Mises Wire

Help Us Publish Professor Hülsmann’s New Book

I am excited to tell you about a new book project from our brilliant Senior Fellow, Jörg Guido Hülsmann.

I just finished the manuscript, and let me tell you: this is a remarkable work.

That is why I’m writing you—as part of a select group of Mises Institute Supporters and fans of Dr. Hülsmann’s work. We know you will want to be listed in the book as a Supporter!

I’ll introduce the book with some simple questions: Why are people mostly good? Why do they help each other? Why do they cooperate? Why are they charitable?

Guido’s new book answers these fundamental questions in a profound way. I know you will love it, and hope you will take a moment today to help us publish it right away!

This book is nothing short of a revelation.

You already know Guido Hülsmann’s great work on the cultural destruction caused by fiat banking, The Ethics of Money Production. And surely you remember his magnificent biography, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Both of these books were vitally important, and both hugely benefited the Mises Institute. Both put Guido on the map as a leading light of the modern Austrian school. And he’s a superstar at his university in France, not only producing his own research but also mentoring a steady flow of young Austrian PhD candidates.

That’s why we’re asking you to take a moment today to support this book.

Ludwig von Mises understood how we all benefit from a spontaneous system of social cooperation, which is really another term for economics. Now Dr. Hülsmann expands our understanding of the market economy with his original approach to understanding the phenomena of free giving throughout history.

This new book—Abundance, Generosity, and the State—is a treatise for lay audiences on how private charity intersects with political economy. It presents absolutely groundbreaking economic theory of how gifts operate in an economy, how charity relates to market exchange, and what happens when government interferes with this most natural and human impulse.

Until now, supposedly mainstream economists loved to criticize the gift economy as inefficient, creating “deadweight loss.” Gift recipients are supposedly worse off than if they had simply spent that money themselves. Holiday giving, for example, is a wasteful exercise in wealth destruction. The gift giver can’t maximize the recipient’s utility, so everyone is worse off. And we all feel pressure to buy birthday and holiday gifts as a gesture, regardless of whether the sweater or candle ends up in a junk closet.

But not so fast. Hülsmann tells a different story.

What is the error behind the idea of economic inefficiency in the gift economy? Simple. Most economists still accept the myth of interpersonal utility comparisons. They compare the cost to the buyer with the benefit of the receiver—but what they should be comparing is the cost to the buyer with the benefit to the buyer. And the real value of gifts is in acknowledging or aiding the recipient, and more broadly in establishing trust and reciprocity.

The gift itself is just one part of the overall ritual.

Statist economists can’t begin to understand how human society should operate—through markets, profits, and capital accumulation. This creates prosperity, which leads to generosity. But since they resent capitalism, these economists resent the idea of private charity—which doesn’t need government or politicians. Statist economists think only the state can provide a robust welfare system for the truly poor and indigent in society. We can’t rely on rich fat cats!

At the end of the day, most economists don’t truly believe in private property as the organizing principle for society. Neither do most politicians, to put it mildly. So why would they accept a private system of charity, which is simply part and parcel of doing what you want with your own property?

Abundance, Generosity, and the State sets the record straight on how and why benevolence works in a supposedly dog-eat-dog capitalist West. Will you help us publish it?

Gifts have been part of human civilization since the beginning of human history. Gifts build relationships and trust. Sacrifice, reciprocity, and goodwill are the building blocks of society. None of these things are severable from the market economy, and none are out of character for a capitalist economy.

In fact, only the unhampered capitalist economy allows full and unfettered charity to flourish in society. Dr. Hülsmann’s new book makes the case for private property, sound money, and private charity as the building blocks for a healthy society.

So many things in life—love, friendship, even sunshine—are gratuitous. We come into the world naked and utterly dependent on others. We are not automatons or grasping, maximizing, unfeeling market actors. We are not the homo economicus stereotype imagined by the haters of capitalism. We are innately social and cooperative creatures, and these qualities are the basis of all economic activity.

Dr. Guido Hülsmann’s new book brings this reality to light in a remarkable way which advances economic theory. Will you support this vitally important project?

A donation of $1,000 or more will place your name prominently on the contributions plate of the book as a Patron; $500 or more will list you as a Benefactor. You can also give anonymously; on behalf of a friend or family member; or for a departed loved one in memoriam.

As always, we strive to make the Mises Institute a stronghold of real education in economics and broader culture. We hope you will consider making a gift to support the great work of Dr. Hülsmann and to stand against the rising tide of statism and economic ignorance.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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