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Mises’s legacy 40 years later . How has his work influenced me.

October 5, 2013 in Economics

By Walter Block

Mises’s legacy 40 years later . How has his work influenced me. By Walter E. Block

First, let me start out with a bit of braggadocio. I must be one of the few people, still living, who has actually shaken hands with Ludwig von Mises (and never washed his hand afterward; so, if you shake hands with me, you come off a bit smelly, but you can directly channel Mises himself through my intermediation).

Now, to business. There is hardly ever a book or an article ever I write about economics, or politics for that matter that does not benefit from, and cite Mises. This is important, because there are all too many economists, even including those who characterize themselves as Austrians (better yet, coordination economists, or market process economists) and whose work is highly dependent upon his, who nevertheless write as if “You Know Who” never published. In this regard I am highly grateful to the Mises Institute in Auburn Alabama, and to all those in other countries such as Mises Canada, who keep his name alive. Mises was to economics what Mozart was to music. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.

At my school, Loyola University New Orleans, I have started up a regular meeting,, called the Human Action Seminar. I try as best I can, to my feeble abilities, to replicate Mises’ seminar in Austrian, and the one at New York University (where I met him.) I regard Mises as the best economist who ever wrote, period, and not just the best in one century or another. Mises had a long productive life, and I try to emulate him as best I can in both regards.

I am a heavily published author in economics and political philosophy. I have a long paper trail. Most of it is filled with praise for Ludwig von Mises. Yet, I am also proud to say that I have also, on rare occasion, attempted to correct my betters, Mises in this case, and have published critiques of his works. For example:

Barnett and Block, 2004, 2005, 2005-2006, 2007, 2012; Block, 1977; Block, Klein and Hansen, 2007

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2004. “On the Optimum Quantity of Money,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 39-52;

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2005. “Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of) Exchange Good?” Review of …read more