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People with nasty agendas will bring this up, and I think it's good to get out ahead of it. Sometimes the best way to address nasty people is to ignore them. But one cringe-worthy term to invoke here is that this is a "teachable moment". When we start saying things like "one cannot believe X and do terrible things", we start turning a blind eye to threats. And the fact is, nobody is under the impression that their viewpoint - their ideology - is capable of such things. Doing terrible things is part of the human condition, unfortunately, and all sorts of perspectives are susceptible to it.

Nobody ever committed mass murder under the influence of left wing intellectuals -- that's all critics need to know.

I haven't read the context in which he cites this article, but it's interesting that one of the Mises Dailies he cites is an argument against Nazi (usually considered "right-wing") totalitarianism: http://mises.org/daily/1937

"crazed and offensive ramblings."

It actually very well structured and his workout/dieting routine I thought was top notch. But if you want to save face by feigning political correctness, then be my guest.

David Boaz posted at cato@liberty on his "manifesto." It's anti-liberal and nationalistic.

And, of course, the pundits initially assumed the killing were an act of Islamic terrorists. And a reason to stay in Afghanistan and pump up the defense budget, etc.

Did you guys see the Q&A he wrote with himself?

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2084895,00.html?hpt=hp_t2

He describes his ideology as "Cultural conservatism, or a nationalist/conservative orientation known as the Vienna school of thought."

Am I correct that this is another term for the Austrian School? If so, how can he possibly use the words "nationalist" and "Vienna school" in the same breath without condemning one of them?

It's not a synonym for Austrian econ. It's a school of nationalist thought involving culture, as I understand it.

Huh. I wasn't able to find anything about it with a quick Google search. The first result was the Wikipedia article for Austrian School of Economics, which listed it as a synonym. Either way, if that's what comes up when people search for it, that's not too good.

The Norwegian killer did NOT believe in the Christian faith either, it turns out. He advocated some sort of European "Christian culture", but wasn't himself a confessional believer.

Don't expect the MSM to report such facts ..

In so many of these cases there is brain disease / mental problems involved, dating back to the UT Tower killings.

New search. Here is what I found.

It is pointing out to this blog.

Why is anyone reading anything that this murderer has written.

The real issue is he will get a maximum of 21 years in prison.

Clearly, Norway is clueless about criminal justice.

Some criminals need to kept in a cage until they die to protect the rest of us.

Never heard about the Vienna School in nazi movements, but it is unlikely that it refers to the Vienna Circle of the logical positivists or to the Austrian School.

My working hypothesis is that it refers to Crusades: Wien was about to be conquered by the Turks, in the year 1683. Exactly 400 years earlier than his 2083 manifesto.

Neither Carnap nor Menger have anything to do with this. Janissaries do.

Somebody calls Austrism the Vienna School, but they are indeed two, opposite, schools in principles and methods.

I have heard many TV-news stressing the citation from J.S.Mills (in Italy Mills is far more famous than Hayek as a liberal icon), and this sounded weird to me, I have the net impression someone wants to match liberal thinking to extremism and violence (it can help justify the ever-growing State control).

Horwitz was good in pointing the (mis)use by Anders of the words of Mises and Hayek. But is' sad too. We have reached the point where the single (mis)use of a word of a thinker is not expected to trigger the reproach of people, but makes the sincere followers of the thinker afraid of been associated to the (mis)user. In other words, this makes us fear our own words... first step to fearing our own thoughts. I fear.

The quote from Mill seems right, it's from "on representative government", but I haven't been reading Mill for a decade, I didn't remember the sentence. Considering the longer quote, it looks like Mill's sentence referred to the fact that ideas and values are more powerful than interests in the public debate. He was wrong, probably, but the interpretation given by the psychopath bears no relation with the original sentence, except for the wording. Mill was criticizing the theory by which the configuration of social power begets the end results of the political process.

The problem has been widely studied in the literature on mass movements: true believers need material to believe in, the content of the belief is in itself immaterial. They can be Christians, turn into marxists, become environmentalists and then skinheads or conspiracy theorists with a pseudo-Austrian flavor. The formal fact of believing is more important than the substance of what is believed.

It is absolutely normal that a theory or ideology which has not made peace with the contemporary world, be it libertarianism or marxism or radical islamism will appeal to the frustrated, the sociopaths, the immature, etc. I have been trying to reconcile my libertarian/classical liberal beliefs with modern democracy and the more I try the more I hate politics, for instance. In people with more intense passions and less analytical skill than me the strain may become unbearable.

I see no conspiracy, as usual. Of course, Krugman or his acolytes might soon attempt to further prove their intellectual dishonesty by talking about "Ann" Rand's quotes, but this is the standard poor quality of the public debate, not a conspiracy.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/mill/john_stuart/m645r/chapter1.html

Lee Kelly: "Nobody ever committed mass murder under the influence of left wing intellectuals -- that's all critics need to know."

Individuals didn't. But the left needs to remember the 30 million murdered by Stalin, the 12 million by Hitler and the 30 million murdered by Mao.

The left has committed vastly more mass killings than the right; they just do it under the cover of the state, which in their minds never does wrong.

No the "Vienna School" he speaks of has nothing to do with the Vienna Circle of the positivists or the Austrian School of economics.

This is what he writes about it:
"The Vienna school of thought or ―Crusader Nationalism advocates a new conservatism/nationalism - a hybrid of several conservative and traditionalist directions.
...The ideological platform advocates a strict anti-Jihad/Islamic stance which indirectly establishes a default friendly stance and support to Israel as an integral part of its fundament."

Further he writes that it does not cover economics, and concerning Liberalism he writes:"Extreme collective individualism can have catastrophic results on a society illustrated best through the average European fertility rate of 1,5. We must always strive to ensure that as many as humanly possible have every opportunity to pursue and find happiness and we should not restrict these opportunities as long as they do not significantly undermine the collective interests of all citizens."

"Intellectuals: Fjordman, (Robert Spencer), (Bat Ye‘or)...

Sites: Gates of Vienna, The Brussels Journal, (The Green Arrow)...
"

I think the (Congressman) King committee should now hold hearings about "extremism" among fundamentalist Christian groups. Can we also blame Jesus for the killings?

Let me share a small concern here.

The flood of immigration into central and western Europe, associated with the expansion of the Schengen Area, the Lisbon Treaty, and open borders between member countries, is indeed causing increased tensions among many groups in Europe. It is often hidden in public, but lurking just beneath the surface.

There are questions which arise about the pace of immigration within the EU, and some of these questions are being asked by folks with some economics training who have connections to Prague.

This may spell further trouble down the road in the EU. I happen to share many of the concerns expressed by Vaclav Klaus concerning what is happening in the EU. To be sure, there seems to be a great pushback against those who might even question the political process by which the EU proceeds.

