the outcome results in a society few men will prefer, if they understand the truth about what it necessitates.

Yes, exactly. This is why he addresses his theory to people who prefer peace and cooperation. Those who value conflict (to the degree that they accept that consistent valuation of it means it can also be employed against them) will not listen anyway to the extent that they refused to believe otherwise, and since they value conflict they can also be treated with it in kind. I think this strengthens his argument, because precious few people deny the value of peace and prosperity and desire conflict.

I think I'm engaged in too many discussions here.

I read this on my phone, and at first glance thought this was intended as an argument to support socialism (from another thread I'm engaged in), and was getting ready to come home and lay the smack down :)...

Anyway, I'll be re-reading Hoppe down the road.  I do love his writing, and generally prefer it to Rothbard, though I love Rothbard too.  But Mises still holds the dearest place in my heart.  I'm going to beg off any kind of further arguments about Hoppe's theories.  I don't want to attempt to articulate an argument, I may not actually stand behind.  I had issues with it, something didn't sit well in my gut, I'm not sure what it was, hopefully in the future I can come back to it and resolve it one way or the other.

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My best attempt at refuting Austrian Economics:

A Critique of Mises's Praxeology

Judge for yourself as to whether it succeeds or not.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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filc replied on Sat, Nov 24 2012 11:18 PM

Fool on the Hill:

My best attempt at refuting Austrian Economics:

A Critique of Mises's Praxeology

Judge for yourself as to whether it succeeds or not

 

I think you were discussing to PTPT. You did not address praxeology. 

Either way what is meant by refuting AE?

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I accidentally linked the wrong page, and for some reason you can't edit your posts in permanent threads. If you go to the first page, you'll see that I addressed other aspects of praxeology.  

What is meant by refuting AE? Presumably the same thing that is meant by the Permanent Keynesian Refutation Thread, except in regards to AE instead of Keynesianism.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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What is is?

http://thephoenixsaga.com/
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Torsten replied on Thu, Nov 29 2012 5:20 AM

@John et al.

What is meant by refuting AE? Presumably the same thing that is meant by the Permanent Keynesian Refutation Thread, except in regards to AE instead of Keynesianism.

Could we summarize the Refutations and then draw up responses to that?

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