FAQ

 

 

Why is it called the "Mises Seminar"?

The Mises Seminar is named in honour of Ludwig von Mises, perhaps the most gifted economist and philosopher of the 20th century. Mises, who correctly predicted the onset of the Great Depression of the 1930s as well as the failure of Soviet-style central planning, was a prolific author who spawned a global movement dedicated to carrying on his tradition. One of his students, F.A. Hayek, went on to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics. Another of his students, Murray Rothbard, extended Mises' ideas and founded what is now the modern libertarian movement. A living proponent of Mises' ideas is Congressman Ron Paul, who sparked the beginnings of an intellectual revolution while running for the office of President of the United States. Henry Hazlitt wrote about Mises, "His outstanding quality was moral courage, the ability to stand alone, and an almost fanatical intellectual honesty and candor that refused to deviate or compromise an inch."

 

What is 'Austrian Economics'?

A school of economic thought that derives its name from its Austrian founders and early supporters, including Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk and Ludwig von Mises. There have been plenty of other non-Austrian "Austrians" as well. Such writers and economists include Murray Rothbard, Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek and journalist Henry Hazlitt to name but a few. Last years special-guest speaker Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe elucidates below the differences that make this school of thought so enlightening,

Mises’s answer is that economics is the science of human action… It is this assessment of economics as an a priori science, a science whose propositions can be given a rigorous logical justification, which distinguishes Austrians, or more precisely Misesians, from all other current economic schools. All the others conceive of economics as an empirical science, as a science like physics, which develops hypotheses that require continual empirical testing.
 
All of these categories which we know to be the very heart of economics—values, ends, means, choice, preference, cost, profit and loss—are implied in the axiom of action. Like the axiom itself, they are not derived from observation. Rather, that one is able to interpret observations in terms of such categories requires that one already knows what it means to act. No one who is not an actor could ever understand them, as they are not "given," ready to be observed, but observational experience is cast in these terms as it is construed by an actor. And while they and their interrelations were not obviously implied in the action axiom, once it has been made explicit that they are implied, and how, one no longer has any difficulty recognizing them as being a priori true in the same sense as the axiom itself is.
 
For any attempt to disprove the validity of what Mises has reconstructed as implied in the very concept of action would have to be aimed at a goal, requiring means, excluding other courses of action, incurring costs, subjecting the actor to the possibility of achieving or not achieving the desired goal and so leading to a profit or a loss. Thus, it is manifestly impossible to ever dispute or falsify the validity of Mises's insights. In fact, a situation in which the categories of action would cease to have a real existence could itself never be observed or spoken of, since to make an observation and to speak are themselves actions.

Economic Science and the Austrian Method                          

What is 'Libertarianism'?

No-one makes clear what libertarianism is better than Stephan Kinsella. Although this passage by Murray Rothbard is hard to surpass:

Libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be a complete moral, or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory, that is, the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life… Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit except invade the person or property of another. What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.

Myth and Truth About Libertarianism                           

The above definition provides the big tent perspective and is essentially libertarianism in a nutshell. As long as you are attempting to apply the non-aggression principle there can be general agreement about most conclusions.

 

Where is the venue located?

The Mises Seminar venue in 2013 was at the 5-Star Emporium Hotel located at 1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. In 2012 the seminar was held at the Establishment Room, Sydney. In 2011 the event was held at the UUSC in Sydney. The venue for 2015 is yet to be decided.

 

Is there a dress code?

The dress code is smart casual.

 

What happened at previous seminars?

The first Australian Mises Seminar was held at 25 Bent Street, Sydney Nov 2011. The special keynote speaker was Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe. For more information on the 2011 seminar click here.

The second seminar was held at the Establishment Ballroom, Sydney Dec 2012. The special keynote speaker was Professor Walter Block. For more information on the 2012 seminar click here.

The third event was held at the 5 Star Emporium Hotel, Brisbane Dec 2013. The special keynote speaker was Jeffrey Tucker. For more information on the 2013 seminar click here.

Each event was an overwhelming success with approx. 400 individuals attending from around Australia and overseas.

 

How can I get in touch with other attendees?

You can apply to join the active Mises Seminar Facebook group which has over 550 members. The group serves as a platform for relevant discussion about Austrian economics, libertarian theory, local meetups, and preparations for upcoming events.