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The impact of religious fanatics in the Mises Institute

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LUCHAC Posted: Mon, Jan 21 2008 3:51 PM

I wonder what some of you think about this subject. As an atheist, I think it is simply horrible to see how the LVMises Institute is becoming some sort of hideout or HQ for fanatic christians, not to promote liberalism as compatible with their way of life, but christianity itself as the only way to liberalism.

I never had the immense pleasure of meeting him but I am certain that Mises himself would have found this atrocius.

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Solredime replied on Mon, Jan 21 2008 4:15 PM
Could you please specifically point to what you're talking about? I mean actual examples. I'm sure you can see from my join date that i'm not exactly a veteran here, and so far have not encountered this. Having said that, I am an atheist, and would prefer if this forum stuck to discussions on politics and economics, although the church is unfortunately gaining an increasing foothold in politics in America. How ironic, for a government founded on secular principles, a beacon of free-thought at the time, to have degenerated (excuse the wording) into a political arena where having a slightly different faith (Mitt Romney), or worse no faith at all is almost political suicide. Bush no longer sees atheists as citizens or patriots of the country, and as much as Bush is an idiot, he is actually voicing the opinions of many Americans. I have nothing against religion practised at home, or even in a church, but when your religion starts to dictate to me it morality and tells me that i'll burn in hell if I don't convert to Jesus (I've had many spam mails concerning this on youtube) then this is going to far, and expect disdain. Respect must be earned. I don't understand why religions see themselves above this rule in demanding respect over and above the respect they themselves give to others' beliefs. I am of course talking about organised religions here, and I respect those who keep their faith to themselves.
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ayrnieu replied on Mon, Jan 21 2008 5:47 PM

is becoming some sort of hideout or HQ

Meaning that it includes Christians?


for fanatic christians

Meaning 'Christians'?

On a month-long listen to the media, I remember that a Catholic derided the Social Gospel in religious terms. The very interesting Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (of the studyguide, not the institute) acknowledges a Thomist influence. Neither of these struck me as hideous or fanatic.

In any case, what I think about this subject is: nothing. I haven't noticed anything; I assume that you just have a low tolerance for overt religion. But if you have something specific in mind that you think Mises would find atrocious, please present it.

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Mark B. replied on Mon, Jan 21 2008 6:42 PM

Hmmmnnn.  I am a non-theist myself.  I can't say that I have noticed any religous fanatics around the Mises Institute.  Anyhow, I don't think religion is incompatible with libertarianism or Austrian Economics in anyway.

 The only religious fanatics I have seen in the U.S. seem to be those that follow the beliefs of the Reverend John Hagee and his ilk, and those folks are all connected with the neo-conservtive movement.  And of course the isolated fools that you find in any country. 

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
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sam72 replied on Mon, Jan 21 2008 7:05 PM


As an atheist, I think it is simply horrible to see how the LVMises Institute is becoming some sort of hideout or HQ for fanatic christians, not to promote liberalism as compatible with their way of life, but christianity itself as the only way to liberalism.

I think what you mean is you find it horrible that some people associated with the Mises Insititute are Christians. I wouldhope not, however.  I haven't seen any documents or evidence of "fanatic Christians." And even if there were, whats the big deal? As a Christian, I don't find the largely secular material on this website in any way offensive.


Be more open minded. 



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I'll be frank. I think Gary North is off his rocker. The man scares me.

As for the OP, I think the broader phenomenon is that the general consensus at the Mises Institute is culturally conservative. There is nothing inherently wrong with this at all, but from time to time I do see it as getting in the way of the general themes of free market economics and libertararianism and sometimes undermining it. I wouldn't say that the Mises Institute is dominated by "religious fanatics", but there most certainly is a strong culturally conservative element to both the staff and the general lot of participants. To the extent that this is just a personal preference held in the context of voluntarism, I don't really care. To the extent that it is an agenda being pushed in an overt political sense, and to the extent that it is implied as being some kind of fundamental requirement in order for a free society to function, yea, it bothers me. A lot.

I stand somewhere in between Walter Block's "thin" libertarianism (I.E. the sentiment that cultural preferences are essentially irrelevant) and Roderick Long's "thick" libertarianism (I.E. the sentiment that libertarianism may encompass a broader set of principles extending outside of political philosophy). To the extent that I am "thick", I readily admit that my "bias" is so-called "culturally left". It's part of why I tend to stick out like a sore thumb here on occasion (or often).

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