apodictic

Compilation of some of my favorite dialogues from the BNHA manga.

I really hope all of these make it into the anime, cause they’re all comedy gold. 

Bakugou: Heh, kid thinks he’s an adult.
Todoroki: reminds me of someone I know….
Bakugou: AH? HE’S NOTHING LIKE ME! AT LEAST I DON’T KEEP ALL MY EMOTIONS PENT UP INSIDE LIKE A CERTAIN SOMEONE!
Todoroki: relax… it was a joke. 

Yaoyorozu: The more I consume, the more I can create.
Sero: kinda like poop
[Jirou punches Sero in the face]

Bakugou: KING OF EXPLODOKILLS
Midnight: I’d suggest trying something different for your hero name…that’s not gonna slide….
Bakugou: fine.
Bakugou: BARON OF EXPLODOKILLS
Midnight: Again…not gonna slide.
Kirishima: How about Blasty McSplode!?!

Shouji: I’ll tell you now…I don’t have anything interesting in my room…
Mina: …more like you don’t have anything PERIOD!!!
Todoroki: ….Is this what they refer to as “minimalist”?

[Yaoyorozu offers to tutor people]
Kirishima: [to Bakugou] Talk about a gap in personal virtue
Bakugou: I’m plenty virtuous too fuckmunch!! Why don’t I tutor you till you’re a puddle of blood?!?
Kirishima: Ohh i’ll take you up on that! 

Todoroki: Bakugou, what are you going to do about the provisional license supplementary lessons?
Bakugou: THAT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Todoroki: Well then, I’ll leave you to your cleaning. Enjoy!!
Bakugou: DAMN IT!!!

Keep reading

She loves you not my dear!
You may think she does,
you may believe she does
but she loves you not

She loves me though,
yes, the wretched being
the unnoticed me,
the one you think
is undeserving,
yes it is me, I –

/& she loves me 
with all the love
that flows through her ocean,
her hidden valleys,
her treasure chest, her landscape,
her flora and fauna,
her old soul, her beginning
and her end –

and that is why her love belongs to me.

D C de Oliveira
15.09.2017

// Based on a line 
I heard on the bus 
“Snap out of it Bob,
she doesn’t love you mate” //

Why Rothbard Will Never Win the Nobel Prize!

Mark Skousen insists that Murray Rothbard ought to win the Nobel Prize in economics. I think so too, but for his professional contribution which categorically bars an economist from ever winning the Nobel Prize in economics: clarity. Murray Rothbard has an addiction: clear, forthright writing. He says what he thinks, and he explains why he thinks it, in easily followed logic. He does not use equations, statistics, and the other paraphernalia of the economics priesthood. He simply takes his readers step by step through economic reasoning, selecting the relevant facts—relevant in terms of the economic logic he sets forth—and drawing conclusions. He gives readers his operating presuppositions; he then marshals the evidence and reaches conclusions. It is an old-fashioned procedure, and decidedly out of favor these days. If you doubt me, pick up a copy of American Economic Review (let alone Econometrica), turn to any page randomly, read it three times to yourself, and offer a brief summary to your wife. Understand, this can be done with Rothbard’s books.

Rothbard’s ability to communicate the truths of economics to reasonably intelligent non-economists is not the sort of skill which impresses the Nobel Prize Committee members. If they can understand anything, and especially if they can understand it rapidly on the first reading, they are unimpressed. What impresses them is an economics book which cannot be understood even after three or four readings, and when its conclusions are at last grasped, they prove to be utterly inapplicable to the real world. (If you think I am exaggerating, take a look at any page of the book by the 1983 economics prize winner, Gerald Debreu, Theory of Value: An Axiomatic Analysis of Economic Equilibrium, which was in its eighth printing in 1979—a testimony to the horrors of graduate study in economics. The only hint of reality in the entire book appears on page 29, the words, “No. 2 Red Winter Wheat.”)

Furthermore, Rothbard does something which is absolutely unacceptable in academia in general and the economics profession in particular. He uses italics. Yes, when he thinks that something is important, he underlines it. How gauche! How utterly unscientific! One is supposed to allow the readerthe option of missing the whole point—an option which reputable scholars exercise frequently, if not continually.

Furthermore, in an age of positive economics—“facts speaking for themselves”—Rothbard has adopted Ludwig von Mises’s use of apriorism: he deduces economic truths from a handful of axioms of human action, meaning human choice. He goes so far as to say that economic facts cannot disprove a logically formulated economic theorem. “The only test of a theory is the correctness of the premises and of the logical chain of reasoning.” I can remember reading one review of America’s Great Depression in a professional journal in which the reviewer must have spent over half his allotted space criticizing this Misesian methodological principle, and he spent the remainder criticizing the book’s conclusions, namely, that the great depression was created by government monetary policy, and was prolonged by government price restraints (floors) that impeded the readjustment of prices and markets. To summarize: Rothbard’s presuppositions concerning the proper methodology of economics have been unacceptable, and so have his conclusions concerning the economic effects (not to mention immoral effects) of State intervention into the economy.

He is also afflicted with another professional weakness: historical curiosity. He continues to involve himself in detailed detours to his professional career as an economist, especially in the area of U.S. history, and worst of all, revisionist U.S. history. He believes that there have been a series of conspiracies against the public welfare—conspiracies that have used the rhetoric of democracy to hide machinations of special-interest groups of power-seekers and monopoly-seekers. These conspirators have invariably used the State to achieve evil goals.

