MISES POSITION IN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY?
(reposted from elsewhere) (I think this will blow your mind a little bit.)
Mises Human Action as Cosmopolitan Stoicism.
He was almost right. If Rothbard and the Rothbardians had not damaged his legacy so severely, he would not be ostracized by the main stream intellectual community. At present any mention of his name associates a public intellectual, an economist, or philosopher, with the pseudoscientific lunatic fringe.
Praxeology is a failed attempt at Operationalism, sure – but no one ELSE came close to developing economic operationalism but Mises. I only did it because I have the luxury of a century of additional development in computability (especially Turing), and because it’s clear now that the analytic program (attempt to convert philosophy into a science) has been a failure, and that the success in reforming both science and psychology has almost entirely been because of Operationalism.
Had Mises joined with Brouwer and Bridgman, the three of them might have saved us from a century of pseudoscience. But without a philosopher of ethics to unify them, Popper in the philosophy of science, Mises in Economics, Brouwer in mathematics, and Bridgman in physics all failed to come to the correct conclusion: that they were not in fact articulating logical constraints – because there is no logical constraint to theory-development. The logical constraint is only in the statement of promise (that you are telling the truth) that such a theory can be expressed existentially, as a sequence of operations (actions) or operational measures of observations. And as such, one’s theory, in any discipline, is free of content that was added by error, imagination, or deception. Man can testify to observation in the execution of recipes – all else is imagination. As such the practice of the sciences (or rather, the practice of *disciplined testimony* which the sciences developed, but which consists of nothing unique to the physical sciences) is a moral one, with ethical constraints.
As such, praxeology, mathematical intuitionism, operationalism, operationism, Popper’s critical preference, and the scientific method, as well as the discipline of science as currently practiced, are moral constraints, not logical ones. One can intuit a theory by whatever means possible. One can believe whatever he wishes to justify. But one’s promise of testimony to the actions that did or may produce consequences is a moral one, not a logical one.
As far as I know, the only meaningful reason to study economics for use in ethics and politics, is to justify the rule of law (Nomocracy), under the single rule of property rights, where property rights is as defined under Propertarianism, as property-en-toto (demonstrated property). And where that body of law suppresses sufficient involuntary transfer of property-en-toto, that the formation of a Nomocratic polity is possible. And where the formation and perpetuation of that polity is possible, because transaction costs are sufficiently suppressed that a rational choice for Nomocracy is possible, over a rational choice for statism. And that the normative preference of nomocratic rule over statist rule is maintained by the constant exercise of that body of law in daily life, rather than a phillosophical-rational, religio-moral, pedagogically-instructional, or normatively-habituated means of persistence.
If we look at his human action as an attempt to develop an economic version of stoicism – a mental discipline – I think it is probably a better frame of reference for his work than as economics or analytic philosophy.
As such I see him as creating a Cosmopolitan version of stoicism (economic/intellectual character) rather than western (Aryan if you will) stoicism (political/craftsmanship character).
Both forms of stoicism are early attempts at operationalizing philosophy for disciplinary action as an individual member of a complex division of labor in which we possess fragmentary information.
Since I quote him endlessly for his analysis of money and fiduciary media, which again, he (“a sequence of human actions” = “operational observations”) correctly uses operational analysis to isolate and articulate the causal rather than normative properties – I am clearly an advocate. But I am not an advocate of the misuse of Mises’ errors – his failed attempt to develop economic operationalism – to justify Rothbardian libertinism – an outright assault on the production of both high trust, and the commons – both of which are the primary competitive advantages constituent in the western indo-european (Aryan if you will) evolutionary strategy.
I walk by Mises’ childhood home every day. It has tempered my criticism. I see him making natural errors of Cosmopolitanism – as Hayek said “a victim of his upbringing”. Just as the Germans have made endless errors in conflating religion and philosophy to preserve their hierarchy and duty as a group competitive strategy. Just as British (Anglo/Irish/Scots if not the Belgae) have fought to preserve their island universalism despite the necessary suicide that results from universalism outside of their island (or the american island, or the Australian island.)
I will venture this post is one of the more important things that has been written about Mises in recent history, and my arguments, if not my criticisms will assist us in RESCUING Mises from the lunatic fringe, and RESCUING his work for use in intellectual discourse – as the first attempt at saving Economics through operationalism, the way that science and psychology (if not also mathematics and logic) have been saved by operationalism.
**I see myself as rescuing ALL of the Misesian/Hoppeian program from the fruitcake fringe: by laundering German, Jewish and British enlightenment fallacies – the attempt to universalize local evolutionary strategy – rather than simply adopt scientific epistemology (operationalism) as the only neutral tool for the use of studying group evolutionary strategies.**
Although it is, I am sure, somewhat difficult for those religiously devoted to immoral, libertine, Rothbardianism to either understand or accept.
I am quite sure I do not err in this analysis. A statement which I am aware further taunts libertines. But which my fellow aristocrats (libertarians-proper) both understand and expect from me as a promise. Because the anglo-empirical model of truth telling, quite opposite from the cosmopolitan, is that truth is the name for testimony. And as such I testify that to the best of my knowledge my statement is true. And that I bear the reputational consequences of my promise that this statement is true. This is the polar opposite of the Popperian, Analytic, and Cosmopolitan version of true: that truth is the unknowable province of god alone, and as such we can only ‘do what we can’, and as such are unaccountable for our words.
This ethic, this definition of truth, as performative – as operational, is what Kant was searching for, but could not find. And it is why both Jewish and German philosophy are dead ends. And it is why english philosophy became lost through its influence by the germans and the cosmopolitans.
We lost a century of philosophy to cosmopolitan pseudoscience in economics, politics, ethics and logic. Germans lost centuries to pseudo-philosophical religio-moralism. Mises can be seen in context as the most successful – if still failed – attempt to rescue german and cosmopolitan thought from its religious constraints.
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute