Socialism on the rise! Wake up America!Submitted by Shaka on Tue, 05/19/2009 - 16:11
Gustav Schmoller would be proud.
Ludwig von Mises writes:
Economics in the second German Reich, as represented by the government-appointed university professors, degenerated into an unsystematic, poorly assorted collection of various scraps of knowledge borrowed from history, geography, technology, jurisprudence, and party politics, larded with deprecatory remarks about the errors in the "abstractions" of the Classical school.
After 1866, the men who came into the academic career had only contempt for "bloodless abstractions." They published historical studies, preferably such as dealt with labor conditions of the recent past. Many of them were firmly convinced that the foremost task of economists was to aid the "people" in the war of liberation they were waging against the "exploiters."
This was the position Schmoller embraced with regard to economics. Again and again he blamed the economists for having prematurely made inferences from quantitatively insufficient material. What, in his opinion, was needed in order to substitute a realistic science of economics for the hasty generalizations of the British "armchair" economists was more statistics, more history, and more collection of "material." Out of the results of such research the economists of the future, he maintained, would one day develop new insights by "induction."
The political significance of the work of the Historical School consisted in the fact that it rendered Germany safe for the ideas, the acceptance of which made popular with the German people all those disastrous policies that resulted in the great catastrophes. The aggressive imperialism that twice ended in war and defeat, the limitless inflation of the early 1920s, the Zwangswirtschaft and all the horrors of the Nazi regime were achievements of politicians who acted as they had been taught by the champions of the Historical School.
Does Gustav Schmoller remind you of anyone alive today?
In the defining manifesto of the Post-Autistic Movement, James Devine writes:
The original statements by the rebellious French economics students define autistic economics in terms of its one-sided and exclusionary interest in "imaginary worlds," "uncontrolled use of mathematics" and the absence of pluralism of approaches in economics. The hard-core autistic walling off from the societal environment can be seen most strongly in the specific, highly abstract, axiomatic school that the students protested against.
Only forty years passed from the time of Gustav Schmoller to that of Adolph Hitler. How many years will it take for the Post-Autistics to find their own Hitler?
Do you want to fight the Nazis again? Or would it be more effective to denounce the Post-Autistic movement now, before they arm themselves? I remind you: Rifles and bullets alone do not win wars; it takes ideas to press rifles into the hands of men. Win the war of ideas and you will have won the war before a single shot has been fired.
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War