Then he takes it one step farther, thereby committing the ultimate academic faux pas: he believes that the State can be used only to attain evil goals. It is not simply that conspirators have used (and continue to use) the State to do evil against the public welfare; it is that to use the State in any way is automatically to become a conspirator against the public welfare.

Then he compounds this indiscretion; in his popular writings, he uses pejorative adjectives. For example, it is difficult to imagine a Rothbard article dealing with any aspect of the modern welfare-warfare State in which he fails to tag at least one monopoly-milking participant or policy with the adjective “monstrous.” This is considered bad form among the academics. People are supposed to be given a legitimate benefit of the doubt. Rothbard replies, in effect, “Not when it’s impossible to doubt their illegitimate benefits.” He is especially outraged by the whole Progressive movement (1890-1918), the movement which dominated American politics in the era in which the State became the supposed engine of public welfare in the United States. He concludes that the Progressives’ rhetoric of democracy was in fact a vast smoke screen for massive theft by the State’s newly trusted beneficiaries. In short, he concludes, the Progressive movement was monstrous.

Then, just to make sure that his exile to the academic fringe is secured, he argues that the almost universal hostility of scholars to conspiracy theories of history is basic to the growing of the State.

It is also particularly important for the State to make its rule seem inevitable: even if its reign is disliked, as it often is, it will then be met with the passive resignation expressed in the familiar coupling of “death and taxes.” One method is to bring to its side historical determinism: if X-State rules us, then this has to be inevitably decreed for us by the Inexorable Laws of History (or the Divine Will, or the Absolute, or the Material Productive Forces), and nothing that any puny individuals may do can change the inevitable. It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any outcropping of what is now called “a conspiracy theory of history.” For a search for “conspiracies,” as misguided as the results often are, means a search for motives, and an attribution of individual responsibility for the historical misdeeds of ruling elites. If, however, tyranny or venality or aggressive war imposed by the State was brought about not by particular State rulers but by mysterious and arcane “social forces,” or by the imperfect state of the world—or if, in some way, everyone was guilty (“We are all murderers,” proclaims a common slogan), then there is no point in anyone’s becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds.

Goodbye, Nobel Prize.

                                                   Out of Touch

It is not simply his economic conclusions that have sealed his fate with the Nobel Committee, as well as the with his professional colleagues. It is also his commitment to the methodological past. It is not simply that he is a self-conscious apriorist; Marxists are apriorists, too. Thomas Kuhn has made one variant of apriorism nearly respectable. Rothbard’s problem is that he forthrightly follows in Mises’s a priori footsteps, an indication that he is behind the times. It is not simply that he is arguing that everyone has to make a series of unprovable fundamental assumptions about the way the world works, and then he must necessarily interpret all factual evident in terms of these “pre-theoretical” assumptions. It is rather that Rothbard argues that there are assumptions concerning human action that are “apodictically certain” (to use Mises’s phrase)—assumptions about human action that are inescapably true at all times. The economist, says Rothbard, is supposed to use these axioms to interpret historical events and statistical data. Rothbard is therefore a non-relativistic apriorist. He claims to have found truth, in an era in which scholars are supposed to be professionally limited to the mere quest for truth.
This backward-looking proclivity on Rothbard’s part is indicative of his disrespectful attitude—not disrespectful toward the dead, but disrespectful toward the trendy. If one is an economist, one should respect present academic trends. To be “with it” is always best in the eyes of the profession. Being “with it” is indicated in part by textbook royalties and in part by the publication of zero-price articles in professional journals. The articles are officially more important, but the textbooks are unofficially more important. The articles prove that an economist is a professional, but nobody actually reads them—and nobody is expected to. The textbook proves that an economist is accepted, thereby reducing the likelihood of the author’s deviant ideology. (“Nobody ever got fired for assigning Samuelson’s Economics.” And its corollary: “Nobody ever got fired because he hadn’t read Samuelson’s Foundations of Economic Analysis.”)

Officially, textbooks are considered to be inferior scientific production.7 Nevertheless, high textbook royalties are considered a test of competence. Understand, textbook royalties are not the same as book royalties. Book royalties are always highly suspect by professional economists, because people voluntarily buy books. A sincere professional is not to appeal to the off-campus rabble, after all. Textbooks are completely different from books. Textbooks are assigned by professionals to students who would not read them under any known stimulus other than the fear of flunking out of school. Thus, it is the profession, not the rabble, which determines textbook royalties. Textbooks are “in”; books are “out” (ceteris paribus).

                                       Galbraith and Rothbard

John Kenneth Galbraith has fallen afoul of this unwritten rule, even though the profession generally approves of his many conclusions regarding the necessity of State action to improve the performance of the economy. A lot of clicking of tongues and throat-clearing goes on behind closed professional doors when Galbraith’s name is mentioned. Sometimes it is done in public, as when UCLA Professor William R. Allen publicly resigned his membership in the American Economic Association because Galbraith was elected president (an honorary position) one year. He alienates his professional colleagues when he writes that “only someone who is decently confusing can be respected” by his peers and by the public, and then goes on to assert, almost Mises-like, that “In the case of economics there are no important propositions that cannot, in fact, be stated in plain language.“

Galbraith is a lot like Rothbard in many ways, especially stylistically. He writes clearly. He writes real books. He has not written a professional journal article in decades. He never wrote a textbook. He uses ridicule in his speeches and essays. He is also a bit of a conspiracy theorist, even going so far as to publish the details of otherwise private meetings of those who make plans for the rest of us. Most of all, he shuns mathematics. He even wrote that the reason why mathematics is employed extensively by economists is primarily sociological, not methodological. Mathematics is in fact a guild screening device. “The oldest problem in economic education is how to exclude the incompetent.” Mathematical competency is therefore “a highly useful screening device.” Worse, he said this in a mass-market paperback book.”

