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Anti-Semitism and the Early Austrian School

October 26, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

An important new working paper by Hansjoerg Klausinger, “Academic Anti-Semitism and the Austrian School: Vienna, 1918–1945.” Here’s the abstract:

The theme of academic anti-Semitism has been much discussed recently in histories of the interwar period of the University of Vienna, in particular its Faculty of Law and Policy Sciences. This paper complements these studies by focusing in this regard on the economics chairs at this faculty and, more generally, on the fate of the younger generation of the Austrian school of economics. After some introductory remarks the paper concentrates on three case studies: the neglect of Mises in all three appointments of economics chairs in the 1920s; the anti-Semitic overtones in the conflict between Hans Mayer and Othmar Spann, both professors for economics at the faculty; and on anti-Semitism as a determinant of success or failure in academia, and consequently of the emigration of Austrian economists. Finally, we have a short look at the development of economics at the University of Vienna during and after the Nazi regime.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Why Atheists Can’t Be Republicans

October 26, 2013 in Blogs

By CJ Werleman, Salon

The secular have no place in today's GOP.


We atheists like to chastise the religious for their child-like belief in an imaginary friend, but, equally, the time has come for the atheist movement to grow up.

It’s understood that the so-called new atheist movement began at the start of the new millennium with the mainstream emergence of luminaries Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others. For much of the first decade of the new century, the atheist movement behaved like a curious child in search of meaning to its own existence. Now that the child is a teenager on its way to adulthood, it needs to start acting like a grown up.

The atheist movement comprises more than 2,000 groups and organizations in the U.S. today, but the movement, in composition and purpose, has failed to establish a coherent cause outside of validating non-belief and offering platitudes towards protecting the separation of church and state. Another thing one notices with the atheist movement is the fact it is predominantly upwardly middle-class, white and male. Sikivu Hutchinson writes, in her essay “Prayer Warriors and Freethinkers”: “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”

The movement has an image problem. An image that isn’t helped by the ceaseless and over-simplified fear-mongering over Islamic terrorism from the likes of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins — rhetoric that not only ignores our long history of foreign policy blunders in the Middle East, but also echoes the neo-conservatives, the Israel lobby and the entire right-wing echo chamber. Nathan Lean, author of “The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims,” writes, “The New Atheists became the new Islamophobes, their invectives against Muslims resembling the rowdy, uneducated ramblings of backwoods racists rather than appraisals based on intellect, rationality and reason.”

It’s time for the movement to address bigger and real issues, and the biggest issue of our time is income inequality. Of all the developed nations, the U.S. has the most unequal …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How Independent Stores are Thriving — Even in the Age of Amazon

October 26, 2013 in Blogs

By Fran Korten, YES! Magazine

Despite behemoths like Starbucks and Amazon, the number of independent bookstores, coffeeshops, and other businesses is growing.


So we all know that the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon are killing Main Street businesses, right? It’s certainly partly true. Those retailing behemoths have devastated a lot of communities across the country, and they’re still growing.

But, there are some surprising bright spots on Main Street. I heard about them at the annual Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference, where more than 600 high-energy people strategized about the transition to a more localized, Main Street economy. Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) told me of independent retailers that are thriving.

One surprising comeback, Mitchell says, is independent bookstores. Yes, even in the age of e-books and Amazon, independents are growing: For the last four years, their numbers and total sales have grown, despite the recession. In 2009 there were 1,651 independent bookstores in the United States. Today there are more than 1,900.

Bookstores aren’t the only retail sector where independents are expanding. Local coffee shops have grown faster than Starbucks. Bakers and specialty food stores are thriving. Independent pharmacies and pet, fabric, and stationery stores are growing too.

How do they compete with the giants? One factor is the “buy local” ethic so evident at the BALLE conference and promoted by other groups such as the American Independent Business Alliance. ILSR reports that 2012 sales at independent businesses in cities with “buy local” campaigns grew 8.6 percent while those that did not have such campaigns grew 3.4 percent.

Independents are also capitalizing on their ability to win loyalty by hosting events, such as author talks at bookstores. And bookstore owners have learned to feature high margin items such as notecards, toys, and chocolate.