These sorts of incidents such as the despicable event in Norway, will certainly be used by propagandists opposed to liberalization and freer markets in Europe, and they will try to lump classical liberals into the same mold as far right extremists and statists. This will be done to shut off any debate within the European political process.

This deserves to be watched very closely.

Libertarians encourage this cult mentality by setting up false debates and discussions such as the claim that capitalism can exist without a state and that all good things have come from capitalism whereas all bad things come from "collectivism" or cooperation or what have you. These fundamentalist, absolutist claims make people strive toward a fantasy land that can never exist.

This guy is really no different from the type of nuts at the Mises Institute such as Bala, ladyattis, Mattheus (who claimed economics has made more contributions to the world than science), and so on. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if this atrocity was committed by Mattheus.

I've seen lunatics at this very website claim that Mises was the "greatest scientist next to Einstein," of course, Steven Horowitz doesn't come out and say that that is nutty. So in a way he encourages this mentality.

Ludwig Mises himself was a racist, prejudiced ass, and so was Hayek. We know now we need to classify people who believe in Mises in Hayek in the Unibomber category.

McKinney: "Individuals didn't. But the left needs to remember the 30 million murdered by Stalin, the 12 million by Hitler and the 30 million murdered by Mao.

The left has committed vastly more mass killings than the right; they just do it under the cover of the state, which in their minds never does wrong. "

Stalin was right-wing and was so regarded even by the communists of his time. The Stalinists actually imprisoned the leftists (the Mensheviks)and left-anarchists (real anarchists - the only way anarchism can exist as a capitalism requires a state).

Furthermore, socialism requires, it necessitates, the idea of equality. That means that no one group of people can have power over another group of people. Thus, racism, fascism, or monarchistic rule cannot be leftist. Really, all totalitarian dictatorships come from the notion of private property: in this case there is only one property owner. Such "power" could exist in capitalism with monopolies. In fact, people at the Mises Institute have suggested that it's not "force" to own a bunch of land and starve people to death. In fact, it was Jonathan M. F. Catalán who said that.

K Sralla: "...and they will try to lump classical liberals into the same mold as far right extremists and statists. This will be done to shut off any debate within the European political process."

All capitalism is "statist." It requires enforcing a certain version of Libertarian property upon all people, a kind of property that Libertarians themselves provide different justifications for and in which there are vast differences among Libertarians in the cult. The only way to have a non-statist society, a society with no coercion, would be one in which everybody agreed to the rules and nobody believed they were being "coerced" in any way. The only way to even approach such a society is to let communities and groups make their own rules. Only leftists purpose this.

Daniel Kuehn isn't an anarchist but he's not tolerant enough to let people have direct democracy. Libertarians are not anarchist because Libertarians believe people don't even get to have a say in their own governments at all. Libertarians like you believe people are too dumb to make decisions for themselves. You believe people have to be forced to choose among a group of pseudo-intellectual Libertarians(Ayn Rand, Mises, Hayek), who get to make the rules for them.

This is just the old tyranny, the old way of thinking that is loosing its grip on the people of the world. It's even further away from true freedom than even Daniel Kuehn.

(Note: I think anarchism is too utopian too exist and politics is about enforcing your preferences upon other people, as Callahan pointed out, but I still believe those preferences should be subject to the public whim, as Jefferson said, and that unlimited power shouldn't be executed over individuals, as Adams said.)

Anybody who takes people like K Sralla seriously is responsible when Libertarians go and and kill innocent leftists and human beings.

I think Successfulbuild might have a bit of trouble coming out with evidence for the supposed racism of Mises and Hayek. Mises was pretty outspoken in his opposition to eugenics, for example, whereas some of the most prominent economists of his generation were eugenicists.

I think Steve is right to address this issue. Liberals and libertarians need to be smart, honest, and forthright in addressing the supposed links between Breivik and "right-wing" ideas. Yesterday's NYTimes had an article explicitly connecting Breivik's crimes to the repudiation of multiculturalism by Merkel, Sarkozy, and Cameron. IMHO, we need to address that sort of thing forcefully, but without vituperation or the impugning of motives.

My take on some of these issues is up at ThinkMarkets:
http://thinkmarkets.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/oslo-and-multiculturalism/

Roger's post is well-work reading.

It is a good piece of *work* that is *worth* reading.

"Greg Ransom"

Here's another example of an absolute nutcase who said Hayek had his own theory of language that rivals modern linguistics.

Hayek had absolutely nothing to do with modern linguistics. In fact, the study of ancient languages is part of diachronic linguistics. This is a whole area of linguistics, the importance of which can be shown with the work of Panini, the REAL precursor to modern linguistics, who used mathematical symbols to express language. Of course, Chomsky et al. also treat the mind more like a computer and used mathematics to explain language. William Jones suggested that language "might have sprung up from a common source" and linguistics became concerned with comparisons of languages and so on. In the 20s behaviorists such as Bloomfield attempted to provide a theoretical foundation for linguistics based in behaviorist psychology (and Watson, the behaviorist, as well said that all language is just learned repetition and examples). This was later challenged by Harris who provided a more rationalist explanation. Chomsky I think did the proofs for much of Harris' work.

So the debate in linguistics became between American structualism and Transformative-Generative Linguistics. And we now know language is innate.

Hayek didn't have anything to do with it. This is just like when Patreek Sanjay claimed that the microprocessor was invented before transistors.

What's the difference between this nuttiness and that lunatic's rantings?

Anyway, I should add that even though I oppose anarchism I am tolerant, as people should be. I believe people are smart enough to attempt to form different arrangements than capitalism if they want to, and that these would be less coercive than capitalism.

re: "This is just the old tyranny, the old way of thinking that is loosing its grip on the people of the world. It's even further away from true freedom than even Daniel Kuehn."

And we all know how crazy THAT GUY is.

successfulbuild -

So I had to laugh at what you wrote about me, and I don't even care about your swipes at eminent figures like Hayek and Mises who aren't going to suffer from your drivel - but I can't just laugh at what you said about Mattheus. That is entirely inappropriate and that it's dead wrong should go without saying. It's even more egregious in Mattheus's case, since he's the only one of the three you mentioned that doesn't hide behind a pseudonym (a practice you seem to partake in as well).

I don't always agree with Mattheus, but he certainly hasn't held any position that deserves that sort of assault on his character.

"And we now know language is innate"

I understand this is off topic so I apologize beforehand, but this statement is incorrect. Insofar that people can talk, yes, language is innate in that there is something about our cognitive wiring that enables us to learn how to speak and write; but as fas as there being an inherent language module as Chomsky and his MIT brethren have argued, there is still NO scientific consensus on that. It's been a while since I've read any linguistics so I'm not sure how the field has progressed, but I would guess that the latest attempt (i.e., the minimalist programme) at discovering a generative grammar has failed.

