I personally love Noam Chomsky and can't get enough of listening to his speaches. It's been a while since I've picked up one of his books but they were excellent as well. I'm hoping you good people can suggest / share some non austrian non libertarian resources from serious intellectuals. Ideally via online books (pdf) or videos of them giving a lecture etc.
... just as the State
has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock
Interestingly enough, it was another thread you started in which I recently had to point out Chomsky and his ridiculous ideas.
(for more, see Chomsky on Ron Paul's libertarianism. How do I respond?)
In no particular order and if we use libertarianism in a fairly but not incredibly strict sense:
1. Friedrich Nietzsche (actually he may have influenced me more than any Libertarian)
4. Soren Kierkegaard
5. Peter Kropotkin
6. Charles Darwin (entirely indirectly)
7. Karl Marx
8. Pierre Joseph Proudhon
9. John Maynard Keynes
10. Auguste Comte (entirely with his 3 stages of scientific inquiry. I took nothing else from that f***)
11. Ronald Coase (I am ignorant as to his political stance)
12. Robert Frank
13. Joseph Schumpeter (you can debate all day over whether he was or wasn't a libertarian so I'm throwing him on here)
14. David Hume
As you might gather I'm thoroughly disgusted with modern thought. I have a hard time thinking of any intellectual of any true quality born after 1940 who wasn't/isn't a libertarian.
thanks Neodoxy! I think Hume was one of the first people to study business cycles. His explanations weren't fully satisfactory. I tried reading one of Schumpeter's books once; it was interesting but very dense.
another guy to add to the list : glenn greenwald used to write for slate now writes for the guardian
I didn't even know that there was any sort of conception of business cycles in Hume's day. What did he say?
As for Schumpeter the only book of his that I have ever read is Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. It had and still has a great effect on me. It's also a wonderful work of political economy in that it is exactly how a true examination of political economy should be done. It also has a great (although rather indecisive) critique of Marxism in such a way that it salvages the good things about a Marxist class analysis. No one denies that class is an essential concept when understanding current events and history, yet there is no reason that classes should be purely antagonistic or that these classes should be clearly unified or work as coherent groups.
I would highly recommend the book. It also explains a lot of the anti-capitalistic trends in our day. It is dense at times, but still.
Above anyone else I would examine Nietzsche. All of his books are available online in PDF if you look hard enough. My entire methodology in how I approach things is something of a blend between Nietzsche and Mises. Kierkegaard is also a very interesting, although very difficult read IMO.
I find Marx to be interesting. Increasingly what I read/understand of his economics is not so much that it was entirely fallacious, but rather that it misses the point. It focuses upon things which are irrelevant and misunderstands other important concepts. That's the main thing that struck me when reading/watching some stuff from Marx. The concepts that it focuses on (like socially necessary labor time) aren't necessarily wrong, they just miss the point.
> non austrian non libertarian resources from serious intellectuals
Well, I'm a big fan of J. Scott Armstrong http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Scott_Armstrong. He's an expert on forecasting and marketing, professor at Wharton business school, and founder of the International Journal of Forecasters. Google "principles of forecasting" (I don't think this is free). Also, check out http://advertisingprinciples.com/ and http://www.pollyvote.com/. But beware, some of these sites seem to get infected by malware.
Armstrong seems to be skeptical of econometrics: "Certain hypotheses about econometric methods have been accepted for years despite the lack of evidence. Ninety-five percent of the experts agreed that econometric methods are superior for short-range forecasting. An examination of the empirical literature did not support this belief: Econometric forecasts were not shown to be significantly better in any of the 14 ex post and 16 ex ante tests. Furthermore, there was no tendency toward greater accuracy over these 30 tests. Similarly, 72% of the experts felt that complexity contributed to accuracy, but the examination of the literature did not support such a belief: Complex models were not significantly better in any of the five indirect and 11 direct tests." - from http://works.bepress.com/j_scott_armstrong/46/ and http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=marketing_papers
Also, this stuff is interesting:
"Polly always predicted Obama to win since her first forecast on January 1st of 2011, more than 22 months prior to Election Day...
The task of predicting U.S. presidential elections is ideal for demonstrating the usefulness of combining forecasts, as there are a number of different methods that use different sources of information, or process it differently. In addition, it is difficult to judge a priori which component forecast is likely to be most accurate at different times in a campaign. The historical track record of single models or methods is usually of little help. A prominent example of this year’s campaign is the Iowa Electronic Vote Share Market (IEM), which provided the most accurate component forecasts in past elections (Graefe et al., 2012). This time, the IEM was among the least accurate of Polly’s constituent forecasts, except for its Election Eve forecasts."
neodoxy check out this article by Rothbard he quotes Hume on business cycles :
I like Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy. Excellent mix of logic and sarcasm. He keeps drumming home one basic idea: if it doesn't make sense, it doesn't make sense, no matter how pleasant a fantasy it is. A socialist, or so he wrote in 1922. Don't know about his later stance.
George Orwell. There's a man who tells it like it is. Everything I've read of his is good. A socialist.
Forgive me, but I'm thinking it takes a special kind of person to be both a serious intellectual and non Austrian, non Libertarian. It's like asking for someone who is a great mathemetician but thinks 2+2=5. But I guess if one isn't exposed to the ideas, just goes along with the mainstream, it could happen.
I think Freud's Interpretation of Dreams is a great classic. Has anyone before ever nailed dreams? His book shows that dreams prove the existence of a deeper layer we have in us, and helps us know what it is telling us in our dreams. Of course, his special quirk, i.e. it's all sex, has to be put in perspective.
I haven't read the book, only excerpts about this one topic, but Hitler's book has it all figured out when it comes to influencing the masses. He gives detailed instructions about how to speak, what to speak about, lighting, seating. For example, he writes to make sure there is not enough seating or space in general, that everyone is crowded together. Then speak with intense passion, it's the only thing that sinks in.
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It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer