Category Archives: Austrian Economics

Austrian Economics

Alvin Rabushka: Economic Freedom

ECAEF Alvin Rabushka: Economic Freedom
ECAEF Alvin Rabushka: Economic Freedom

In his blog “Thoughtful Ideas” (Commentary on Current Political, Economic, and Social Developments in the United States and Around the World) author Alvin Rabushka recently published his thoughts on Economic Freedom …

Alvin Rabushka*

Economic Freedom, Part 1

In October 1986, with support from the Liberty Fund in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Fraser Institute convened the first of four conferences in Napa Valley, California. The Fraser Institute published the proceedings in 1988, Economic Freedom, Democracy and Welfare. Edited by Michael A. Walker, Director of The Fraser Institute, and co-chaired with Milton and Rose Friedman, the conference was organized as a counterpart to do for economic freedom what Freedom House did for political freedom: to calculate the amount of economic freedom that exists in various nations of the world.

Its origins can be traced to a conversation in 1994 at the Mont Pelerin Meeting in Cambridge, England, between Michael Walker and Milton Friedman, whose book Capitalism and Freedom had been extant since 1962. However, there had been no serious attempt to explore the relationship between economic and political freedom in a scholarly way. That conversation led to the idea of broadening the analysis to also include civil freedoms, which can often be more important than political freedoms …

Read the all three parts of Alvin Rabushka’s blog on Economic Freedom ->

Blog “Thoughtful Ideas”: Economic Freedom, part 1
Economic Freedom, part 2
Economic Freedom, part 3


*Alvin Rabushka is an American political scientist. He is a David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He is best known for his work on taxation and transition economies. Together with Robert Hall, he wrote a detailed Flat Tax plan known as the Hall–Rabushka flat tax.

Steve Hanke ECAEF Gottfried von Haberler Professor

Gary Stanley BeckerThe Board of the ‘European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation’ is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof. Dr. Steve H. Hanke* as the “ECAEF Gottfried von Haberler Professor”. Steve Hanke indicated that he is honored by the fact that the professorship is named after the late Gottfried von Haberler, one of his mentors and a leading scholar in the academic tradition of the Austrian School of Economics. Hanke believes that the European Center of Austrian Economics (ECAEF) and the Liechtenstein Academy Foundation (LAF) are among the most suitable institutions to disseminate the ideas of the Austrian School to both specialists and the general public.


*Steve H. Hanke  (/ˈhæŋki/) is an American applied economist at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a Senior Fellow and Director of the Troubled Currencies Project at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, DC, and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise in Baltimore.

Timothy Garton Ash: Is a Spectre still haunting Central Europe? – Interview und Vortrag

Karl-Peter Schwarz im Interview mit dem Britischen Historiker Timothy Garton Ash. Aufgenommen im Zuge der 14. Gottfried-von-Haberler Konferenz 2018 in Vaduz (FL)*

Englische Zusammenfassung seines Vortrags “Is a Spectre still haunting Central Europe?”

In central Europe we are witnessing a dramatic reaction against nearly 30 years of transformation, liberalisation, Europeanisation and globalisation. Populist parties in Hungary and Poland appeal to traditional notions of national community and sovereignty, yet also have economic policies more usually seen on the left. Some of their electorate comes from the left. They also claim to speak for democracy against liberalism.

What went wrong? How far does what is happening in central European politics now (including the Alternative für Deutschland) reflect unresolved traumas of four decades of Soviet communist rule? How far of an insufficiently addressed past, and how far of the cost of transformation? Was there any better way to dismantle the Marxist-Leninist legacy? Has the impact of the European Union amounted to ‘undemocratic liberalism’, as some critics suggest?

Drawing on four decades of writing about central Europe, Timothy Garton Ash will reflect on these and other questions.


*Timothy Garton Ash held his talk at the 14th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference which took place on May 25, 2018 in Vaduz, at University of Liechtenstein. Topic: “Karl Marx: Born 1818 and Still Going Strong?” – German: “Karl Marx: Mythos und Realität”. The event was organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.”