I would highly suggest, for those curious and/or sympathetic to the idea of an innate grammar, to check out the work of Michael Tomasello, who in my view offers a very damning critique of Chomsky and the MIT school.

Thanks for that endorsement, Mario.

I didn't insult you, Daniel. And if you're interested in my name all you have to do is search my e-mail address and it will come up. I mentioned that really you believe in less freedom than even I do, which I think is true.

Hayek is less cited in the social sciences than even Summers. How is that an eminent figure? He is not an "eminent" figure in the social sciences and neither is Mises. Furthermore, Mises was indeed a racist. He believed that the races differ in character and in talent. He even said that it may not be possible for the races to get along. I think that is pretty damning of his character, and that is the very definition of racism.

In my opinion Hayek was an idiot. There is nothing in his writing worth studying. If he made a contribution to linguistics (and I have taken the occasional field trip into theoretical linguistics) or any other field it would be pretty easy to back that up.

As for Mattheus, he comes off as pretty nutty to me. Only a crazy person would say that economics has more importance than the physical and engineering sciences.

If you had any evidence of something I said that is wrong you could provide it instead of insulting my character.

Forget about me. Forget about Hayek. Forget about Mises.

If you could say that, of all things, about Mattheus, I'm entirely comfortable insulting your character. Some characters merit it. As it happens, I didn't do that. I just said he's done nothing to deserve that treatment from you.

But if you'd like me to speak more freely about what I think of your character for saying something like that, I'm happy to do that elsewhere.

"I understand this is off topic so I apologize beforehand, but this statement is incorrect. Insofar that people can talk, yes, language is innate in that there is something about our cognitive wiring that enables us to learn how to speak and write; but as fas as there being an inherent language module as Chomsky and his MIT brethren have argued, there is still NO scientific consensus on that..."

Well, thank you for at least saying something relevant instead Daniel's character assassinations.

The fact of the matter is that most linguists are still Chomskyan. In fact, fMRI technology and experiments have proven that Chomsky's linguistics is probably correct. For example, there is an experiment where they gave people a language that didn't conform to the rules of UG, and, surprise, they could not learn it well. But when they gave them a language that conformed to UG, they could learn it.

"It's been a while since I've read any linguistics so I'm not sure how the field has progressed, but I would guess that the latest attempt (i.e., the minimalist programme) at discovering a generative grammar has failed.

I would highly suggest, for those curious and/or sympathetic to the idea of an innate grammar, to check out the work of Michael Tomasello, who in my view offers a very damning critique of Chomsky and the MIT school. "

Most of the attacks upon Chomsky's linguistics range from the absurd to misunderstandings of what Chomskyan linguistics actually teaches. A lot of the attacks on the Internet, ironically, come from a white nationalist named Geoffrey Sampson, who is, by all means, an idiot. This is why I see a connection between crazy science and going insane and killing people.

For example, some people criticize the Chomskyan model because they say that people learn language differently and that educational differences have an impact on language. This supposedly invalidates UG. This is just a silly argument. It's like saying, different people have different results to athletic training, therefore we need to bring the whole field of physiology into question.

However, the point is not whether you agree with Chomsky's linguistics or not. The point is that most linguistics still teach it and we should recognize this fact.

Bryan Caplan believes in racial differences, and that's fine. But he says that it's sound science when most scientists disagree with it. He can claim that he disagrees with the science, he can even claim there's some liberal conspiracy to withhold the real science, but when he says that a position is supported by a majority of scientists when it's not is just being disingenuous.

On Monday afternoon, MSNBC declared that Breivik murdered people because he was influenced by "American anti-multiculturalist bloggers."

I expect life will soon be made unpleasant for all classical liberals and conservatives, especially in Western Europe.

"If you could say that, of all things, about Mattheus, I'm entirely comfortable insulting your character."

For the last time, he said computer science was basically a worthless discipline. I think he was implying that economics is the most important discipline, and, economics being a "philosophy," kind of guides all the other disciplines. This is certainly false. I have been studying the conservative and libertarian cults for years and I've never heard anybody say something so nutty.

The debate about what computer science really is is complex and intricate, with highly intelligent people representing all sides. You can say the same thing about mathematics, like whether numbers really exist or not. But that it has made enormous contributions is without question.

So, I think I was right to (a) set the record straight, and (b) show why anybody who would believe his nonsense is crazy.

It's interesting that I provided (a) a basic outline that anybody could understand, (b) sources that people could go to to understand these issues themselves, and (c) historical quotations that back up my points, whereas you guys provide the usual blather.

In fact, you've diverted the debate away from whether or not Mises racism is dangerous, perhaps embarrassed that so many economists, on both the progressive side and the Libertarian side, were racists and eugenicists.


In fact, why should I give my name here? I'm even afraid to cite REAL economists that I have studied and REAL intellectuals from science blogs[dot] because I'm afraid some of your followers might harass them or send them death threats.

To make my statement more clear. I denounce intolerance and hate of all sorts.

If you re-read my comment above, you will notice that I expressed no opinion on the rate of immigration into Central Europe, but mearly reported my admittedly anecdotal observations of a brewing current of European opinion that I interpret from traveling and working in Europe, and discussing these issues with many educated European citizens.

In fact, the only reason I commented here is that about 15 minutes before reading this post, I had a 30-minute conversation with a Polish colleague on just this issue. Everyone should be aware (if they are not already) that there is a powderkeg of emotions and opinions in Europe centered around these matters.

Finally, my worry is not immigration, but rather that the views of right-wing (or left-wing) nutcases make it impossible for the views of classical liberals to be permissible in public discourse. Goverments can and do issue restrictions on free speach, most often aimed against the party or ideology not in power. They also use "crisis" situations such as this as the pretense for doing so.

Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs

Higgs's thesis is the main reason I fear a backlash in the form of new restrictions on free speech.

successfulbuild - it wasn't what he said about economics and science that I was concerned with.

Dear Mr. Build,

I think we've had just about enough of your badmouthing other commenters here. Either learn how to engage in civil discourse, or you will be banned. This is your last and only warning.

Further clarification: My first comment was indeed a bit clumsy after re-reading.

Let me explain more precisely my sympathy for Vaclav Klaus. I have no idea about his views on immigration, however it would not surprise me that those views express concerns about *very rapid* transition of cultural institutions leading to a breakdown of the social order. Economists and politicians should be permitted to discuss these issues in an intelligent manner, without being shouted down. Civil disussions about the nature and evolution of long-lived institutional arrangements does not automatically consititute "hate speech".

However, inasmuch as Klaus has dared question the continued and seemingly unabated centralization of power in Europe into a massive regulatory and welfare state, I certainly am sympathetic to these concerns.

A final caviat: I am not that politically savy about the various characters on the European political stage, and I quite possibly could be naive about Klaus. If he turns out to be wolf in sheep's clothing, then I will retract my sympathy for him.