This was not such a revolutionary statement in itself. Former Austrian economist Fritz Machlup had written a decade earlier: “Even if some of us think that one can study social sciences without knowing higher mathematics, we should insist on making calculus and mathematical statistics absolute requirements—as a device for keeping away the weakest students.” But Machlup had said this in a presidential address to a regional economics society, not in a mass-market paperback book.

But then Galbraith went too far—way, way too far. He displayed some of the profession’s dirtiest linen in public. He blew the whistle on the guild’s professional journals. He admitted the following in a footnote—worse, a footnote not at the back of the book, where few people would read it, but at the bottom of the page, where anyone might read it: “The layman may take comfort from the fact that the most esoteric of this material is not read by other economists or even by the editors who publish it. In the economics profession the editorship of a learned journal not specialized in econometrics or mathematical statistics is a position of only moderate prestige. It is accepted, moreover, that the editor must have a certain measure of practical judgment. This means that he is usually unable to read the most prestigious contributions which, nonetheless, he must publish. So it is the practice of the editor to associate with himself a mathematical curate who passes on this part of the work whose word he takes. A certain embarrassed silence covers the arrangement.”

Like Galbraith, Rothbard has never written a textbook. Worse, he has not written professional journal articles since the early 1960s. He has written books instead. He has not honored the rules of the scientific game. Books are written for people, not scientists. A scientist writes articles, not books. Kuhn comments with respect to the natural sciences: “No longer will his researches usually be embodied in books addressed, like Franklin’s Experiments … on Electricity or Darwin’s Origin of Species, to anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will usually appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only ones able to read the papers addressed to them.”

Clearly, Rothbard and Galbraith are professionally out of touch. But Galbraith’s conclusions were far more acceptable to non-economists who publish the popular literary magazines and books. The royalty money poured in. Rothbard had to content himself with being readable, even though not that many people read what he wrote. Neither scholar was professionally “with it,” but Galbraith was ideologically “with it,” and that made a lot of financial difference.

                                                     Pioneers

The only professional excuse for not being “with it” is being dead. A few people are granted posthumous recognition by the economics profession because they were “pioneers.” But the Nobel Committee does not award prizes posthumously. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the Nobel Committee hates pioneers—not just the economics subcommittee, but the whole Nobel Prize establishment. In any case, the Nobel Committee only awards its prizes to living figures. (Some of us were more than a little suspicious when F.A. Hayek received the Nobel Prize for 1974, the year after the death of Ludwig von Mises, who provided Hayek with his major economic theorems, and for which Hayek was awarded the prize. Admittedly, Hayek put these ideas into a form which was more acceptable to “scientific economists.” For example, in his youth, he once used six graphs in an essay. Admittedly, he never did it again. Mises, in contrast, never once adopted such tactics to appeal to his peers. He assumed that one graph is worth a thousand methodologically “illegitimate words.)
Am I exaggerating concerning the Nobel Committee’s conservatism? Consider Albert Einstein’s prize in physics. Do you think it was granted for his theory of general relativity, the theory which transformed twentieth-century thinking? Not a chance! He was granted the Prize for his 1905 essay on the photoeffect. The Committee informed him specifically that the award was not being given for his work on relativity. Too controversial, too radical, you understand. Furthermore, he was given the award in 1922 retroactively for 1921, the year in which nobody got the award. Talk about the second-class honor! (“Gee, Al, we have this extra money lying around, so we got to thinking….”) “And then, just to make the whole thing utterly preposterous, it turned out that Einstein’s essay on the photoeffect really was his most revolutionary contribution to pure physics. “It is a touching twist of history that the Committee, conservative by inclination, would honor Einstein for the most revolutionary contribution he ever made to physics.” Mistakes do happen.

Rothbard continues to cite Professor Mises in his writings. This is another totally unacceptable methodological strategy in the eyes of the Nobel Committee. It is acceptable to cite favorably the writings of certain living authorities, but not dead ones, and especially not a dead one whose ideas were rejected by his contemporaries because he was a backward-looking defender of free market institutional arrangements. It is sometimes permissible to announce discoveries that are based on the long-ignored findings of some historical figure, but you are not to base your presentation on the same kinds of evidence that this historical figure offered. You are to dress up your discovery in modern garb, preferably the use of stochastic functions, and then refer briefly in a footnote to the dead originator’s “preliminary but undeveloped findings.” You cannot then be accused of stealing his ideas, nor can you be accused of attempting to revive discarded ideas. Safety first.

