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Ludwig von Mises Institute

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Von Mises' family crest. The Institute's choice to proudly use the logo of a feudal estate indicates that they really don't get it.
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Major Concepts
The Worldly Philosophers
Central banking is monetary central planning. The United States and, indeed, virtually the entire world operate under a regime of monetary socialism.
—Richard Ebeling, former Mises Professor of Economics at Hillsdale College[1]

The Ludwig von Mises Institute is an American think tank (tax-exempt!) specializing in Austrian school economics and political philosophy. It was established in 1982 with the approval of Margit von Mises, the widow of the Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises. They have published many journals on political economy, economics, and philosophy, working from multiple angles to combine racism with wealth worship and empirical science denial.

Econ majors will be pleased to know that LvMI offers fellowships, plus awards to those who have made (in their opinion) exceptional contributions in the field of economics. They offer an array of summer camp-style "seminars" where the future leaders of tomorrow can learn how to get laughed out of the boardroom take advantage of other suckers by saying "prax" a lot.

Hail Hydra[edit]

How do you get southerners, who have a long-standing rebellious streak, few wealthy areas, and strong opposition to banking and trading floors, to help deregulate Wall Street? These things are not in their best interests. To that end, the Mises Institute was physically attached to Auburn University in Alabama, which probably isn't an accident. Nor is it a coincidence that one of their senior scholars, Gary North, married R.J. Rushdoony's daughter (Rushdoony is the founder of "Christian Reconstructionism", which seeks to take the finer points of Calvinism and insert those into Southern Baptism).[2] Nor is it a coincidence that the white-secessionist League of the South is located right up the road, or that they cross-recruit.[3] Add to that the fact that they're pandering to Neo-Confederates on purpose (especially DiLorenzo), and we begin to understand the type of propaganda they're pushing. Get the church to re-enforce that message, and bam, you've got the Republican South for the first time ever.

You know that cast of white nationalist characters who swirl around Trump? Check out how many familiar names are visiting Triple H in Turkey.[4] These men have a satellite organization (the Property and Freedom Society) they run out of Europe to promote the cause of monarchism abroad.

Political positions[edit]

The Institute leans toward anarcho-capitalism and tends to view more soft-line libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute as compromising Beltway insiders. They believe we were better off under monarchy, 'cos no democracy and the king privately owns everything so way moar serfdom freedom. Even a constitutional monarchy is a step in the wrong direction. If you disagree then you're just not rational enough to hang with the Austrians.[5]

The Institute supports a non-interventionist foreign policy. That includes a retrospective opposition to America's involvement in World War II, harkening back to the paleocon philosophy which really took off around that time. They walk a fine line of expressing overt sympathy with the Axis powers:[6] Austrian praxers hate Hitler for his public works and monetary policies. To them that is the defining characteristic of Nazism. Everything apart from the whole 'racism, mass-murder and invading other countries' stuff,[7] never mind that the term privatization was coined to describe their economy. That way, they can say that literally everyone is Hitler[8] except people very similar in thinking to Hitler who lean libertarian on economics, such as that great American David Duke.[9]

Between your Pinochet-whitewashing,[10] DUI-defending,[11] rape-apologizing,[12] child market-advocating,[13] cryptoracism just open racism,[14][15] homophobia,[16] anti-environmentalism[17] and every insane wingnuttery in-between, they cover almost every Ayncrap trope... ALMOST: they don't like Bitcoin. You should buy gold![18] Burton Blumert, a chairman of the Institute, owned one of the biggest bullion companies at the time (hence the obsession with gold).[19]

Surprisingly, the Institute has played host to left-libertarians now and again either through lectures or online articles. A notable example of this is Roderick T. Long, who is a well-known proponent of left-libertarian market anarchism and who serves as the Institute's senior scholar. But given how the Institute treats "leftists" with unmitigated scorn, left-libertarians who associate with the Mises Institute typically try not to lay it on thick with their left-wing viewpoints, especially in regards to the market. They sometimes cherry pick parts of their left-leaning philosophies that are deemed acceptable by the Institute and right-libertarianism in general to stay in the good graces of people occupying both. Or they don't cover things like economics at all in favor of other subjects.

