Misrepresenting the Austrian "Revival"
tags: Wasserman,Austrian School,Hayek,Mises
Janek Wasserman has an article up at HNN, purporting to correct what he portrays as a “dogmatic” appropriation of the historical Austrian school of economic thought by American libertarians, free-marketeers, and business interests since the mid 20th century. Steve Horwitz has written a thorough retort of Wasserman’s argument, taking him to task for neglecting to do even a rudimentary survey of the literature from modern day academic practitioners of Austrian thought. Such slipshod research practices, to put it mildly, do not bode well for accuracy in Wasserman’s representation of the scholarly tradition he attempts to critique.
In reading the HNN piece though, something else struck me. In addition to his neglectful exposition of Austrian economics, past and present, he has a very weak grasp of the history of Austrian economics’ transmission to the United States in the 20th century. Having written on this subject myself, I was taken aback in particular by the following claim:
“When Austrian Economics was “revived” in the mid-1970s, only Hayek received an invitation to the conferences”
In this passage Wasserman is referring to a series of Austrian academic conferences that were organized by the Institute for Humane Studies (full disclosure – my current affiliation), beginning in 1974 and rapidly expanding following F.A. Hayek’s receipt of the Nobel Prize later that year. The argument he is trying to make here is that the Austrian “revival” from the 1970s to the present day represents something of a break from the older early 20th century Vienna-based Austrian school from which Hayek emerged. The implication is that Hayek, and particularly a libertarian strain of Hayekian thought, rose to the forefront in this “revived” tradition at the expense of the older Austrian school’s academic focus and broader economic ecumenicism.
comments powered by Disqus
- The U.S. Deported a Million of Its Own Citizens to Mexico During the Great Depression
- Ted Cruz criticizes Tenn. governor for day honoring Confederate general and KKK leader
- Why Trump’s Census Play Is Blatantly Unconstitutional
- Japan, South Korea raise stakes in dispute over forced labor. History helps explain the conflict.
- The President Didn't Always Have Power Over Trade Deals
- A female historian wrote a book. Two male historians went on NPR to talk about it. They never mentioned her name. It’s Sarah Milov.
- Her Book in Limbo, Naomi Wolf Fights Back
- Louie Howland, editor and award-winning maritime historian, dies at 81
- ‘Uncharted Territory’: For Historians Navigating Online Hate, a Scholarly Association Offers a Map
- Smithsonian interested in obtaining migrant children's drawings depicting their time in US custody