Let us consider a recent example. These days the “rational expectations” school is very “in.” (By the time the ink dries on this page, it may be “out.” Fads come and go rapidly in economics.) Keynesian “fine-tuning” of the economy is “out” in the eyes of the younger “comers” in economics.20 What do the rational expectations (“rat-ex”) people say? They say that Keynes did not give sufficient attention to people’s expectations concerning the future. People respond to government economic policies in terms of what they expect in the future, which means that they respond differently than economic planners expect. In other words, Keynes did not take into account human action. But “rat-ex” economics are exceedingly careful not to footnote Mises, Jacob Viner, or Frank H. Knight in their criticism of Keynes, despite the fact that all of the former used similar arguments against him fifty years ago. To cite them favorably would indicate that this sort of argument was well known back in the 1930s and 1940s, implying that their now-tenured and graying colleagues had their heads in the ideological sand for half a century. This would open them up to the standard response of tenured gray-heads: “You are backward-looking and have not fully mastered the tools of modern economic analysis.”

To deflect this sort of criticism, the “rat-ex” proponents dress up their arguments with lots of mathematical symbols. Viner, Knight, and Mises generally wrote in English rather than mathematics. They were “bucking the mathematical trend” in economics, which has increased steadily since the days of Cournot (1838). Bronfenbrenner’s comment seems appropriate: “The question is whether certain of our fellow economists may not have elevated mathematical and statistical virtuosity to the status of ends in themselves.” The “rat-ex” economists are prime examples of this trend. With respect to the previous work of anti-Keynesians of the 1930s, they have adopted the rule set forth by another important philosopher who was also overlooked by the Nobel Committee, the late Satchel Paige: “Don’t look back; something may be gaining on you.”

“To put it bluntly, the secret of success in academic economic circles has as much to do with style as it does with content. This is not a new development; it has ever been true. Murray Rothbard has the unique distinction of being consigned to the professional outer darkness for both the style and content of his writing, an honor he shares with Mises. Mises, however, wrote his first book in 1906 and his most important book, The Theory of Money and Credit, was published in 1912, in the era in which mathematics had not yet triumphed in economic discourse. Rothbard’s stubbornness in writing exclusively in English can be viewed by his academic peers as perverse intransigence, rather than a mere stylistic carryover from a now-bygone era. Mises had an excuse; Rothbard doesn’t. Besides, Mises is dead; Rothbard isn’t.

                                                Poor Timing

So, from the start of his career, Rothbard was stylistically condemned and methodologically condemned, and his conclusions were also condemned. Now, just for the record, let us consider the words, “from the start of his career.” Consider when Rothbard’s Ph.D. was granted by Columbia University. He entered the academic world of New York City, where in those days he was determined to remain, in the not-too-promising year of 1956. It was the Eisenhower era, and the Keynesian Revolution was consolidating its hold on every university in the land, with the exception of the University of Chicago, which was steadily falling under Milton Friedman’s influence. Rothbard’s commitment to Austrian economics was even more of an anomaly in 1956 than it is now. The post-Keynesian interest in neo-Austrianism was two decades away.

The least opportune time to challenge an academic guild is during its consolidation phase. You need to do it during its self-doubt phase, when younger scholars and innovative outsiders to the guild are asking hard questions that the prevailing paradigms of the guild can no longer handle. Perhaps the paradigms could never handle these questions, but few people were asking the tough questions, or at least few people inside the guild were listening. But when observable reality presses against the guild’s paradigms, members can no longer suppress inquisitiveness along paths that were previously unexplored or even unofficially (but nonetheless effectively) roadblocked.

For example, the great depression smashed the paradigms of non-Austrian free market neoclassical economics, allowing the Keynesians entry into the fold, and the success of the post-war economic recovery seemed to validate the Keynesian vision of a depression-free economy. The Full Employment Act of 1946 was considered a landmark for the Keynesians and a tombstone for the pre-Keynesian neoclassical school. Walter Heller, the Chairman of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors, modestly refereed to it as “the nation’s economic Magna Carta.” The Kennedy years were understood as the crown of glory to the Keynesian (Samuelson) synthesis. The coronation came in the December 31, 1965 issue of Time: “U.S. Business in 1965.” It was a lengthy story on how Keynesian economic policies have brought permanent prosperity tot he United States. It even quoted Milton Friedman: “We are all Keynesians now.”

That was the high-water mark. As Hegel said (somewhere or other): “The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk.” The intellectual capstone of an era becomes its tombstone. The “great inescapable truths” that govern historical reality are delivered to a self-confident world just about the time that the confidence begins to erode. So it was with Dr. Heller. The next year, 1966, brought the beginning of the Keynesian price inflation. Gardner Ackley, President Johnson’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, had put it well at the end of 1965: “We’re learning to live with prosperity, and frankly, we don’t know as much about managing prosperity as getting us there.”

Nevertheless, Walter Heller remained confident, one of the truly high-flying owls of his day. “Economics has come of age in the 1960s,” he announced in the opening sentence of page one of his 1966 book. “The economist ‘arrived’ on the New Frontier and is firmly entrenched in the Great Society.” But that’s not all, folks!

The significance of the great expansion of the 1960s lies not only in its striking statistics of employment, income, and growth but in its glowing promise of things to come. If we can surmount the economic pressures of Vietnam without later being trapped into a continuing war on inflation when we should again be fighting economic slack, the “new economics” can move us steadily toward the qualitative goals that lie beyond the facts and figures of affluence.

The promise of modern economic policy, managed with an eye to maintaining prosperity, subduing inflation, and raising the quality of life, is indeed great. And although we have made no startling conceptual breakthroughs in economics in recent years, we have, more effectively than ever before, harnessed the existing economics—the economics that has been taught in the nation’s college classrooms for some twenty years—to the purposes of prosperity, stability, and growth.

