the Austrian School

Neoliberalism has changed much since the 1950s, when ordoliberalism began to influence German policies, and results in the German Miracle. In the same Wikipedia page, Austria is also considered:

“Austria was also included in the Marshall Plan and can thus be included in any consideration of the Wirtschaftswunder. Through the nationalisation of some industries (VOESTAMAG) and yet more long working hours[clarification needed], full economic capacity was reached. Using West Germany as a guide, the currency was stabilised when the Schilling was reintroduced in place of the Reichsmark. This economic policy was known in journalistic circles as the Raab-Kamitz-Kurs, named after Chancellor Julius Raab and his Finance Minister Reinhard Kamitz similar to the West German Adenauer-Erhard-Kurs.

In the 1950s the first Gastarbeiter from Southern Italy and Greece arrived in the country, as more manual labour was required to maintain the economic upswing.”

  Since the 1970s we have seen a drastic rise in the manipulation of markets, as oligopoly has accompanied the rise of the neoliberal state, not to mention the EU, which has emerged as a major manipulator of markets under the European Central Bank, the most authoritarian and dictatorial bank in the world. This authoritarianism showed a particularly brutal face when dealing with Greece, no doubt  pour encourager les autres.

The Euro is now caught in a double-bind. With Syriza caving in to the EU demands, the EU now has to rescue the Greek euro. What a sweet irony this is.

What happened to Greece has spurred me on to find out more about the Austrian School.

The same period has also seen a series of recessions that have put the 1930s into the shade. This time there is no new deal of the sort Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced in 1933. On the contrary, poverty in the USA just grows, and since the EU became the European Empire after the introduction of the euro in 1999 and the Lisbon Treaty of 2007, the same developments are taking place in Europe. Europe does as the USA does and is falling into the same trap, but with the added problem of the Euro, a currency that doe not work.

The last recession – the subprime mortgage crisis – has barely had time to enable recovery and quantitative easing was tried but failed dismally. We now face an even bigger slump, just 7 years after the last slump which was the biggest since the Great Depression of 1929! Communism has no answers either, China’s economy is tottering on the edge of a gigantic crash.

Ordoliberalism is still active through its once yearly issue of the journal Ordo. So the spark is being kept alive. But there is also the Austrian School at This for the while, is the main opponent of neoliberalism. It is the only school that even attempts to understand the failure of neoliberalism. This shift of interest is also reflected in the work of David Stockman. Neoliberals just carry on as before, apparently oblivious of the suffering of the poor, while wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the top 0.1%, bale-outs for the rich in a self-granted largesse that is almost incomprehensible in its grandiose scale. If neoliberalism is mentally dead and ordoliberalism is subdued at best, then where can we turn for answers? It seems that the Austrian School is all that is left, the only sensible view which at least tries to understand what is going on.

I have already drawn on this little-known school of thought. The blog Acting Man is one valuable source of analysis. The main source of the Austrian School is the work of its founder Ludwig von Mises, and the Mises Institute he founded in Vienna: Mises University is now the main medium of teaching Austrian economics today. Mises was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Dual Monarchy) in Lemberg, Galicia what is now Lviv in Ukraine. Ludwig von Mises was jewish and fled to America in 1940. Lviv had a very old Jewish community in Lemberg founded in 1256 with some 97 synagogues. There are now two separate Jewish Quarters one inside the town wall and one outside, but antisemitism is on the rise once more.

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