Successfulbuild -

If Daniel's not going to laugh at your caricature of my position, I sure will. It's indicative of your complete and total absence of knowledge about me that you think I'm capable of something this terrorist did. Fully half of my posts on F&OST (the only place you and I cross paths) are moral questions. I'm legitimately trying to convince Daniel and others to adopt a non-aggressive moral platform.

But of course you wouldn't know that about me, because you've chosen to take one line I wrote and disastrously misconstrue it to suit your preoccupation with making me the bad guy (in this case a mass murdering terrorist).

If anyone's interested, I found the quote SB thinks is so "nutty." In response to his paragraph on computers and technology, I write:

I'm not interested in your computer science (being that I'm an economist, and your field is worthless to me) so I really don't know who you're arguing with.

Notice:

1) I say nothing at all about "science" or "engineering" in abstract.
2) I never make the claims that "economics has more importance than the physical and engineering sciences (sic)." Nor did I imply "that economics is the most important discipline, and, economics being a "philosophy," kind of guides all the other disciplines (sic)." Nor did I suggest "economics has made more contributions to the world than science (sic)."

In case anyone's interested, these are both straw men and I have no qualms with Successfulbuild knocking them down.

I made one statement and it roughly goes: "Computer science is irrelevant to the field of economic theory." Neither Mises, Hayek, Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes, Say, or any other economic theorist used or had an interest in computer science. I later argue that computers are useful for statisticians and econometricians to crunch numbers, but not terribly useful to economic theorists.

This is what you're getting so bent out of shape about, SB? This is what's making me nutty and a potential terrorist? In the words of Ayn Rand (one of your heroines I'm sure), "Check your premises."

Here's the link to the discussion:

http://factsandotherstubbornthings.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-evidence-on-what-government-is.html

Also, thanks for giving me the last word in our argument. You proved just how intellectually (and now I see psychologically) ready you are to debate me.

FWIW, Mattheus, I think computer science is highly relevant to theoretical economics. For me, the exciting link the theory of computation. IMHO it makes a big difference in our theories if we constrain agents to have no more powerful computing abilities than the mathematician's ideal type of a computer, the Turing Machine.

May I ask what the "(sic)" is for?

I admit I shouldn't have come in here calling names. I apologize to Mr. Horowitz for that. It is my own fault my point was lost, but I think absolutism and holding one ideology is dangerous.

Take this "non-aggression principle" or axiom. If you get to define what aggression is, you get to define the response as well. So, you could really justify any atrocity as long as you were responding to what you perceived as a "first threat."

I'm reminded of the objectivists at Capitalism Magazine, more than one, who said we had a right to retaliate for 9/11 by dropping a bunch of bombs on the ME -- even nuclear weapons. This would most certainly trigger World War III in that Europe would think the United States has gone crazy and would try to defend itself by defending the ME.

I still don't get Mattheus. "Irrelevant" and "worthless" are not synonymous. And I believe somebody at that blog said philosophy is the guide of all things and economics is the philosophy, so it would guide the other disciplines. Furthermore, the statement "I'm an economist, so your field is worthless to me..." makes it seem as if all economists think computer science is worthless. And actually, computers can help economists perform many experiments and things generated by computer scientists have perked the interest of economists so the whole thing was weird.

Anyway, I interpreted the statement "if you'd like me to speak more freely about what I think of your character for saying something like that, I'm happy to do that elsewhere..."

as a threat and so I won't be bothering you at that blog any more. And yes, I must say I do feel something "threatened" for merely disagreeing with the importance of a few obscure philosophers. I don't think it's crazy at all to question their importance, and have tried to explain the fields as you would find if you spent two minutes reading a simple overview.

" IMHO it makes a big difference in our theories if we constrain agents to have no more powerful computing abilities than the mathematician's ideal type of a computer, the Turing Machine."

The importance of which is perhaps overemphasized. While the wiki article emphasizes the theoretical basis of CS by quoting the brilliant scientist Denning, Denning also defined computer science as "the body of knowledge AND PRACTICES used by computing professionals in their work....This discipline is also called computer science and engineering, computing, and informatics." (emphasis mine.)

Like linguistics to a large extent CS provides it's own foundations.

One key distinction between CS and a natural science was summed up by Tanenbaum, the inventor of Minix. He had a nice way of putting actual science, which he said the natural sciences exist to "fill in the instruction book that God forgot to leave us."

In other words, in computer science I can go to the people who invented the computers (or read their works), I can't do that in the natural sciences. This gives it a more "engineering" feel, and certain professors feel that it has been an engineering discipline since the beginning (i.e. Feynman).

Turing machines really would be too slow to do anything with. I was thinking more in terms of simulation, experiments using computers, and so on.

The (sic)'s are to emphasize that it was your own awkward phraseology I was using, not my own summary of your views.

So, you could really justify any atrocity as long as you were responding to what you perceived as a "first threat."

Maybe to some libertarians, but not to me. I don't consider threats to be an initiation of force (this is something you glean from actually talking to me and not lumping me in with other libertarians or Objectivists).

Irrelevant is synonymous with worthless in that context. Computer science is a worthless tool in helping me understand my discipline, in my opinion. You're free to disagree with my opinion, obviously. The only thing I ask - which is what Daniel and Mr. Horwitz also ask - is that you be polite (Hint: This includes refraining from suggesting I may be the next Unabomber).

It might be weird to you, having come loaded with your assumptions, but not to me. I'm not of the opinion that economic theory as such is furthered by computer modeling.

By quoting alone you emphasize my points. The SICs are for improper grammar or spelling errors.

Irrelevant is not the same as worthless. I may think the coffee pot is irrelevant to philosophy, but that doesn't mean I think the coffee pot is worthless to me.

And yes, I think economics would have to be grounded as an empirical discipline, thus, experiments are needed and computers would help there. I'm not familiar with there being a connection between theoretical CS and economics but if there is so much the better.

Bottom line I still think absolutism is incredibly dangerous.

What is the alternative to absolutism? Indecision?

If you disagree with someone's opinion, you hold another opinion that--unless you are undecided--hold to be just as much of an absolute. Otherwise you wouldn't take offense to the opposing opinion at all, would you?

An assault is a threat of violence and is a crime at common law. Battery is an actual hitting. Both must be responded to proportionally. Even with an assault one can use deadly force at common law.

If you point a gun at a person, it is an assault because you have put the other person's life in danger. The threatended person can respond with deadly force.

There is additionally the Castle Doctrine, which states that you need never retreat in your own home. A threat within your home can be repsonded to with deadly force notwithstanding any other limitation.

As Clint Eastwood, the former mayor of Carmel, CA, put it: when someone breaks down your door, he is not there to collect for the Red Cross.

"Both must be responded to proportionally."

I think that's the key.