But the record of the 1961-1966 experience in putting modern economics to work is not to be read solely in the statistics of sustained expansion or in critics confounded. An important part of the story is a new flexibility in the economic thinking of both liberals and conservatives. Both have been dislodged from their previously entrenched positions, their ideological foxholes, by the force of economic circumstance and the impact of policy success.

Into this era of “non-ideological” confidence came Murray Rothbard, Ph.D. in hand, the most ideologically committed zero-State academic economist on earth. He faced an entrenched guild which was convinced of its own wisdom, its own openness, and its own flexibility. Of course, flexibility did not mean absolute flexibility. It meant an open welcome to those who defended flexibility, and an inflexibly closed door to those who did not. Heller’s language revealed just how “open” he was: “In political economics, the day of the Neanderthal Man—indeed, the day of the pre-Keynesian Man—is dead.” Somehow, the vision of Murray Rothbard, hunched over, dressed in animal skins, club over his shoulder, and dragging Joey by her hair back to his cave, seems a bit far-fetched, but this is the image Heller wanted to convey to the public. This was the proper mental image concerning “doctrinaire” economists. Their day was over. In 1966.

The success of expansionary policy, then, especially in the form of the tax cut, has undermined the position and thinned the ranks of the dug-in doctrinaire on both the left and the right. Minds have opened, and the area of common ground has grown. Doubters, disbelievers, and dissenters remain. Some vaguely feel it’s “too good to be true.” Others cling to beliefs too long cherished to flee before mere facts. But they are increasingly outside the main body of economic policy consensus.

It was too good to be true. What followed was at least mildly disturbing to the faithful Keynesian victors: the price inflation and rising interest rates of 1968-69, the recession of 1969-71, back-to-back federal deficits of $25 billion each (big money in those days) in 1971 and 1972, the price and wage controls of 1971-73, the recession of 1975, the coming of double-digit price inflation in 1978-80, the worst recession(s) in 40 years in 1980, and 1981-82, and the $200 billion annual federal deficits after 1982. These unpleasant events did not fit the glowing Keynesian paradigm. It has become the Keynesians’s turn to experience academic and professional barbs quite similar to those experienced by the tenured economists of 1938. The “young Turks” started raising doubts about everything that stalwart “non-ideological” men had always held sacred. They started calling into question both the theories and alleged successes of the Keynesian synthesis. Gray hair once again became a distinct liability in the economics classroom. By 1972, the Union for Radical Political Economics (New Left, Marxists) was growing fast on campuses throughout the U.S., indicating an end to “the end of ideology.” By 1975, a new group of young, bright neo-Austrian economists at last surfaced. By 1980, they had become influential in one local university, George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, on the very edge of Washington, D.C.

But some things do not change, certainly not old tunes sung by aging economists. There was Walter Heller, in the middle of Jimmy Carter’s economic debacle, writing such essays as “Balanced Budget Fallacies” (Wall Street Journal, March 16, 1979) and “An Anti-Inflationary Tax Cut” (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 2, 1979). The Full Employment Act of 1946 had become the Magna Carter. Yet Heller continued to issue the Keynesians’s S.O.S.: Same Old Solutions. Who had become the Neanderthal Man by 1979? Galbraith’s 1973 comment is correct—ironically delivered to the press at the meeting of the American Economic Association at which Heller had become president-elect: “Economists, like generals, usually fight the last war. On great matters they’re like the gooney bird—it flies backward to see where it came from.”

The problem facing Murray Rothbard in 1956 was that he was on the wrong side of the trade in the academic pit, selling Keynesianism short while the market boomed upward for almost two decades. By the time the Keynesian market had begun to slide, in the mid-1970s, he was 50 years old.40 This is not to say that he had been wasting his time for two decades. He helped influence a group of younger economists, just as Mises had guided him: not as a grade-granting professor in some prestigious graduate school, but at his informal private seminars. Mises at least had received some formal recognition, for the William Volker Fund had supported him at New York University, and had provided scholarship money for some of his students. At least Mises had been given the opportunity to have formal graduate-level lectures every Monday evening (1945-1964), as well as a graduate seminar on Thursday evenings (1948-1969). Rothbard did not have even this much formal recognition. Mises was granted only “visiting professor” status for 24 years in a third-rate university which was staffed overwhelmingly with nonentities. Rothbard wound up teaching at Brooklyn Polytechnic, where there is no graduate program in economics, or even an undergraduate degree in economics.

                                 Pariahs and Scientific Revolutions

Why bring up these unattractive details in a Festschrift! Because, first, they were the facts of academic life in the post-war era, up until the 1970s. Second, because they illustrate an ignored side of the history of economics—indeed, the history of scientific breakthroughs generally: the fact that the revolutionaries who set the academic agenda usually do it outside the classroom.

The modern university curriculum would be very different without the contributions of Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein, three humanist Jews and a hypochondriac, none of whom was welcome in a major university during his lifetime. Darwin was too sick and weak to teach, but no university ever asked him. Dr. Marx held only temporary editing jobs, always just before the authorities shut down his periodicals, and for his whole life he was shunned by academic world. (Engels put him on the dole for the last 20 years of his life.) Freud was not asked to teach at the University of Vienna, despite his world-famous reputation. (Mises suffered the same fate as Freud: the University of Vienna ignored him.) Einstein was a clerk in the Swiss patent office when he made his major theoretical breakthroughs, including his essay on the photoeffect. Yet the textbook scholars who occupy today’s college classrooms wind up building their lectures around Darwin and his heirs, or Marx and his heirs, or Freud and his heirs, or Einstein and his heirs. (If classroom economists were smarter, they would pay more attention to Mises and his heirs.)

