Left luggage: finding the relevant context of Austrian Economics

Left luggage: finding the relevant context of Austrian Economics Recently a number of scholars, including Tony Judt and Corey Robin, have attempted to discredit Austrian economics by emphasizing the (cultural) distance between the context in which the Austrians made their contributions and our current society. This article argues that the cultural and social context is indeed relevant for how we understand the contribution of the Austrians, but that the critics fundamentally misunderstand or misrepresent the Austrian and Habsburg context. It is argued that the relevant context, particularly for the interwar contributions of Mises, Schumpeter, Hayek and Popper is the despair about the breakdown of their civilization, which includes the rise of mass political movements such as socialism and fascism. It is only against this background that we can understand the intent of their work, and the problems which they sought to address. It is further argued, in contrast with earlier work which has tended to emphasize the philosophical and methodological context in which they operated, that this cultural and social context is at least as relevant to understand the meaning of their work. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Left luggage: finding the relevant context of Austrian Economics

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Public Finance & Economics; Political Science; Methodology/History of Economic Thought
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-014-0295-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recently a number of scholars, including Tony Judt and Corey Robin, have attempted to discredit Austrian economics by emphasizing the (cultural) distance between the context in which the Austrians made their contributions and our current society. This article argues that the cultural and social context is indeed relevant for how we understand the contribution of the Austrians, but that the critics fundamentally misunderstand or misrepresent the Austrian and Habsburg context. It is argued that the relevant context, particularly for the interwar contributions of Mises, Schumpeter, Hayek and Popper is the despair about the breakdown of their civilization, which includes the rise of mass political movements such as socialism and fascism. It is only against this background that we can understand the intent of their work, and the problems which they sought to address. It is further argued, in contrast with earlier work which has tended to emphasize the philosophical and methodological context in which they operated, that this cultural and social context is at least as relevant to understand the meaning of their work.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 8, 2014

References

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