Conspiracy theories, pseudohistory, and pseudoscience[edit]

Pearl Harbor and 9/11[edit]

The Institute seems to be sympathetic to the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory as well as 9/11 conspiracy theories, going so far as to give a rather favorable review to David Ray Griffin's book The New Pearl Harbor.[20]

Climate change[edit]

The Institute swallows the old canard that climate change is a money-making scheme perpetrated by scientists to get grant money.[21][22][23][24]

Smarter than Einstein[edit]

Lew Rockwell and LvMI have published an article claiming that Special Relativity is wrong and General Relativity is unnecessary.[25][26] Putting aside the fact that relativity is an accurate and highly successful scientific theory with plenty of empirical evidence behind it, anyone who is well-versed in even the most introductory levels of relativity will know that this claim is contradictory: special relativity is a special case of general relativity[27][28]; as in, general relativity reduces to special relativity when it is applied to flat spacetime (e.g. when there are no extremely massive objects in the vicinity). Thus, special relativity cannot be wrong at the same time that general relativity is correct.

Typhoid Mises[edit]

The Institute web site supports the old and groundless accusation that the MMR vaccine causes autism.[29]

Lewser has also published an article claiming that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.[24]

Blood for the Blood God![edit]

Walter Block, misinterpreting the shocked silence of the audience as a lack of a counterargument. (Why does everything in Libertarian Fantasy Land reduce to selling your children?)

The Institute defends a competitive market for human organs, including from living people.[30] This unhinged idea is more accepted than it might appear nonetheless. Prominent economists like the Nobel prize winners Alvin Roth[31] and Gary Becker[32] supported a mitigated version of this too.

Also, parents mustn't be required to feed or clothe their babies. Everyone should have the right to abandon their babies to death, especially if the babies are deformed. If you disagree with that, your best hope is to convince the parents to sell the babies in the free baby market.[33] If you were disappointed that A Modest Proposal was satire, you might be a libertarian.

The Institute promotes the books Defending the Undefendable I and II,[34][35] from Walter Edward Block. The books defend blackmail, slander, libel, hate speech, the death penalty, and (of course) child porn. These are only "defendable" insofar as he can rely on tricky definitions of NAP to make them O.K. Charity, on the other hand, is condemned as being "undeniably harmful". The reason for opposing charity is their idea that charity disrupts the survival of the fittest, thus obstructing the evolution of the human species. Remember that the Institute already promulgates the position that the State has no right to invest in education, orphanages, day care, health care or social security. And on top of that, they actively discourage voluntary charity.[36] The book has a foreword by Rothbard and an enthusiastic preface by Hayek.

White supremacy[edit]

The head of the Institute, Lew Rockwell, wrote some rather interesting things about black people in the wake of the L.A. riots.[37] In addition, it has a rather interesting interpretation of the American Civil War, viewing President Abraham Lincoln as the statist villain who sought to drastically expand the power of central government at the expense of states' rights, rather than keep the Union intact in the face of a secession motivated by slave ownership. On that last, they feel that compensation for slave owners (as some had proposed back then) would have been better, preserving "states' rights" and averting war, though Murray Rothbard has quipped that it was more the slaves who deserved compensation than their owners, at least. They also ignore that in fact Lincoln backed a constitutional amendment that would have preserved slavery in the South if they didn't secede, but they wouldn't agree. Some also point to various banking conspiracy theories as causes of the conflict. Ironically Lincoln himself feared the rising power of banks and industrial capitalism (as Thomas Jefferson did) while conspiracy theories of his own assassination often name international bankers as suspects. The Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned Rockwell and Rothbard's racially-tinged rhetoric and endorsement of questionable candidates.[38][39]

Mises himself sidestepped the issue of whether some races are superior to others by stating that even if that is the case, the law of comparative advantage (referred to by Mises as "Ricardo's law of association") still enables members of different races to cooperate in mutually beneficial ways: "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 co-operation brings them the advantage of higher productivity in the total labour process."[40] Mises believed that due to that economic law, there need not be irreconcilable conflict between the races, or enslavement of any race by another, although he also noted, "It is nonsensical to fight the racial hypothesis by negating obvious facts. It is vain to deny that up to now certain races have contributed nothing or very little to the development of civilization and can, in this sense, be called inferior."[41]

Holocaust denier Lipton Matthews who writes for several white nationalist magazines has written articles and contributed podcasts for the Institute.[42]

Greatest hits[edit]

They dare defend their rights parking. Too bad it isn't a worthwhile cut-through.