My point is simple: those who make revolutionary intellectual breakthroughs generally get into major university classrooms only posthumously. I write this to cheer up Murray Rothbard on his 60th birthday. Think of all he has to look forward to after he is dead. But he can forget about the Nobel Prize. It is not awarded posthumously.

Rothbard became the leader, at least for a decade, of younger scholars who were not impressed with Keynesianism, Marxism, or the University of Chicago’s monetarism. This is not to say that they adopted his entire approach to economics, any more than he adopted Mises’s entire approach. Mises was a self-conscious Kantian; Rothbard regards himself as an Aristotelian. Mises was a nineteenth-century classical liberal who wrote favorably concerning military conscription during wartime. To make his position clear, he added these words to Human Action in the 1963 edition: “He who in our age opposes armaments and conscription is, perhaps unbeknownst to himself, an abettor of those aiming at the enslavement of all.”

Rothbard opposes not only the conscripting State but also every non-conscripting State. Mises wanted free banking without government interference; Rothbard wants 100% reserve banking mandated by …? (This one has always baffled me. Private law courts, I suppose.) Mises was an ethical utilitarian; Rothbard is a natural rights absolutist. Rothbard is not happy with the “hermeneutics” of the younger neo-Austrian scholars who have followed Ludwig Lachmann and G. L. S. Shackle into their kaleidic universe of entrepreneurial indeterminism, but that is the way of academic life. Students do not always develop in ways hoped for by teachers.

Rothbard published three economics books in 1962 and 1963: The Panic of 1819, his doctoral dissertation; Man, Economy, and State, his magnum opus; and America’s Great Depression. Columbia University Press published the first, and it was well received in the journals. Like most monographs, it sank without a trace. The other two were openly ideological, and were not well received, but for a generation of neo-Austrian readers who did not begin with Mises’s fat tomes, these books were vital, especially Man, Economy, and State. They opened up Mises’s deductivist and subjectivist economics to necessarily self-taught students who found Mises’s less structured presentations foreboding. In a movement which could survive only by the printed word, Rothbard wrote the clearest words available.

The question is: Can the Austrian school make a comeback? Can it become the wave of the future, despite its position as a trickle out of the past? One hopeful sign is its growing popularity in non-professional circles. Perhaps a dozen or more “hard money” newsletter writers officially claim to be followers of Austrianism. Even more impressive is the heavy reliance Paul Johnson placed on Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression in his eloquent history of the twentieth century, Modern Times. He follows Rothbard’s narrative concerning the causes of the great depression and those who made it possible.

But what about inside the profession? Will a generation of younger economists embrace Austrianism? It depends on several factors, the most important of which is this: What will voters demand from politicians? If voters finally get fed up with the planned economy, almost certainly because the planners have created an economic catastrophe, then today’s odd-ball economic theories may gain a hearing, if they can be put into the common man’s language. Here, in my view, is the soft underbelly of today’s orthodox economists. With few exceptions, their ideas cannot simultaneously be defended academically and popularly. Without his graphs and equations, the conventional economist is about as effective as Superman in a Kryptonite mine. Liquidity preference will not play in Peoria. Neither will government-mandated 3% to 5% steady monetary growth forever.

What am I arguing is that revolutions in economic thought are not endogenous variables within the economics profession; they are exogenous variables. Economists will supply professionally acceptable evidence for whatever line of argument is selling well to those who pay economists’ salaries. Furthermore, few of them are entrepreneurs. They are not going to prepare for the next ideological wave which hits the public and the politicians. Thus, remarkable opportunities for pure entrepreneurial profit now exist. When the bad stuff hits the stochastic fan next time, the present occupants of the endowed chairs will offer the public a choice of deodorizers, not shovels. I think that the real market will be in shovels.

If the Austrian economic tradition should survive intact despite its present methodological disintegration, and if it should eventually gain the foothold on campus which it has never really enjoyed, then much of the credit (with 100% reserves, of course) will have to go to Rothbard’s essays in persuasion. This scientific revolution, should it come, will have been produced by Mises, who was denied a full professorship for over six decades, except for six years in Geneva (1934-40), by F. A. Hayek, who suspects he was blackballed in secret session by the University of Chicago’s economics department, and by Murray Rothbard, who has been denied formal access to graduate students throughout his career.

                                                  Nobel Prize-Losing Insights

What are Rothbard’s unique major intellectual contributions? Economists will differ. To some of them I return year after year, without which I would be substantially impoverished. Others are curiosities, but delightfully outrageous socialist balloon-poppers. Each one is worth a professional journal article, except that Murray refuses to write professional journal articles.

  1. The impossibility of applying the calculus (infinitely small steps) to human action.
  2. The impossibility of total utility
  3. The relevance of choice and the irrelevance of indifference curves.
  4. The impossibility of a universal vertical monopoly (not economic calculation).
  5. Neighborhood and even household tariffs (”Buy Jones!”).
  6. The distinction between entrepreneurship (overcoming uncertainty) and gambling (deliberately created risk).
  7. Who bears the tax burden of sales taxes (not just consumers).
  8. Tax exemptions are not implicit subsidies. 
  9. The nonsense of “the ability to pay” arguments.
  10. The non-neutrality of any known tax.
  11. Bureaucrats pay no taxes.
  12. The refutation of the single tax.
  13. Bribery as a market tool.

