Q&A: “Curt How Do I Learn About Economics”

IMPLIED (why don’t you recommend the Jewish austrian canon of : mises, rothbard, hoppe? In fact, why not austrians at all?


No I don’t really recommend you read Mises, Rothbard or Hoppe any longer, except for the works below, qualified as I have qualified them below. And all of Austrian (Mengerian) Economics has been incorporated into mainstream economics, with the single exception of the certainty (determinism) of the business cycle.

Instead I’ve listed some books below that I consider the least bad at this point in time.

Why Not Mises, Rothbard, Hoppe?

MISES: We must see Mises Praxeology an attempt to (a) preserve jewish separatism (b) prevent funding of the commons, and (c) a failed attempt at operationalism in economics – mostly because he did not understand science, or mathematics, or logic for that matter, and was, making a facile attempt at creating a logic of social science.

ROTHBARD: We must see rothbard as again, attempting not to create liberty but to (a) restate jewish law of disaporic separatism (libertinism) and poly-ethicalism, (b) propose the ethics of the Caravan Trader, the Bazaar and the Ghetto as enlightenment universal morality (none of which can hold territory, construct rule of law, or create competitive commons) (c) preserve the ability to conduct parasitsm through verbal means, coercion, and trickery while at the same time prohibiting retaliation for parasitism through verbal means, coercion, and tricker – all of which make the formation of a voluntarily organized polity with consensual commons an impossibility due to the malincentives and high transaction and opportunity costs.

HOPPE: As I’ve written elsewhere, (here: ) Hoppe is a victim of (a) his ‘German’ education in LITERARY, and Kantian (rationalism) rather than scientific (ratio-empirical-operational) thought (b) his education by Marxists who attempted to take Kantian moral argument, into jewish legal argument, and (c) his love of his friend and mentor rothbard (which is we must appreciate – he was a wonderful human I wish I had met), and his infuence under rothbard reinforcing (a) and (b). What we CAN take from hoppe is valuable but it is very hard to access without falling victim to his ‘nonsensical but sophisticated use of ‘Pilpul’ arguments: argumentation in particular.

We all learn by different means and the more literary and accessible the easier, and the more abstract, deductive, and calculative, the more difficult.

Libertarianism is writte almost entirely in entry level prose. IT is written almost entirely in literary prose. it is written almost entirely in morally intuitive prose. So it is attractive to the high school and college level individual in no small part because it includes basic economics, a simplified version of law, and for all intents and purposes never questions whether a libertarian polity can survive competition against opponents with different interests and institutions. (no it can’t).

The reason we require money, prices, contract, law, institutions that regulate our actions and defend our investments, is precisely because the world of specialists who make improtant decisions that influence our lives does not consist of entry level prose, literary prose, morally intuitive prose, and it is not accessible to high school and colloge level readers – people those with specialized knoweldge employ.

The world operates by war, technology, economy, government, demographics, law, norm, tradition, and myth – in precisely that order.

So what is Curt telling you? Don’t be tricked by literature.

When I tell people to become informed, I tell them to read a literary history, a biography or two, an economic history, and then get into the science of it (measurements). This takes us through the natural learning curve of myth, literature, history, and science. And through that incremental process we learn as we evolved to learn.

Instead Consider These Instead.

(High School Market)
1. Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson (80% of everything you need to know about economics can be reduced to ‘full accounting’ of differences between potential actions, and their internal and external consequences.)

(College Market)
1. Nial Ferguson’s Ascent of Money
2. Rothbard’s History of Banking (best work he did)
3. Plucknett: A Concise History Of The Common Law.
4. Fukuyama: Trust
5. Civilization: The West and the Rest

(College Graduate Market)
1. Mankiw’s Micro Economics
2. Mankiew’s Macro Economics (I don’t think macro helps other than to understand how policy is made and why feds work they way they do.)
3. Mises Human Action (!!! but ONLY chapter 6+. The first five chapters are the cause of his failure.) Mises could have done it. I have looked at trying to correct it but it’s almost impossible.
Simmel’s The Philosophy of Money

( Graduate School Market) (by: Emil Suric )
1. Capital and its Structure (Lachmann);
2. Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (Hayek);
3. Monetary Nationalism and International Stability (Hayek);
4. Prices and Production (Hayek);
5. Interest and Prices (Wicksell);
6. Theory of Money and Credit (Mises);
7. The Positive Theory of Capital (Bohm-Bawerk);
8. They Keynesian Episode (Hutt);
9. Anything ever written by Garrison.

Hoppe: read his PAPERS,on his website, not his books.

Mortimer Adler’s “How To Read A Book” Why? Because you don’t really try to remember what you read. You definitely read the table of contents. You pick out a chapter or two that’s interesting to you. And then if you feel like you can chew it, read more of it. Only read what you get value out of. Return later once you’ve had more experience if there is something new to grasp.

I swear it is more important to understand the table of contents so that you understand the author’s basic outline of his argument than it is to go through the book which is largely all the excuses he makes for proposing that argument.

Read a bunch of Amazon reviews that have high ratings. Then read the Table of contents, pick a chapter. And for god’s sake, remember we have almost all these books online in digital form where you can read them for free if you are impoverished. If you can afford books, or use the library then please ‘pay the author his due’. But never sacrifice your learning. Copyright is a privilege not a right.


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