"The fact of the matter is that most linguists are still Chomskyan"

I have no idea who outnumbers whom, but there are still plenty of "dissenters" from that paradigm, for example, cognitive linguists such as Lakoff. And it wouldn't be surprising if most linguists were Chomskyan in some form or another, as he pretty much defined and set the tone of that field, while giving it a formal framework to work with. But even if it were true it's still not a very helpful fact. You've completely left out every other scientific discipline worthy of attention when it comes discovering where our language capabilities come from. What about neuroscientists, child-language psychologists, evolutionary biologists/psychologists, cognitive scientists of all stripes, etc.? Once they're included and given a chance to offer solutions, then the idea of an innate, universal transformative-generative grammar loses a lot of credibility, not to mention explanatory power. Like I said, there's no consensus yet, but if I had to guess I'd say, taken together, most scientists are AGAINST U.G.

For what it's worth, Chomsky's linguistics displays all the same problems that plague disciplines obsessed with formalization; it attempts to reduce highly complex biological, psychological, and cultural processes to arid formalizations that can be written on a chalk board. Chomsky has even explicitly said he wanted to model linguistics after physics.

"What is the alternative to absolutism? Indecision?...."

Probability. Like in science. Scientific facts aren't "100%." Instead, scientific facts coincide with all the given evidence, yet new information is constantly coming in and can change even established facts. It was a once a fact that the universe was infinite. Now it's a fact that the universe is expanding. These two theories meet a very important criteria of science known as falsifiability. They can be proven wrong. However, things such as the search for space aliens or intelligent design are not science -- even if I went across the galaxy in a space ship someone could say the aliens are just around the next corner. It could be proven true, but not false, so it's not science.

Libertarians seem to have William James/Charles Sanders Peirce conception of truth. James taught that we must infer belief from action. He taught that we must "accept a truth or go with out it," the truths being accepted usually were meant to further our personal ends. This ignores the fact that our actions are constantly based upon probabilities. If I come to a fork in the road and am not sure which way to go, and chose to go left, I don't believe that is the right way, I'm merely making a guess, even though one of the possibilities is correct.

Since he taught that "we must know the truth" what is "true" can be different for different people. If you believe in Christianity, and I don't, then Christianity is true for you but it isn't true for me. This ignores the fact that we make judgments - both atheists and religious people - on the probability that they are true or not. "If I say to you: 'Be a theosophist or be a Mohammedan,' it is probably a dead option, because for you neither hypothesis is likely to be alive. But if I say: 'Be an agnostic or be a Christian,' it is otherwise: trained as you are, each hypothesis makes some appeal, however small, to your belief." He also taught that what is 'true' is what is profitable to our lives (pragmatism, 76, 77) and this is how we can discover truths. The pragmatists seemed to incorporate a lot of psychology into their theories and what constitutes 'true beliefs' thus relate to their effects on human beings. Truth thus becomes tied up in ethics.

This has been rejected by scientists and intellectuals for centuries. As Russell said, wise people tend to be full of doubt. I reject it for politics and am tolerant towards other forms of social arrangements.

"An assault is a threat of violence and is a crime at common law. Battery is an actual hitting. Both must be responded to proportionally. Even with an assault one can use deadly force at common law.

If you point a gun at a person, it is an assault because you have put the other person's life in danger. The threatended person can respond with deadly force."

Property based on law is more difficult to refute than absolute truth. It should be noted that if you have your own set of absolute truths that contradict the law, then the law obviously doesn't apply to you and your thinking.

But I actually do think property law is justified since most people seem to favor it. Likewise, I think taxation is justified as most people favor it and nobody is really killed by taxation. On top of that it seems to be the best social arrangement so far (democratic-capitalism, at least). The difference between Libertarians and me is that I don't ground my beliefs in any "first principles" like they used to do in maybe the pre-Socratic age.

Furthermore, "common law" is also mutable and has changed form time to time. It used to be more legal to oppress your family members or spouse, now it isn't. It used to be legal for corporations to have private armies and use direct violence. Now corporations are not allowed to use violence. This is the real reason they no longer use violence, not because of "capitalism." Plus, if there was an oppressive law and it was upheld by tyranny I think people can change it.

What I'm saying is that I have no problem if a community wanted to have a different social arrangement, like a community run like a family unit or something, if they wanted to. As long as most people agree to it and nobody is being coerced I think it's a good thing. In fact, I even think a community would have the right to kick out people who tried to overthrow the community, but I don't think a community ever has a right to arbitrarily execute power against anybody.

As for classical-liberalism, it should be noted that Immanuel Kant, a key figure of the enlightenment, and John Adams, one of the key founders, spoke out against power so I don't see how I'm outside of enlightenment tradition.

I'm just saying I am tolerant of others whereas Keynesians, Libertarians, etc., speak out against all other arrangements they don't like and try and force everybody to to their system, even if they don't want it. Noting all the cooperatives that exist in the world, and all the landless movements, is irrelevant to this discussion but there are many, many more than there Libertarians on the net.

"Like I said, there's no consensus yet, but if I had to guess I'd say, taken together, most sientists are AGAINST U.G."

From what I understand not only do many other scientists support it but have incorporated it in their work. Niels K. Jerne, a Nobel Prize winner in Physiology, modeled protein structures based with it. It has also been supported by scientific studies. A search in scientific journals can confirm this.

"For what it's worth, Chomsky's linguistics displays all the same problems that plague disciplines obsessed with formalization; it attempts to reduce highly complex biological, psychological, and cultural processes to arid formalizations that can be written on a chalk board. Chomsky has even explicitly said he wanted to model linguistics after physics. "

I think he said that linguistics should try and become more of a science like physics in the sense that it looks for explanatory principles instead of just collecting data and making comparisons.

Chomsky rejects the idea that people are like rocks or objects:

"Skinner maintains, that “behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences” and that as the consequences contingent on behavior are investigated, more and more “they are taking over the explanatory functions previously assigned to personalities, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, purposes, and intentions”… As a science of behavior adopts the strategy of physics and biology, the autonomous agent to which behavior has traditionally been attributed is replaced by the environment — the environment in which the species evolved and in which the behavior of the individual is shaped and maintained….In support of his belief that science will demonstrate that behavior is entirely a function of antecedent events, Skinner notes that physics advanced only when it “stopped personifying things” and attributing to them “wills, impulses, feelings, purposes,” and so on. Therefore, he concludes, the science of behavior will progress only when it stops personifying people and avoids reference to “internal states.” No doubt physics advanced by rejecting the view that a rock’s wish to fall is a factor in its “behavior,” because in fact a rock has no such wish. For Skinner’s argument to have any force, he must show that people have wills, impulses, feelings, purposes, and the like no more than rocks do. If people do differ from rocks in this respect, then a science of human behavior will have to take account of this fact. "

"For Skinner's argument to have any force, he must show that people have will, impulses, feelings, purposes, and the like no more than rocks do. If people differ from rocks in this respect, then a science of human behavior will have to take account of this fact."

