I was recently interviewed by Klaus Bernpaintner and Jesper Bleeke at Mises Sweden, on the subject of Brexit.
Alas, during the one hour and twenty minute interview, when asked about what drives the Remainers in the UK, I absolutely failed to mention ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. A classic opportunity spurned!
Anyhow, if you’re interested in what else we spoke about, here’s the introductory text to their interview:
“How Nigel Farage and Brexit are the nail in the coffin for the EU, how the British once again save us from a European Empire, how British politicians and civil servants tried to stop it – and can Boris Johnson manage it, with Andy Duncan from Mises UK.”
Is the Financial Times going all Austrian on us? The overall trend in global societal time preferences has been declining for thousands of years, as civilisation has grown and spread, particularly from ancient and classical Greece, which had writing, money, robust law, and best of all, an enduring tradition of freedom. But since the coming of fiat money, particularly from the inception in 1913 of the Federal Reserve, widespread money printing has caused huge time preference spikes, in our something-for-nothing society. With socialism being the religion of high time preferences and civilisational decay, to my mind the two are absolutely linked. For the FT to spot this is quite the revelation!
Here’s a quote from their recent article, which is outside their usual pay wall:
“The 2008 crash itself didn’t destroy wealth, but rather revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by poor decisions taken in the boom. This underscored the truism that the worst of investments are often taken in the best of times.”
Remarkable. Of course, Mises was writing similar statements to this in 1912, before the birth of the Fed, in his epic master work, The Theory of Money and Credit:
Well, what to make of Das Boot, the TV series sequel to the original classic 1981 movie with the great Jürgen Prochnow? Well, it’s tricky, as it’s only just finished here in England, and many of you may have failed to see it yet, so I’ll try to avoid spoilers, though some may inadvertently slip through the wolfpack net.
At first, I had been afraid it would prove a complete shipwreck of a show, with cod German accents all spoken in English. Fortunately, however, the producers Bavaria Fiction superbly mixed together a triumvirate of German, English, and French, within a completely natural linguistic balancing act. Plus, it became a lot of fun trying to keep up with the rapid colloquial German of the unwashed greasy crew of U-612. The producers certainly did do a good job of portraying the grimy life of fifty men inside an iron coffin, ten weeks at sea, without a single shower curtain between them, doused in the filth of what this must have been like.
But if I must avoid the plot, let’s talk instead about the major characters. First of all, just as the movie got completely upstaged by the drunkenly deranged Kapitän-Leutnant Philipp Thomsen, this TV series got completely devoured by the early and then late lunatic appearance of the bloodthirsty Korvetten-Kapitän Ulrich Wrangel, who’s certain to become a cult classic character. If you’ve ever wanted to see your enemy’s shipping destroyed in suicidal gung ho fashion, then this would be your man of choice to lead the wolves out of their lair.
Back in 1998, I was working in the filthy world of trade. I’d received this book from Mises.org one morning and had to wait until lunchtime before I could read it. I then sat in my car in a dreary supermarket car park and opened it up. It took less than an hour to get through. However, the clarity, the penetration, the directness, the sheer thrill of all those dense scales falling from my eyes melted my mind. Who was this Mises? And why had he made me feel so very uncomfortable?
Via the pages of this book, Mises had told me the truth about life, the universe, and everything. He’d tumbled the monuments in my mind, to Marx, by taking a wrecking ball to them.
This book essentially details the societally destructive power of human envy. Like a fine Bossa Nova dancer in perfect tune with his own epistemological theory, Mises slices and slashes at the tenets of Marxism until there’s nothing left but malevolent dust.
With the PFS 2018 conference rapidly coming up at Bodrum, I thought it might be worth dusting off an interview I did a couple of years ago with a friend of mine, Greg Moffitt, from the Legalise Freedom podcast.
Greg had earlier contacted Professor Hoppe to ask whether he could interview the current Dean of the Austrian School about his books, particularly, Democracy – The God That Failed. To my great personal surprise, the professor had then directed Greg to contact me instead, to sort of stand in as an ‘Ersatz’ Hoppeian!
As an Austrian, and as a believer in a totally voluntary society, it’s really difficult to think of any higher honour, so I stepped manfully into the breach.
In preparation for the interview, I re-read all of the main Hoppe books, and then in this quite extensive interview, we discuss most of them, with me in an unfamiliar role as a podcast guest rather than in my more familiar role as a podcast host.
Although most of the podcast is dedicated to DTGTF – along with Hoppe’s other major works – we also cover a number other books, by various other Austrian luminaries, so it really is quite a smorgasbord of Austrian economics.
Anyhow, that’s enough talking, here’s the podcast:
On Show 28 of the Mises UK Podcast, Andy Duncan speaks to Professor Guido Hülsmann about a new forthcoming book that he’s working on, based on the concept of a free lunch, or rather the political economy of gratuitousness. In a packed interview, along the way we also cover a pertinent encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI, the economic consequences of gifts, the definition of a proper gift, spontaneous gratuitousness, what defines an improper gift, the fallacy of government ‘generosity’, the implausibility of Keynesian ‘economics’, the ‘welfare’ state, intellectual ‘property’, the possible collapse of the Euro, and Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. What more could you possibly ask for in a podcast on Austrian Economics?
On Show 27 of the Mises UK podcast, Andy Duncan speaks with Sean Gabb about his newly-published book: ‘Radical Coup: A Case for Reaction’. We concentrate on the main idea mapped out within it, which is Sean’s ‘frontal attack’ plan for taking English society and culture back away from a tax-eating statist Guardian-Reader elite, and all those other socialists who have successfully taken over Great Britain in a culturally Marxist decades-long revolution. This plan’s strategy is perhaps summed up best by an extract from Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s foreword from the book: “Most importantly for libertarians and, as I should confess, much in line with what I’ve tried to accomplish for quite some time in my own writings, in reaction to the diagnosed disease, Gabb proposes a detailed, equally radical cure that envisions a programmatic alignment of traditional conservatism, and libertarianism with the common goal of restoring a bourgeois society as the highest achievement of Western civilisation.” Along the way, we also discuss David Cameron and the failure of ‘Quisling’ conservatism, the role of Margaret Thatcher in creating Tony Blair’s police state, the details of the ‘frontal attack’ plan, the means by which it could come about, the role of welfare state provisions within the plan, and whether Britain should move towards becoming a republic or whether it should remain a monarchy.