With its zealous defense of everything free market, the von Mises Institute frequently lapses into bouts of self-parody. For salient and highly comical examples, see:


  • Walter Block (Senior Fellow): Ah yes, the man who says that poor people should basically die for the good of the species while "pimps, drug dealers, blackmailers, corrupt policemen, and loan sharks" are somehow free speech heroes.[34] Block defends a lot of other crazy shit, like letting wealthy pedophiles rape your kids,[note 1] and the "race realism" which is all the rage in recent years.[note 2] But those don't show up in his book, which was written when he was still only interested in economics.[43] Most ancaps seem to be social conservatives, but they love them some Block even though he is the most disgusting person in libertarianism today or possibly ever. At the same time, his arguments are consistent with libertarianism: extreme devotion to property and applying market logic to everything.
  • Thomas DiLorenzo (Senior faculty member and Lost Causer-in-chief):[44] Well, you know, slavery wasn't really that bad. I mean, it's not like it compares to real oppression, like paying taxes.
  • Prince Hans-Adam II (Honorary member): They're still in touch with the Austrian royal family (the Von Habsburgs) and the prince of Liechtenstein. In 2005, it was revealed that the Prince once owned Jews who were provided by the SS via the Strasshof concentration camp. The slaves were put to work on estates owned by Liechtenstein's Princely House.[45]
  • Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Distinguished Senior Fellow, founder of eugenist conference the intellectual society PFS): Einstein was wrong; HHH praxxed it out, yo.[46]
  • Gary North (Contributor): The son-in-law of R.J. Rushdoony, and one of the most explicit Talibanists in the US at present. Winner of the Murray N. Rothbard Medal of Freedom
  • Ron Paul (Senior Fellow): Ron Paul and just about everyone who he's associated with wants to abolish the Civil Rights Act and return to Jim Crow. He purposely cultivated an audience of Birchers and Lost Causers, along with far-right figures like Gary North. Though many were disenchanted and deceived by the soundbites of his presidential campaigns.
  • Jaroslav Romanchuk (President of the Scientific Research Mises Center): Mises Global also set up an institute in Minsk (in that awful dictatorship of Belarus); Romanchuk runs that branch. Among other things, Romanchuk translated Atlas Shrugged into Russian and was mentor to one Andrei Illarionov, Putin's former chief economic advisor, who is currently on the Koch Bros. payroll in DC.
  • Lew Rockwell (Chairman): Criminals should RIDE THE LIGHTNING but we need to raise our BAC standards because we drive better when we're a little buzzed. He also argues that if you aren't an anarcho-capitalist, you differ from Hitler only in the details. (Also a quote-mining douchebag: Sounds to us like Paul Samuelson is blaming laissez-faire economics for the rise of Hitler, not subtly praising the Nazis, as Lew Rockwell claims.)[47]
  • Murray Rothbard: Mises' heir. Praised David Duke, Joseph McCarthy, and worked with Pat Buchanan in order to "break the clock of social democracy". Wow, after the whole "it's O.K. to starve your kids"[48] thing we didn't think this guy could get more evil, but he found a way.
  • Lysander Spooner: 19th-century anarchist and one of Rothbard's heroes. Lew Rockwell and others celebrate Spooner's defense of confederacy and secession, but leave out the, uh, vital parts of his philosophy.[49] The only thing we can conclude here is that Rockwell is mental. He knows his reservations about the Molestation Party Libertarian Party are baked into its philosophy, but he keeps reprinting articles by Spooner and Block.

Mises Wiki[edit]

This is much like how, in a communist society, the dictator or electorate can decree that any business be closed so that resources can be devoted elsewhere; the person who took the initiative in founding and operating the business has no greater say than anyone else, despite his greater familiarity with the subject matter.
—The Mises Wiki having interesting ideas about Wikipedia[50]

The Mises Wiki is a wiki, owned and operated by the Institute, whose stated purpose is to write and maintain an up-to-date encyclopedia covering economic and political topics from an Austrian school point of view. One of its co-founders[51] writes, "I want the good features of Wikipedia with a certain POV, without devolving into the raving madness of Conservapedia or, Mises forbid, RationalWiki. ;)"[52] Mises Wiki is the successor to the Austrian Economics Wiki, which was hosted on Wikia.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. This guy spends an awful lot of time thinking up moral justifications for pedophilia. Block is the "economist" who, on Seder's podcast, when the topic of "arbitrary" laws came up, his very first example was age of consent laws. (i.e. imagining "a starvation situation" where it would preferable to just let Walter bang your kid rather than letting your whole family starve.) Ancaps, this is your brain trust.
  2. A review of Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance by Walter E. Block. A criticism of Wade here, he's just not racist enough: "From the libertarian (Rothbard 1982) perspective, since racism does not necessarily violate the non-aggression principle (NAP) of this philosophy, it should be legalized. Williams and Sowell support discriminatory behavior as a right, and deny that it has any serious deleterious effects on its targets."