It should be interesting to note that Skinner didn't even bother to write a serious reply to Chomsky. He knew he was done. But my point wasn't to defend Chomsky's linguistics because, frankly, I wouldn't know what I was talking about. I've even seen people at the Mises Institute forums who seem to know more about it. I know what it implies, but yes, his work where he explains it is incredibly technical.

This isn't a very civilised thread.

I think the connection between computer science, linguistics and economics is very interesting. Since I've spent a good deal of my life designing computer parts and computer programs I know a bit about it. Let's talk about it another time when Mr. Build is otherwise engaged.

Can you show something you've done?

Anyway, I would love to hear your perspective on it. I promise I will be all ears.

Successfulbuild has repeated the charge that Mises was a racist three times by my count, but she has not bothered to provide any evidence for the claim in spite of my earlier challenge. She does not seem very interested in dialogue nor, as far as I can tell, in truth. At any rate, her behavior is inconsistent with earnest truth seeking, whatever her self-perceived motives might be.

"I reject it for politics and am tolerant towards other forms of social arrangements."

Except for libertarianism.

There is a difference between reality and what we know about it, and of course we use probability whenever we make decisions, but truth is still truth and it doesn't change because of what we believe. If it does, it's pointless to even try and have a conversation about it.

Notice that the media frames the discussion in terms of who or what made the killer kill. There is no room for the killer choosing to commit an evil act simply because he was evil.

BTW, the idea that people are born innocent and turn evil only through oppression (such as bad potty training or the existence of private property) or ideology is a socialist fabrication.

That's why socialists have a "salvation" narrative much like that in Christianity: by getting rid of property, mankind will revert to original innocence and end all criminal behavior.

Before socialism, people believed that human nature had a natural bent toward evil but socialization at home, church, school, military, etc., could straighten the bent.

An assault is a threat of violence and is a crime at common law. Battery is an actual hitting. Both must be responded to proportionally. Even with an assault one can use deadly force at common law.

You think it's justified to respond to threats of violence, but I do not.

One more example of why people shouldn't aggregate all libertarians together and confuse themselves into thinking we all have the same ideas.

"Successfulbuild has repeated the charge that Mises was a racist three times by my count, but she has not bothered to provide any evidence for the claim...."

"Negroes and whites differ in racial-i.e. bodily-features; but it is impossible to tell a Jewish German from a non-Jewish one by any racial characteristic" (Mises, 1944, p. 182).
"It must be emphasized that the destiny of modern civilization as developed by the white peoples in the last two hundred years is inseparably linked with the fate of economic science."

One can say that "some men are more gifted by birth than others"; that men differ in their physical and psychic qualities; that "certain families, breeds, and groups of breeds reveal similar traits"; and that "we are justified in differentiating between races and in speaking of the different racial qualities of individuals" (p. 289). There are even "considerable bodily differences between the members of various races; there are also remarkable although less momentous differences between members of the same race, sub-race, tribe, or family, even between brothers and sisters, even between non-identical twins" (Mises, 1957, pp. 326-27).

And "it is a historical fact that the civilizations developed by various races are different," for example (p. 322). It is "unassailable" that "some races have been more successful than others in their efforts to develop a civilization" (p. 334).

"It may be assumed that races do differ in intelligence and will power, and that, this being so, they are very unequal in their ability to form society, and further that the better races distinguish themselves pre-cisely by their special aptitude for strengthening social cooperation." (Mises)

"It may be admitted that the races differ in talent and character and that there is no hope of ever seeing those differences resolved. Still, free-trade theory shows that even the more capable races derive an advantage from associating with the less capable and that social cooperation brings them the advantage of higher productivity in the total labor process". (Mises)

"We should not be misled "into skipping lightly over the race problem itself. Surely there is hardly any other problem whose clarification could contribute more to deepening our historical understanding. It may be that the way to ultimate knowledge in the field of historical ebb and flow leads through anthropology and race theory." "There exists true science in this field. . . ." "It may be that we shall never solve" the scientific problems associated with race studies, "but that should not make us deny the significance of the race factor in history"
"Environment alone, however, cannot account for all group differences. If that were true, as the Marxists claim, it would be possible to adjust environment in a successful effort to equalize all human differences. It is in the context that Mises reminds that "there is a degree of correlation between bodily structure and mental traits. An individual inherits from his parents and indirectly from his parents' ancestors not only the specific biological characteristics of his body but also a constitution of mental powers that circumscribes the potentialities of his mental achievements and his personality" (Mises, 1957, p. 327). The anempt to change this is at odds with the doctrine of equality under the law (p. 328). "

"The German people are young and vigorous, while the Western nations are old and degenerate. The Germans are diligent, virtuous, and ready to fight. The French are morally corrupt, the idol of the British is mammon and profit, the Italians are weaklings, the Rus­sians are barbarians. The Germans are the best warriors. That the French are no match for them has been proved by the battles of Rossbach, Katz­bach, Leipzig, Waterloo, St. Privat, and Sedan. The Italians always take to their heels. The military inferiority of Russia was evidenced in the Crimea and in the last war with the Turks. English land power has always been contemptible. Britain rules the waves only because the Germans, politically disunited, have in the past neg­lected the establishment of sea power. The deeds of the old Hanse clearly proved Germany's maritime genius. It is therefore obvious that the German nation is predestined for hegemony. God, fate, and history chose the Germans when they en­dowed them with their great qualities. "
"Nazism conquered Germany because it never encountered any adequate intellectual resistance. It would have conquered the whole world if, after the fall of France, Great Britain and the United States had not begun to fight it seriously.

...

With regard to these dogmas there is no difference between present-day British liberals and the British labor party on the one hand and the Nazis on the other. "

As shown, Mises did believe races exist and that they are often vastly different. He believed that the races form different types of societies. He believed that the situation of certain people is probably because of their race, which is racist. He believed racism was a science that deserved to be studied.

"Eminent thinker" my foot. Rothbard was also a racist and believed in exploiting racism to stir up reaction against the "state," but he was even more extreme. However, Rothbard was also not a psychologist and gave no indication he even understood the analysis of scientific racism. He just spouted out whatever racism was popular during the day. This shows a level of confirmation bias on his part.

Rothbard also believed that genetically determined differences will result in same wide disparities that exists today in the so-called "anarcho"-capitalism society. Thus, racism would be used to justify unequal property rights. Hoppe, Leven, Rockwell, continue this white separatism and racist beliefs to this day.

Quotes from the Mises Institute:

“There’s a good reason the poor are poor, they’re less intelligent than the wealthy.”
“Feudalism is actually an entirely appropriate model for anarchist society, and my prediction is it’s coming whether the anarchists like it or not.”

“Anarcho capitalism and anarchism are synonomous. Anything that can’t be subsumed under anarcho capitalism, is internally inconsistant, and needs to be thrown out.”