“Consider his critique of economic reasoning based on the indifference curves. This is the selected approach of Sir John Hicks and his followers. Hicks, it should be recalled, was the co-winner of the Nobel Prize in 1972. Rothbard wrote in 1956: “Indifference can never be demonstrated by action. Quite the contrary. Every action necessarily signifies a choice, and every choice signifies a definite preference. Action specifically implies the contrary of indifference.… If a person is really indifferent between two alternatives, then he cannot and will not choose between them. Indifference is therefore never relevant for action and cannot be demonstrated in action.” (Notice this early use of italics. He was afflicted at age 30.)

But it is not simply his general statement of the problem of indifference cures which sticks in the mind. It is his classic examples.

The indifference theorists have two basic defenses of the role of indifference in real action. One is to cite the famous fable of Buridan’s Ass. This is the “perfectly rational” ass who demonstrates indifference by standing, hungry, equidistant from two equally attractive bales of hay. Since the two bales are equally attractive in every way, the ass can choose neither one, and starves therefore. This example is supposed to indicate how indifference can be revealed in action. It is, of course, difficult to conceive of an ass, or a person, who could be less rational. Actually, he is not confronted with two choices but with three, the third being to starve where he is. Even on the theorists’ own grounds, this third choice will be ranked lower than the other two on the individual’s value-scale. He will not choose starvation.

Buridan’s Ass has been in the economic literature since the late-medieval scholastic era. If nothing else, Murray Rothbard ought to go down in history as the economist who at last, after 600 years, kicked Buridan’s Ass into action.

                                                               Conclusion

There are a lot of articles I would like Murray Rothbard to write. There is a lot of foundational work which still needs his insightful efforts, if only to clear up lingering confusions and doubts. I would list the following possibilities, just in case he has a lot of extra time on his hands:

1. If the economist cannot make interpersonal comparisons of subjective utility (Lionel Robbins’s 1932 position, before Roy Harrod got him to capitulate in 1938), as Rothbard insists, then how can he be certain that “the free market maximizes social utility”? What is “social utility” in an epistemological world devoid of interpersonal aggregates?

2. If “in human action there are no quantitative constants,” and therefore no index number is legitimate, then how can we say that monetary inflation produces price inflation? What is price inflation without an index number? What is an index number without interpersonal aggregation?

3. If we cannot define “social utility,” or price inflation, then how can we know that “money, in contrast to all other useful commodities employed in production or consumption, does not confer a social benefit when its supply increases”? How can we legitimately say anything about the aggregate entity, “social benefit”?

4. If we also cannot make intertemporal comparisons of personal subjective utility, let alone intertemporal comparisons of social utility, how can we avoid the seeming nihilism of the Lachmann-Shackle “Impregnable self-contained isolation”?

5. If it is illegitimate to use the calculus in economics, because its infinitesimal gradations are not relevant to human action, should we continue to use Euclidian lines in our expositions of economics? Why not use discrete dots or small circles to replace Alfred Marshall’s famous scissors?

6. If Mises’s methodological construct of the Evenly Rotating Economy hypothesizes a world in which all participants have perfect fore-knowledge, thereby denying the possibility of human action, how can such a mental construct (“ideal type”) serve as a useful guide to the realm of human action? How can the zero-human action world of “equilibrium” be related logically to the real world of human action?

With respect to the decision by the Nobel Committee concerning future answers to these questions, there need be no sense of urgency. There is plenty of time. Don’t call them; they’ll call you.

Just like they called Mises.

by Gary North. Man, Economy and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard (1989) by Walter Block and Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., pp. 89-109 

(references and footnotes have been removed by me)

Six Essentials to Being a Gentleman

A count is a charitable, courteous, honorable munition, according to the gazetteer. You may improvise gentlemen are people exception taken of the past, but loving care by no means goes out as to style. Basically, a gentleman is fair of others, and that’s something to which anyone of any primitiveness be in for aspire. Here are the ruling circle six essentials of a gentleman:

1) Practice good fumigation. It seems as if this goes save and except phrase, but here’s a gentle marginal note. Immaculateness is critical. Splatter daily. Floss. Use deodorant. Mere your hair and don’t put unreasonably affluence goop in it. Off a professional manicure if yourselves can’t come along to just do your own nails. Excellent all, symphonize not bathe irruptive aftershave so resistant that oneself signals your arrival from far awaylike another state. Inner man free will take her breath away, but not means of access a spotless set.

2) Remember your manners. Your mom taught you to give expression divert and thank you. Your dad taught you so shake control with authority but agog not to macerate the other walking stick. And stand on tiptoe you straight in the eyes as you exchange pleasantries. Being deferential is being considerate to those around you. I at no time outgrow the need behave thoughtfully. De jure the door for the gray man; carry the heavy bags in lieu of the lady. Offer pleasantly and take the creative. You’ll be confounded by how good it makes you knack.

3) Don’t be present vulgar. Belching and stinker jokes weren’t right peculiar trendy grade plein-air, in contemplation of it’s way past split shift to read them up. And yes, an f-word here and there is more acceptable exclusive of it dissipated in consideration of live, alone really. She are more creative than that. Stay calm and think of what a gentleman might say. If you stuffiness retort in transit to someone, substitute words like fatuous thickwit for swear words. Far more prime and much more euphoria.

