Thank You to the Mises Institute
by Redmond Weissenberger, James E. Miller, and Chris Horlacher
There are few in this world who dramatically change the way one views society and its functionality. Their work creates a dynamic shift in perspective which in turn leads to new attitudes about humanity and civilization. In sum, their message becomes life changing and forever alters the course others pursue in trying to incrementally better their lives. Men such as Thomas Paine and Karl Marx were able to convince a great number of listeners to embrace their philosophy on societal rule. John M. Keynes and Milton Friedman had a profound impact on the science of economics and the subsequent policies which emanated from various Western governments. Today, Lew Rockwell and the Ludwig von Mises Institute are instrumental in changing how not just how economics is viewed but human action in general. The work of Austrian scholars is slowly breathing life into the once-dismal science.
Ron Paul once remarked that he studied economics because he was curious about how the world worked. It is not a stretch to say that most who delve into the science of human exchange do so for the same reasons Paul gave. They are each seeking an explanation for why we all enjoy the luxuries of today and how a better future for tomorrow can be secured.
For us authors, it was the work of the Austrians that transformed the lens through which we view the society. From the explanation of the market process to the stressing of the beneficial nature of decentralized information, the Austrian School reintroduced us to the world. Only this time, we saw it occupied by beings that are living, breathing, thinking, and acting purposefully. And it’s all thanks to the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
The Mises Institute is a remarkable institution for a number of reasons. We believe we speak for most, if not all, readers when we say that it provides a kind of escape from the monotony that passes as informed opinion on public policy. By putting the writings of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Hoppe, Hazlitt, etc., out free of charge, the Institute offers a perspective that by no means has gotten a fair shake from the intellectual establishment. And that is because the message of free markets, peace, and absolute liberty runs in sharp contrast to the statist policies seen as conventional.
If there is needed proof of the animosity the intellectual and political establishment have toward the idea of a free society, look no further than the presidential campaign of Congressman Paul. By taking on central banking, American imperium, and the very moral basis of a strong, centralized government, he brought out the ire of all the entrenched interests that seek to keep the state around for their own benefit. He exposed the state for what it truly is: a “gang of thieves writ large” to borrow Murray Rothard’s famous and apt description. In turn, he influenced millions of minds and got them to think about liberty and sound economics like never before.
This is the power of freedom. It is an energy the Mises Institute is harnessing as thousands of curious individuals are being turned on to the idea of a truly free society everyday. Instead of shoving the knowledge down the world’s throat, Rockwell and company have simply made it freely available to anyone interested. Like the remnant Albert Jay Nock described in his essay “Isaiah’s Job,” thinkers from all walks of life have been drawn to the Institute to learn the correct means by which human life should be observed.
While an education in sound economics is what the Ludwig von Mises Institute excels at providing, it also offers another lesson often intermingled within the various lectures, articles, video lessons, and academic journals. This lesson is profound yet simple: what makes the state so egregious isn’t the various economic interventions it engages in to impoverish the many to the benefit of the few. It is the complete disregard politicians and bureaucrats have for the rights of the people who they claim to represent. Those who carry out the state’s bidding do so to the detriment of their own species. The defense of natural law and human freedom that runs so frequently throughout the work of Murray Rothbard is but another important insight the Institute offers in the enormous volume of work given the public. In some respects, it is the most important as it provides a moral spring for society from which liberty flowers.
So on this 30th anniversary, we give thanks to Lew Rockwell. Your work has opened a new way of thinking for millions. Most notably, those who wish to read the works of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and the various scholars to which you give voice to, do so because of a personal yearning. Through the kind of spontaneous order which Hayek himself wrote so eloquently about, those economists, writers, journalists, and thinkers who were faintly heard in their own time have finally gotten their due. And the big players in the corporatist states around the globe couldn’t be more upset.
H.L. Mencken once wrote,
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.
Thanks to the tireless work of Mr. Rockwell and the Mises Institute, the state must grapple with a whole new set of these dangerous men. Rather than be armed with tools of revolution like Molotov bottles and jerry-rigged explosives, they fight with the most powerful weapons of all: ideas and reason. As Mises once put it, “Both force and money are impotent against ideas.”
No matter how large the opposition, the forces of liberty will prevail in the end. It won’t be because their view of the world is fundamentally correct. Freedom wins because it’s just. And let there be no mistake about it; Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute reside on the side of justice.
Reprinted from Miller's Genuine Draft.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.