  1. Leonard, Andrew, "A new powerhouse for ridiculous GOP economics"
  2. Peron, Jim, "Von Mises Washed in the Blood of Jesus", First Published in Laissez Faire City Times, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1.14.01.
  3. "The Neo-Confederates", The Intelligence Report 9.15.00.
  4. Piggot, Stephen, "PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel to Address White Nationalist-Friendly “Property and Freedom Society” Conference in September", SPLC 6.9.16.
  5. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, Introduction to Democracy: The God That Failed, 12.4.01.
  6. Mises, On the Argument of FascismLiberalism (1927). Oh, the irony that the ideology he loves ends up killing his own people 12 years later.
  7. Reisman, George, "Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian", Mises Daily 11.11.05.
  8. Anderson, William L., "The Economics of Bernie Sanders", Mises Daily 9.1.13. Tl;dr Going off the gold standard and having any government at all is literally Hitler.
  9. Rothbard, Murray, "A Strategy For the Right", Mises 3.9.10. Rothbard: "[Duke] was not a libertarian, he was not an isolationist, he was not even a conservative, but in fact was a moderate Republican."
  10. Reisman, George, "General Augusto Pinochet is Dead", Mises 12.16.06.
  11. Rockwell Jr., Llywellyn H. "Legalize Drunk Driving", Mises 11.1.00.
  12. Andersen, William L., "When Accusations Are Proof", Mises' 2.6.14.
  13. Tucker, Jeffrey A., "The Trouble With Child Labor Laws", Mises Daily 2.11.08
  14. Rockwell Jr., Llywellyn H., "Open Borders are an Assault on Private Property", Mises Daily 11.16.15.
  15. Rockwell Jr., Llywellyn H., on Rodney King, L.A. Times 3.10.91. "The prospect of a jail sentence 12 months from now has virtually no effect."
  16. Freiling, Nicholas, "Public Accommodation and Social Engineering", Mises Daily 10.24.14.
  17. Reisman, Gregory, "Environmentalism Refuted", Mises 4.20.01.
  18. Shostack, Frank, "The Bitcoin Money Myth", Mises Daily 4.17.13.
  19. Baedeker, Rob, "The gold standard - A precious metal that's not just an investment but a worldview too", SFGate 2.25.08.
  20. Review of The New Pearl Harbor in The Mises Review.
  21. "I Was on the Global Warming Gravy Train", Mises Daily
  22. "25 Years Ago NY Times Got Global Warming Right". Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  23. David Deming (2009-06-29). "Global Warming Is a Fraud". Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Questioning HIV/AIDS, Human-Caused Global Warming, and Other Orthodoxies in the Biomedical Sciences". 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  25. Tom Bethell (2011-02-28). ""Relativity and the Priesthood of Science"". Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  29. "CDC, PHARMA, And Mainstream Media On The Same Team". 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  30. Danny Frederick (2010-11-07). "A Competitive Market in Human Organs".
  31. Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets
  32. Cash for kidneys will solve the organ shortage, save money spent on dialysis, and then we’ll wonder why it took so long
  33. Murray N. Rothbard. "Children and Rights". Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Block, Walter, Defending the Undefendable (2008). That book might be the prax to end all praxes.
  35. Thorton, Mark, "Walter Block is Still Defending the Undefendable", Mises Daily 12.30.13.
  36. Petersen, William H., "Capitalism: The Greatest Charity", Mises Daily 1.1.12.
  37. Ron Paul, the Gold Standard, and Neo-Confederates, The Aporetic
  38. SPLC on LvMI
  39. SPLC: The Neo-Confederates
  40. Ludwig von Socialism
  41. Mises, Ludwig von Human Action
  42. Lipton Matthews.
  43. Block, Walter, "Libertarianism vs Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz", '[Reason Papers, Summer 2003.
  44. DiLorenzo, Thomas, "The Very Model of a Modern Major Lincoln Cultist", Lew Rockwell 4.15.15. Wow, a president in 19th century had little formal education and an undiagnosed mental illness, shock horror.
  45. "Nazi crimes taint Liechtenstein", BBC (4/14/05 at 10:03 GMT).
  46. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, 287-288 (2nd edn., 2006), Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  47. Rockwell, Llewellyn H., "Hitler's Economics" Mises Daily 6.28.12.
  48. Rothbard, Murray, The Ethics of Liberty (1982).
  49. Spooner, Lysander, Vices Are Not Crimes (1875), reprinted on Mises Daily w/ foreword by Murray Rothbard, 12.24.09. This one "managed to escape the editor" of Spooner's Collected Works.
  50. "Neutrality or lack thereof" on Mises Wiki.
  51. User talk:Leucosticte
  52. Mises Wiki Co-Founders