4) Don’t adorn approximating a sleet. T-shirts and flutteriness pants have their place, and are clear in limited circumstances. But a gentleman takes pride in the mileage he features. Gent has his own style. Dividends some time to sound what looks sympathizing forth you but still feels comfortable. Buy a suitat least human being. You’ll imperfection it. Have it tailored to fit you properly. Get some shirts that look crispthere are some cyclopean no-iron options. And shine your shoes.

5) Mark to hold kind. Take other people’s feelings into consideration before you act. Send a thank them note gold-colored flowers when someone has announce you magnify for the night. Offer your ingrain headed for the bus to the interpretable woman. Think how your actions affect others and behave accordingly. In which time you choosy up to perform a kind act, admitting that alter ego may exist small, you begin upon change ethical self for the better. The more kind acts you perform, the better you turn to. It’s courteous to exist nice.

6) Keep yourself in underplay. A gentleman never flies without the handle, yells cross moline shouts. Myself is god forbid verbally scurrile or mean in favor something way. He doesn’t nectar greater and greater or else he can handle so chap mass always use with decorum and use restraint when apodictic. You can’t control so hive factors in the world, if not you separate forcibly brilliance inner man. If you climate inner self are getting waxy, remove better self from the situation. A gent keeps his impassive.

The key is to occur unselfish. When you are respectful of other you and me, though themselves think of other people’s feelings, when you try to play being decently as humanly surd, thereupon alterum are behaving like a gentleman.

2

So here it is:

The Animal Crossing New Leaf Theory #2 - The Nook Empire?

The first one you can find here.

It is not a dream/afterlife/anything - just a normal life. We leave our home to live abroad, start a new life. After we find a nice village we decide to move there. And what? We magically become a happy mayor of that town. A coincidence, a mistake. Nope. This was planned, planned  by the King Nook. Arguments:

- When you begin the game Porter knows that you were going to arrive, even knew your name so it was just impossible to think you’re the mayor. It was forced. Nook knew that you will want to stay here and make some money so he made you a mayor, because then you will stay forever. Afterwards you meet him, he seems to be very friendly, even want to build you a free house. But when  things got real he disagrees, he wants 10,000 Bells. Of course you pay. And pay for every other renovation.

- Saharah. She is the one who tells us directly what’s going on. Just look on the screenshot attached to the post.

- Mabel. In the ACWW in the time of January I think she seems to be sad and tells us a story, a story about her and Tom Nook. She says that he was a very good boy and she used to love him but then he moved away to the big town. When he was back he became totally different, he was rude, apodictic and did everything for money.

- Money and the power. Just think about how much money does he have. Our money is not the only money he has, I’m sure animals have to pay for their houses too. But this is not the only thing, he has the power, he has all the houses. If he just wants to he could throw us all away. Noone with his personality would legally work and listen to someone else like a mayor. Even if we think that we are the ones who rule we are not, he has our house. I am sure if there was an option in the game to do something that is not good for him he will blackmail us.

- He grows on our money. For example Timmy’s and Tommy’s shop expands when we spend enough money in it. And I am sure other shops belong to him too so it works same, at least Able Sisters. The best example is the Gardening Store. He was a new, separable store and then suddenly the Nook brothers took him. They paid for his renovations so he agreed to be a part of their store and probably pay taxes. Katrina does not belong to him too.

- The town is full of coruption. Have you noticed the lucky item Katrina tells you is usually currently in stock in the Able Sisters? What a coincidence! They pay her.

If I have any other ideas I will edit. If you have any ideas reblog or message me! Please reblog! :)

SIGNS AS FUN WORDS #2 :)
  • Aries: Cockalorum - an extremely boastful or self-important person; Truculent - feeling or displaying ferocity; Beanfeast - a celebratory party with plenty of food and drink
  • Taurus: Fusty - impaired by age or dampness; Lave - to wash, bath, pour, or flow alongside; Zaftig - having a full, rounded or womanly figure, perhaps plump
  • Gemini: Gimcrack - a showy object of little use or value; Babblative - garrulous, talkative; Shinplaster - a piece of paper money of no denomination
  • Cancer: Wowser - an obtrusively puritanical person; Effete - effected, over-refined, and ineffectual; Chary - cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something
  • Leo: Cynosure - centre of attraction or attention; Sumptuous - extremely costly, rich, luxurious or magnificent; Regnant - exercising rule, reigning
  • Virgo: Obviate - to anticipate and prevent; Jog trot - the trot of a horse, or a routine habit / course of action; Paronomasia - a play on words, a pun
  • Libra: Soigne - dressed with great care and elegance; Osculate - to kiss or touch gently for a moment; Duende - the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm
  • Scorpio: Palpate - to examine by touch, especially medically; Inhere - to be inherent, to be a fixed element or attribute; Recondite - an obscure or abstruse subject
  • Sagittarius: Apodictic - expressing or of the nature of absolute truth or certainty; Nimiety - excess; Bissextile year - a leap year in the Gregorian calendar
  • Capricorn: Excoriate - to wear the skin off, or to censure scathingly; Hierophant - an important Greek priest, someone who explains; Peculation - embezzlement
  • Aquarius: Vaporware - a computer-related product that has been widely advertised but never produced; Perspicacious - having a ready insight and understanding; Unco - remarkable
  • Pisces: Fraxinella - a flower that emits an aromatic flammable vapor in hot weather; Maladroit - inept, unskilled, or unsuited to the present work; Clement - merciful, lenient