Hardy Bouillon: Freiheit durch Sozialismus? – Interview und Vortrag

Karl-Peter Schwarz im Interview mit Wirtschaftsphilosoph und Unternehmensberater Hardy Bouillon. Aufgenommen im Zuge der 14. Gottfried-von-Haberler Konferenz 2018 in Vaduz (FL)*

 Zusammenfassung des Konferenz-Vortrags von Hardy Bouillon
“Freiheit durch Sozialismus? Der Mythos Karl Marx”

Wenn es um das Verhältnis von Freiheit und Sozialismus geht, dann ranken sich zwei Mythen um Karl Marx. Beide behaupten, dass die wahre Freiheit nur durch den Sozialismus respektive Kommunismus errungen werde. Der erste der beiden Mythen ist rasch entzaubert, weil Marx die Freiheit in einer Weise umdefiniert hat, die sie problemlos im Einklang mit dem Sozialismus stehen lässt.
Der zweite Mythos ist weitaus schwerer zu entlarven und gründet in der unkritischen Reflexion von Marxens These, die kapitalistische Produktionsweise sei ausbeuterisch und ein Verstoß gegen die kommutative Gerechtigkeit, weil sie eine Verletzung von Freiheit und Eigentum des Arbeiters impliziere. Die Entzauberung des zweiten Mythos wird aus mindestens zwei Gründen erschwert; zum einen durch das alltagssprachliche und atavistisch geprägte Verständnis von Ausbeutung und zum anderen durch eine besondere Form der Theorie sozialer Gerechtigkeit, die der kapitalistischen Produktionsweise einen Verstoß gegen die kommutative Gerechtigkeit unterstellt, der dem ähnelt, der von Marx vorgebracht wurde.

Video-Mitschnitt des gesamten Vortrags: 

English Summary | Regarding the relation of freedom and socialism, two myths surround Karl Marx. Both claim that real freedom can only be achieved via socialism or communism. The first myth can easily be dispelled because Marx redefined freedom in a way that is compatible with socialism.
The second myth is more difficult to explode and grounds in the uncritical adoption of the Marxian thesis that the capitalist mode of production is exploitative and, implying a lesion of freedom and property of the workers, a violation of commutative justice. Exposing this Marxian thesis as a myth is difficult for at least two reasons. One reason rests on the atavistic understanding of exploitation in our everyday language, another on a distinct variant of the theory of social justice claiming, in a way very akin to Marx, the capitalist mode of production to violate commutative justice.


*Hardy Bouillon held his talk at the 14th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference which took place on May 25, 2018 in Vaduz, at University of Liechtenstein. Conference Topic: “Karl Marx: Born 1818 and Still Going Strong?” – German: “Karl Marx: Mythos und Realität”. The event was organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.”

Pedro Schwartz: The Communist Manifesto and the Lure of Scientific Socialism – Interview and Talk

Interview with Spanish politician and economist Pedro Schwartz*. Recorded at the 14th Gottfried-von-Haberler Conference 2018 in Vaduz (FL)

 Summary of Pedro Schwartz’ talk:
“The Communist Manifesto and the Lure of Scientific Socialism”

The Communist Manifesto (1848) was an explosive pamphlet written by Karl Marx with the help of Friedrich Engels, where he predicted the inevitable of downfall of capitalism and the coming dawn of communism. The seduction of this powerful piece of rhetoric lay in the combination of three elements: the assertion that its arguments were scientific, the tone of moral indignation, and the rousing call to arms for a social revolution. Of course, he failed in his prediction of the immiseration of the working classes, and the inevitable march of the free market towards all-embracing monopoly. But the mistakes with the crueller outcomes were another two: that capitalist growth was based on the primitive accumulation of value extracted from the working class; and that scientific and technical progress was not brought about by free competition but was an automatic result of material conditions. Here were implicit an excuse for oppression and a hatred of individual freedom.


*Pedro Schwartz held his talk at the 14th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference which took place on May 25, 2018 in Vaduz, at University of Liechtenstein. Conference topic: “Karl Marx: Born 1818 and Still Going Strong?” – German: “Karl Marx: Mythos und Realität”. The event was organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.”