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The higher self is the rational creature who has been liberated from the irrationality of the traditional social institutions which repress pleasure-seeking and intrapersonal freedoms. The market is a wonderful free for all, where everyone uses everyone else to boost his own happiness, just as long as negative liberties are enforced. Morality is often judged by the end result of the action, not the intent. The market is the ultimate arbitrator of morality, since it brings the greatest pleasure to the greatest number. Squarely in the middle is Mises.

Mises lives in the philosophical middle ground of Immanuel Kant.

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His philosophy attempts to reconcile the Scottish Moral Philosopers and continental philosopers. We see rule utilitarianism. Morality is judged by adherance to a rule which is judged good if it can rationally be shown to bring the greater good. That is my take. I side with Buchanan and Hayek , that complete laisez faire radical individualism means death to liberty and the market.

It brings about a backlash of totalitarianism. Markets function, but only under the framework of good rules, and these rules must be undergirded by a type of deontological morality. Rules must be enforced by some infringement on unconstrained liberty. On final thought on the article. The author curiously lumps Friedman and Hayek together. I wonder if this betrays a philosophical misunderstanding about how vastly different were the justifications of Hayek's and Friedman's classical liberalism. I think this was a rather sloppy grouping in the paper. With regards to groupings, although not specifically Friedman and Hayek, read Long's response essay.

Long's essay deals mostly with Rothbard, Mises, Rand, and the classical liberals mentioned in the opening essay, but Long's response is great. Posted by: Jonathan M. I don't like all the morality talk from Hayek. It is the weakest part of his work. It is a "Which came first, the chicken or the salmonella?

In the end you conclude: we need moral people for capitalism to function, people are immoral, we need to create a new man. Where did I see that before? Posted by: Niko April 10, at AM. I agree that it is a grave mistake to lump Mises and Rothbard together when it comes to normative questions. However, I want to add that Mises - from a philosophical standpoint - was no rule utilitarian.

There are several instances where he speakes out against utilitarianism, and what is even more important any form of normative reasoning. As an economist he wants - in the tradition of Max Weber - to withhold himself from any value judgements. I like to think of Mises as an economic advisor, who tells the conservative, the socialst and the liberal - if you want to reach your respective goals, then you need to rely on the market economy.

This kind of reasoning is instrumental and not utilitarian. This interpreatation of Mises standpoint is defended in the book "Ludwig von Mises als Sozialphilosoph". Mises is confused about what label to give his social philosphy. He throws around terms like utilitarian and in early work eudaemonist. I think the best term for him is rule-consequentialist. But he is also a rationalist in the sense that he believes that we can know the best social rules and their consequences explicitly. So he is a rationalist and rule-consequentialist. This is my own position too, btw.

Apparently, I'm reading different texts than Niko and JF. Hayek accepts humans as they are; there is no New Man in Hayek. Mises was explicitly utilitarian. I don't see how there's any ambiguity of interpretation on these two points.

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And you see the same principle clearly in the first chapter of Smith's WoN. Society is about exchange and division of labor. In this sense, the "foundation" of society is pretty "low" and humble; it is nothing "lofty" like "culture," "meaning" or, if I may be a bit tendentious, the "Folk. I think Mises' best summation of his social beliefs was when he wrote something to the effect of "Anything that upholds the social order is ethical; anything that impedes the social order is unethical.

Mises seems to believe that "the social order" means different things to different societies at different points in time.

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“I’m a capitalist.” : neoliberal

He takes this as the Aristotelian "final cause," and offers no further elaboration. To him, the key issue is whether people will freely determine the social order via free association and voluntary exchange, or whether it is going to be handed down to us by central planners.


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To this, he asks, "What is the best way to satisfy the means as stated? I'm not sure what to "call that. From there, everything else she concludes becomes a matter of determining whether or not something is rational, and if it isn't, then it's evil. Because both Mises and Rand held dialectics in such high esteem, their similarities outnumber their differences.