“A system of feudal holdings all competing with each other for human and fiscal capital stacks up pretty good against a system whereby the parasitic majority lives off the productive minority.”

“It was not wrong for the spanish to overthrow an empire that literally fed on its slaves in religious rituals and replace it with its much milder form of serfdom.”

“Childish rejection of a natural order and authority isn’t the opposite to subservience. It’s a bad trait that needs to be kept down until the youth have matured sufficiently.”
“A private ruler must respect property rights simply because his wealth depends on clearly defined laws explaining what is, and isn’t legitimate property and how people should act in regards to this.”

"Except for libertarianism.

There is a difference between reality and what we know about it, and of course we use probability whenever we make decisions, but truth is still truth and it doesn't change because of what we believe."

Human beings exist in the world in which there is no absolute truth. There may be absolute truth in mathematics and logic and so on, given certain restrictions.

Again, truth is not based upon discovering some absolute truth but looking at the current data and making the best selection. Since the world is always changing and human relations are always changing, different social systems will likely be applicable and I have provided a framework in which they can be implemented. The fact of the matter is that even 19th century capitalism looks vastly different than modern capitalism.

Libertarians violates this framework by working according to first principles and thus they must be rejected, since economics and politics are inherently empirical sciences. The arguments given for the first principles, based on praxeology, property, and so on, aren't even very good and I myself have debunked praxeology and have shown it is inconsistent with cognitive science and what's known of the mind. It isn't even very good philosophy.

---------------------------------------

Re-reading those quotes, I can see just how deranged people can get with absolutist thinking -- religion or political. Now they're saying that Ron Paul will be elected to implement anarcho-capitalism. So I guess he was in congress 30+ years, and then decided to get elected president to implement the anarcho-capitalist dictatorship, I guess with the help of Koch Industries.

Anyway, of course the media focuses on the reasons why the guy did this. Really, to oppose multi-culturalism places you with the terrorists: whether it's skin color, clothing, or anything else, opponents of "multi-culturalism" are really just trying to implement a dictatorship based on their rules, be it Libertarianism or Sharia Law. This is why Mises lumped liberal democracy and freedom in with Nazism.

At least the good thing about the Mises Institute is that they admit where the Hoppean, proprietarian ideology leads: feudalism, white separatism, and so on. But as I said, a community never has a right to attack somebody merely because they are different. It has a right to implement laws that make the people of that community well off. Period. The fact of the matter is that most people agree with me on this point. This leaves Austrian economics and Libertarianism mostly as an intellectual musing and of historical interest for fifth column movements. Even though the world is poor in a lot of places, and rich in others, no one is turning to this totalitarian, proprietarian ideology. Humanity, of course, is on my side.

Okay, Successfulbuild, thanks for trotting out your evidence. I assure you, you're way off. For example, you quote Mises saying, "It may be assumed that races do differ in intelligence and will power . . . " If you go to the source, however, it is evident, unambiguous, unmistakable, that he is bashing racist doctrines. The reader can find it here:

http://mises.org/books/socialism/part3_ch19.aspx

Scroll down to the section on "Racial War."

Go to pg. 6 of Human Action as found here:

http://mises.org/Books/humanaction.pdf

Read the first complete paragraph. Mises is saying that racism is another doctrine invented in a futile attempt to "refute the theories of the economists."

And so it is with any statement that might remotely seem to make Mises a racist. He was an ardent and consistent enemy of racism. Remember that racism in his time and place was aimed mostly at Jews, and he was a Jew. So it would be pretty weird for him to be a racist himself. I don't know if you are an American, but here in the US most people tend to think of "the" races as including "white" without differentiating among "white" races. In early 20th century Europe, however, racial theory identified many distinct "races" among "white" people. Jews and Aryans were said to be distinct "races."

Finally, if you go here:

http://mises.org/th/chapter15.asp

you can find the following statement:

"The thesis that some races have been more successful than others in their efforts to develop a civilization is unassailable as a statement about historical experience. As a resume' of what has happened in the past it is quite correct to assert that modern civilization is the white man's achievement. However, the establishment of this fact justifies neither the white man's racial self-conceit nor the political doctrines of racism."


I have no interest in defending the Mises Institute and would only point out that it was founded after Mises's death. If some people there are racists, that's bad and wrong and I'm against it. I did not challenge you to find evidence of racism there, however. I challenged you to find evidence of racism in Mises. You did so, but only because you misinterpreted him.


"Libertarians violates this framework by working according to first principles and thus they must be rejected, since economics and politics are inherently empirical sciences."

Mises and Hayek were consequentialists (rule-utilitarians, to be precise). The principles (rules) they advocated they advocated because they believed that they resulted in positive outcomes for people. You don't know what you're talking about.

"The arguments given for the first principles, based on praxeology, property, and so on"

Praxeology has nothing to do with principles. It is a value-free science of means.

"Human beings exist in the world in which there is no absolute truth."

o rly? Is that absolutely true?


Also, Mises stating the fact that different races are different does not make him a racist.

"Libertarians violates this framework by working according to first principles and thus they must be rejected, since economics and politics are inherently empirical sciences."

Mises and Hayek were consequentialists (rule-utilitarians, to be precise). The principles (rules) they advocated they advocated because they believed that they resulted in positive outcomes for people. You don't know what you're talking about.

"The arguments given for the first principles, based on praxeology, property, and so on"

Praxeology has nothing to do with principles. It is a value-free science of means.

"Human beings exist in the world in which there is no absolute truth."

o rly? Is that absolutely true?

I myself have debunked praxeology and have shown it is inconsistent with cognitive science and what's known of the mind. It isn't even very good philosophy.

Demonstrate this is so. Until you do, I will remain convinced that synthethic a priori truths exist and their validity cannot be falsified or refuted.

The thing to do with trolls is _ban them_.

It's an abuse of good people like Roger to let his time be trolled by trolls.

"Humanity, of course, is on my side." (Successfulbuild)

Anders Breivik thought (and wrote) the same...
Nice couple.

Murphy's law holds true. When you deserve so much attention to an idiot, people start to not understand who is the rational one.
I think it's worthless to engage a discussion with a strong biased mind which aims only to throw acid words.

Thanks, Greg. It's hard to guess how sincere Ms. Build might have been. She certainly seems to have a trollish delight in the accents of outrage and accusation. Anyway, I figured it would be good to show anyone who might be sort of checking out Mises or Austrian Economics that our guy Mises was no racist and, indeed, an anti-racist. And who knows? Maybe Build herself will come around to more seasoned and sober opinions. And frankly, it took only a minute to put it together.

Nice Prof. Koppl.
But all the quotes have been taken out from the context in a very partisan way.
She downloaded some .pdf files and then started to search for the word "race", without even considering that before the age of "politically correct" very few people were accustomed to use nicer expression like "ethnic group".

