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The "Poisoned Spring" of Economic Libertarianism: Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard: A Critique from Catholic Social Teaching of the 'Austrian School' of Economics Paperback – May 13, 2011
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Angus Sibley's "The `Poisoned Spring' of Economic Libertarianism; Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard: A Critique from Catholic Social Teaching of the `Austrian School' of Economics" (Pax Romana/CMICA-USA, 2011) provides such a critique and analysis of our global political economy that led to the Great Recession of 2008/9, and its current aftermath. Sibley argues that the philosophical-theological perspective of Catholic social theory can and does bring much to the debate about the role of the state and the economy. His most important contribution, in this reader's estimation, is his critical review and analysis of the hyper-competitive, outrageous anti-statism and supra-individualistic ideology of the libertarian movement based in the Austrian School of Economics. Sibley methodologically articulates and deconstructs the philosophical underpinnings of notable economists from the Austrian School, namely, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich von Hayek.Read more ›
The contents of the book, however, does not refute any part of Mises' science of economics. To do so, the author would have to show that the logic used by Mises is faulty, or, that Mises' starting point, "Human action is purposeful behavior", is false. Rather than address these issues, the author creates numerous strawman arguments and then burns them in the fire of his indignation that the world is not the way he feels it should be.
For instance, page 100, "But the theory of subjective value is open to a more profound objection. Mises' attitude is clearly anthropocentric; it places the human rather than God at the center of the universe. Things created by God are said to have no value save in the estimation (market pricing) of us human beings. That smells of heresy, indeed of blasphemy, does it not?" Heresy and blasphemy? Really!?!?
Luckily for Mises, and those belonging to the Austrian School of Economics, the Roman Inquisition that tried Galileo in 1633 is long gone.
In the end, though, this book was worth the time and money I spent on it. It forced me to clarify my understanding of Austrian Economics so I could represent it honestly in a group discussion centered on this book. It turned out though, that the group was more interested in hearing about "Human Action" than in what this book had to say.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Without having actually read the book and just pulling from the description offered by Amazon I already do not like this book. I do still want to read it though. Read morePublished 11 months ago by A. C. Ewers
I could only get through the first two chapters before I realized that the 'drivel' descriptor is accurate. Read morePublished on February 17, 2013 by DrTom
Finally we are seeing an orthodox Catholic response to the errors and downright sophistry of the "Austrian School. Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by Thorin