But in saying so, I must point out that Rand's ideas are largely "Mises-Lite. I think Mises was better-studied in both history and philosophy than Rand. He made points in a single sentence that often took Rand pages to elaborate. The only other thing I will add is that a lot of Austrian School thinkers read Human Action and stop there.

Rothbardians became incensed on behalf of the by then dead Mises when Hayek criticized his a priorism in his Preface to a late edition of Socialism. However, I must agree with those who see a lot of daylight between Rothbard and Mises, and I see even more daylight between Mises and some of the Rothbard followers who are at the institute named for LvM. Rand, Hayek, Rothbard and Mises all saw the need for a moral justification for free markets because socialists quickly retreat to moral arguments when their practical ones fail.

Sralla: "On the other side is Rothbard. He attacks any and each of these and takes his inspiration from the Spanish scholastics and French liberals such as Say, Bastiat, Turgot, Cantillon. Posted by: Nikolaj April 10, at PM.

“I’m a capitalist.”

I am not aware of any criticism from Hayek to Mises in the preface to Socialism. He said that he couldn't follow him to the a priori stuff but no criticism and provided a quote about rationalism which bothered him, but he didn't said why and he didn't offered an alternative he probably had "tradition" and "evolved rules" in mind.

That's what I remember. Posted by: Niko April 11, at AM. I have often argued that the very notion of utilitarianism and consequentialism tends to be void.


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Consequences do not judge themselves, and utility is subjective, so the answer to all questions is that it depends on whose utility and on who judges the consequences. Hardly a moral theory normative or a social theory positive.

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Mises held a positive theory of institutions in which Ricardo's Law of Association, the collective noun for all positive-sum games in social interactions, guarded by good moral and intellectual ideas, far-sightedness and a minimal state, and insufficiently opposed by the opposite Malthus Law, the collective noun for negative-sum games, were enough to achieve social peace and prosperity. He was not much interested in morals. He just said that morals shall uphold the basic structure of institutions, otherwise the latter are doomed HA, "Reflections on the fall of the Roman Empire".

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He believed that by spreading the word of positive-sum games liberalism could triumph against its foes. There is little in common between Rothbard and Mises, and the differences between Hayek and Mises are grossly overstated. The main difference is that Hayek was interested in the details and not on the general framework, so that Mises traced the path and Hayek paved the way. Hayek, besides, was a horrible writer with an exceedingly involuted style of writing which led to confusion, especially in economics his later philosophical books are better. Rothbard's important contribution to political thought was to put the role of power back in the center of political theory and philosophy.

Mises had no theory of the state or of legal systems although the latter have been built on misesian foundations by Leoni, who influenced Hayek. Power has been eschewed from political thought in the XX century. Thinkers like Jouvenel and Pareto have been forgotten. It will never be too late for this naive way of looking at politics to be forgotten. I'm at fault in looking for an important contribution to political and social thought made by Rand. I haven't read much of her, but what I read wasn't profound or interesting. Posted by: Pietro M. April 11, at AM. There may have been "incensement" prior to that preface, but an important group of Rothbardian self-styled Misesians did indeed take considerable umbrage over the Preface, clearly mild as it was.

It definitely raised the level of whatever incensement already existed substantially. Happiness is intrinsic, it 's an internal thing. By yzi11, Levels of Happiness are highest when people are young and when they are old. Posted by: sinful bikini April 17, at PM. Benjamin,Just as it's unfair to toss out one-size-fits-all cztoacaerihatirns of New Keynesians due to the diverse beliefs of those who self-identify as New Keynesian, it's unfair to do the same regarding Austrians.

Many economists sympathetic to market monetarism identify as Austrian or Austrian-influenced. I myself am a graduate student at George Mason University and have no problem identifying as Austrian. Please don't lump all Austrians under one heading; it's ignorant at best and dishonest at worst. Posted by: Stevendave May 01, at AM.