Roger -- You are a good sport & have a healthy attitude about this sort of thing.

People will have different "goggles" for spotting those of bad faith out to wasted the time of others, & different judgments when sorting the trolls out from strong minded folks actually interested in conversation.

Having had extensive experience with some of the nastiest & most pathological of the left & internet, I've come to the point where I have a quick eye & short tolerance for such things.

Thanks, Greg.

First of all, Roger Koppl is being completely dishonest. What he linked to doesn't disprove that Mises was a racist. It shows that he had certain reservations about the methods of SOME racists. Period. But he himself was still a racist.

By the same token, Hitler had reservations about some of the anti-Semitics and he even condemned the original attacks on Jewish businesses.

By Koppl's intellectual dishonesty, Hitler was an anti-anti-Semitic.

Second, those quotes are not "out of context." They are in context. The only way they could be construed as being taken out of context as if Mises preceded each statement with, "I'd have to be absolutely crazy to say":

Third, they are not all from the same "PDF" file. They are from readings of Mises and his outrageous (and unproven) statements on racist. However, certain people at the Mises Institute have also noticed Mises' belief in racism and have used some of those quotes to prove it. In this case, I defend the Mises Institute and say they are not out of context.

So what we have, are, in fact: (1) Mises believed that racial science existed; (2) Mises said that the differences in cultures can be attributed to the difference in races (one of the most common beliefs of racists); (3) Mises believed that racial science should continue to be studied as one of the most prominent features of sociology. It has a lot to tell us, according to Mises. These are not simple musings of the time or political language of the time, but endorsement of racism.

Saying Mises was "anti-racist" is an insult to the REAL anti-racists, such as Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, who, in his works, basically concludes that racial distinctions are superficial. And of course, it's an insult to Noam Chomsky as well -- far more qualified to be discussing intelligence and IQ than this Koppel -- who wrote the following:

""Consider finally the question of race and intellectual endowments. Notice again that in a decent society there would be no social consequences to any discovery that might be made about this question. Individuals are what they are; it is only on racist assumptions that they are to be regarded as an instance of their race category, so that social consequences ensue from the discovery that the mean for a certain racial category with respect to some capacity is such and such. Eliminating racist assumptions, the facts have no social consequences whatever they may be, and are therefore not worth knowing, from this point of view at least. If there is any purpose to investigation of the relation between race and some capacity, it must derive from the scientific significance of the question. It is difficult to be precise about questions of scientific merit. Roughly, an inquiry has scientific merit if its results might bear on some general principles of science. One doesn't conduct inquiries into the density of blades of grass on various lawns or innumerable other trivial and pointless questions. But inquiry into such questions as race and IQ appears to be of virtually no scientific interest. Conceivably, there might be some interest in correlations between partially heritable traits, but if someone were interested in this question, he would surely not select such characteristics as race and IQ, each an obscure amalgam of complex properties. Rather, he would ask whether there is a correlation between measurable and significant traits, say, eye color and length of the big toe. It is difficult to see how the study of race and IQ, for example, can be justified on any scientific grounds." --(Noam Chomsky, source, the Chomsky Reader.)

That is real "anti-racism": believing that racism is about the same as believing you can measure intelligence by measuring the size of the big toe.

In case Koppl has any more confusion, here is the dictionary definition of racist: "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement."

It does not mean you reject certain political doctrines of the racists, since some racists supported a certain kind of "statism" Mises may not have liked, but the belief instead that races, as Mises puts it, differ in character and talent.

What makes a man, a man? I think it's telling the truth and being intellectually honest.

By outlining who did the work in linguistics, as opposed to Hayek, I a being intellectually honest and a real man.

By noting that Mises was a racist, I a am being intellectual honest while Koppl is being childish and absurd. Unless he has proof Mises rejected his racism, Mises was a racist.

re: "What he linked to doesn't disprove that Mises was a racist. It shows that he had certain reservations about the methods of SOME racists. Period. But he himself was still a racist."

Perhaps Roger didn't furnish Mises saying "fyi, in case successfulbuild says otherwise I'm actually not a racist".

What he did do is demonstrate that your citations had nothing at all to do with the point you were making.

So unless we're going to presume people guilty until proven innocent I think this discussion is pretty much finished.

re: "Saying Mises was "anti-racist" is an insult to the REAL anti-racists, such as Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, who, in his works, basically concludes that racial distinctions are superficial."

Not that I'm cheering for racism - but as a simple factual matter hasn't a lot of Gould's work on this been demonstrated to be quite sloppy? I think there was some news coverage of this recently.

"News coverage" is not an example of the "sloppy work" of Gould.

And it's the other way around. The quote he is referring does show Mises believed in racial characteristics, but what Koppl is referring to shows he has some reservations with the methodology. His point is completely irrelevant.

If you have nothing to add to the discussion and no evidence you have studied the works of the aforementioned writers, please refrain from commenting.

Oh Mr. Build, I DID ask you to stop insulting the commenters at CP, especially one of our regulars. Apparently, you didn't listen. I told you that you'd only get one warning. I meant it.

Buh-bye.

I was kind of hoping to hear whether Successfulbuild had anything to say in response to my last post.

So you're a racist just for recognizing the fact that different races are different? This is news to me. I always thought racism had to do with how you treat people.

Roger,

Now that the coast is clear, I would like to comment on some of your “multi-culturalism” posts, and ask a question. First my observation:

If economists have learned anything over the last 30 years, it is that institutions matter. Voluntary associations between individuals do constitute institutions, and these institutions carry with them informal rules of the game. This is culture. Forget the very muddled definition of “multi-culturalism”. It has become almost meaningless, and is a distraction from the real issue.

An important area of inquiry involves analyzing the informal rules and norms which compliment formal rules, that allow for the functioning of peaceful trade and voluntary exchange between individuals. To look at different angles on this issue, it may also involve studying how migrations of human beings forced by changing formal legal structures perturb the evolution of societal order. Are there certain formal legal structures that are better than others in allowing a natural evolution of social order in a peaceful manner?

Now those who have read my comments before might think this is the same song, 10th verse of the same theme. It is, but it is no less relevant.

The sort of nonsense where we can’t even talk about these types of things is a very sad state, but unfortunately, I’m not surprised that few people even dare to bring these things up, since as we have just witnessed, there is open season for persons of bad will to falsely bash one as a racist.

However Roger, while I find your comments are well intentioned and represent some of the highest aspirations of man which I happen to strongly concur with, I’m afraid they may leave the impression that economists should not touch the study of informal rules among voluntary groups of individuals, since they are something to be shunned. Or perhaps, I am way off base, and miss some of your meaning.

Question: Do you agree that these informal rules that define “culture” are real, and would you also agree that the way they evolve, and thus their effect on the development of social order is relevant?

K Sralla: this discussion should be held on Thinkmarkets in the comments section of my "Them is Us" post. Please re-post your comment there.

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