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Rothbard's Sociological Laws

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Jorge A. Medina Posted: Sun, Jan 10 2010 1:22 AM

In his 1990 speech entitled "The Future of Austrian Economics" while on the subject of Keynesianism, Murray Rothbard shared what he described as one of Rothbard's Sociological Laws, to wit:  

Nobody ever quits.  

He elaborated on his law by saying that although it was not apodictic in nature, it was nonetheless a "tremendously good empirical generalization with high predictive value."  

Leaving my curiosity peaked, he also said that he had a bunch more laws that had been evolving over the years.  This post is not designed to elicit a confirmation or refutation of his claim (of course, if you want to argue amongst yourselves, feel free), but instead to find if anyone has ever come across a longer listing of Rothbard's Sociological Laws.

If you would like to view the section of the video where this takes place, go to about 28:19.

http://mises.org/media/1202

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scineram replied on Sun, Jan 10 2010 4:44 AM

Quits what?

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Maybe Lew Rockwell or David Gordon could shed more light on this.  You'll have to contact them, I don't believe they read here.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Conza88 replied on Sun, Jan 10 2010 6:16 AM

Jorge A. Medina:

In his 1990 speech entitled "The Future of Austrian Economics" while on the subject of Keynesianism, Murray Rothbard shared what he described as one of Rothbard's Sociological Laws, to wit:  

Nobody ever quits.  

He described it elsewhere as "no one ever resigns".

Keyesian Redux - Making Economic Sense | Chapter 12

But the real slayer of Keynesianism came with the double-digit inflationary recession of 1973-74, followed soon by the even more intense inflationary recessions of 1979-80 and 1981-82. For if the government was supposed to step on the spending accelerator during recessions, and step on the brakes during booms, what in blazes is it going to do if there is a steep recession (with unem ployment and bankruptcies) and a sharp inflation at the same time? What can Keynesianism say? Step on both accelerator and brake at the same time? The stark fact of inflationary recession violates the fundamental assumptions of Keynesian theory and the crucial program of Keynesian policy. Since 1973-74, Keynesianism has been intellectually finished, dead from the neck up.

But very often the corpse refuses to lie down, particularly one made up of an elite which would have to give up their power positions in the academy and in government. One crucial law of politics or sociology is: no one ever resigns. And so, the Keynesians have clung to their power positions as tightly as possible, never resigning, although a bit less addicted to grandiose promises.

A bit chastened, they now only promise to do the best they can, and to keep the system going. Essentially, then, shorn of its intellectual groundwork, Keynesianism has become the pure economics of power, committed only to keeping the Establishment-system going, making marginal adjustments, babying things along through yet one more election, and hoping that by tinkering with the controls, shifting rapidly back and forth between accelerator and brake, something will work, at least to preserve their cushy positions for a few more years.

There are some other sociological laws here, but not more from Rothbard.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Leviathan replied on Sun, Jan 10 2010 6:28 AM

Has anyone else ever noticed that Rothbard sounds exactly like Dr. Marvin Monroe from The Simpsons?

The workmen desire to get as much, the master to give as little as possible...It is not difficult to foresee which of the two parties must force the other into a compliance with their terms. -Adam Smith

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Leviathan:

Has anyone else ever noticed that Rothbard sounds exactly like Dr. Marvin Monroe from The Simpsons?

Is this relevant to the thread?

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