The public is realizing that buying from local independent stores supports the community and keeps more dollars circulating locally. I watched my local fabric store’s sales force march in our town’s 4th of July parade, showing the quilts they donate to injured vets. I was glad I had chosen to purchase my upholstery fabric …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Fallacy of the Republican 'Moderate'

October 26, 2013 in Blogs

By Corey Robin, Salon

A raft of news coverage points back to the good old days, when Republicans were reasonable. The history is way off.


In the New York Times this week, John G. Taft, who is the grandson of Robert Taft, makes his contribution to the growing “Oh, conservatives used to be so moderate, now they’re just radicals and crazies” literature.

Having written about and against this thesis of conservatism’s Golden Age so many times, I don’t think it’s useful for me to rehearse my critique here. Instead, I’ll focus on one important tidbit of Taft’s argument, in the hope that a little micro-history about his grandfather might serve to correct our macro-history of conservatism.

Here’s what Taft says:

This recent display of bomb-throwing obstructionism by Republicans in Congress evokes another painful, historically embarrassing chapter in the Republican Party — that of Senator Joseph McCarthy, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, whose anti-Communist crusade was allowed by Republican elders to expand unchecked, unnecessarily and unfairly tarnishing the reputations of thousands of people with “Red Scare” accusations of Communist affiliation. Finally Senator McCarthy was brought up short during the questioning of the United States Army’s chief counsel, Joseph N. Welch, who at one point demanded the senator’s attention, then said: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” He later added: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement. The Republican Party survived McCarthyism because, ultimately, its excesses caused it to burn out. And eventually party elders in the mold of my grandfather were able to realign the party with its brand promise: The Republican Party is (or should be) the Stewardship Party.

According to Taft, McCarthy’s “anti-Communist crusade was allowed by Republican elders to expand unchecked” and it was ultimately forces like his grandfather who put that crusade in check.

Let’s turn to the Wayback Machine, shall we?

First, it’s important to remember that in 1946, the year McCarthy was elected to the Senate, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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10 Jaw-dropping Absurdities Brought to You By the Right Wing

October 26, 2013 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

From lesbian cookies to nuking Iran, this ridiculousness will blow you away.


1.  Kevin Swanson is begging you not to buy those lesbian Girl Scout cookies

How, you might ask, can a cookie be lesbian? And which one is the most lesbian? Is it the famous chocolate covered Thin Mints, or those scrumptious Do-si-dos Peanut Butter Sandwiches?

Right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson is not buying sweets from his local Girl Scouts. And he doesn’t want you to, either. Because if you do, you are helping them to promote this oh-so-harmless-seeming, but secrety dastardly organization’s lesbian agenda and also its baby-killing agenda. Also, they’re commies.  

“I don’t want to support lesbianism, I don’t want to support Planned Parenthood and I don’t want to support abortion, and if that be the case I’m not buying Girl Scout cookies,” he neatly summed up on his radio show this week.

Where does he get these ideas about what is truly behind the Girl Scouts?  We don’t know. Perhaps they come from the little voices in his head, which are also telling him the Girl Scouts of the USA is “a wicked organization,” that doesn’t promote “godly womanhood.”

“The vision of the Girl Scouts of America is antithetical to a biblical vision for womanhood,” he said. “It’s antithetical to it.” Because Girl Scouts encourage girls to be independent, or dependent on other girls and women, which is very, very wicked indeed.

And nothing screams independent woman more than Do-si-do.

2. Men’s Righter, Paul Elam: It’s okay not to care about female rape victims

Men’s rights. What could be bad? Sounds so innocuous. Men should have rights. Everyone should have rights. Wait, who is taking away men’s rights? Why, feminists of course. And also rape victims. Whaaa…?

Men’s Rights Movement rockstar Paul Elam, famous for, among other statements, “while beautiful women may fear rape, fat, ugly ones might secretly covet it” shockingly defended his successor, John Hembling, for saying he didn’t “give a fuck about rape victims anymore,” in a video quoted by the Daily Beast. Meaning, of course, female rape victims, because he does give a fuck about male rape victims, as we …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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VIDEO: Ron Paul On How the Public Rejected a New War in Syria

October 26, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Ron Paul discusses the popular rejection of war and a renewed momentum toward world peace.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE