|Ludwig von Mises Institute|
|Motto||Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it)|
|Founder(s)||Lew Rockwell, Jr.|
|Mission||Education in the economics of limited government, sound money, personal freedom and responsibility, and entrepreneurship|
|Focus||Austrian School, Libertarianism|
|President||Douglas French (since 2009)|
|Chairman||Lew Rockwell, Jr.|
|Key people||Joseph Salerno, Jeffrey Tucker, Thomas Woods|
|Slogan||"Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School"|
|Address||518 W. Magnolia Ave., Auburn, AL 36832|
The Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI) is an American libertarian organization named for Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973.) It is engaged in research and publishing in the fields of economics, political economy and social theory. According to its website, "It is the mission of the Mises Institute to place human choice at the center of economic theory, to encourage a revival of critical historical research, and to advance the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention as economically and socially destructive." The Mises Institute is based in Auburn, Alabama.
The Institute was founded in 1982 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., who had become acquainted with Mises' work while working as an editorial assistant at Arlington House Publishers. According to its website, the Mises Institute "seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth." Although this mission is inspired by the work of Ludwig von Mises, other Austrian School economists such as Murray Rothbard and Friedrich Hayek, have also had a strong influence on the Institute's work. Among the activities and resources sponsored by the Institute are its annual conferences, a series of online study and research materials, various academic fellowships, and an active electronic and print publishing program.
The Institute does not consider itself a traditional think tank. While it has working relationships with individuals such as U.S. Representative Ron Paul and organizations like the Foundation for Economic Education, it does not seek to implement public policy. It has no formal affiliation with any political party (including the Libertarian Party), nor does it receive funding from any. The Institute is funded through private donations. The Institute also has a formal policy of not accepting contract work from corporations or other organizations.
There are also several other Institutes with the same name throughout the world, including those in Belgium, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Romania, Ecuador, Czech Republic & Slovakia, and Portugal. However, the Institute has no formal ties with any of them.Template:Citation needed
The Institute's official motto is Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito, which comes from Virgil's Aeneid, Book VI; the motto means "do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it." Early in his life, Mises chose this sentence to be his guiding principle in life. It is prominently displayed throughout the Institute's campus, on their website, and on memorabilia.Template:Citation needed
- 1 Background
- 2 Mission and activities
- 3 Publications
- 4 Student outreach programs
- 5 Academic awards
- 6 Views espoused by founder and organization scholars
- 7 Faculty and administration
- 8 Criticisms
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The Ludwig von Mises Institute was established in 1982 under the direction of Margit von Mises, widow of Ludwig von Mises. She chaired the Institute's board until her death in 1993. Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr is the founder, a former president and currently the chairman (since 2009); Douglas French is the current president. The late economist Murray Rothbard was a major influence on the Institute's activities and served as its academic vice president until his death in 1995. Among others, Friedrich von Hayek, Lawrence Fertig, and Henry Hazlitt also assisted in both its construction and continued scholarly development.
According to Chairman and Founder Lew Rockwell and others, the institute was met with strong opposition from interests of the Koch Family Foundations during its development throughout the 1980s. The ensuing ideology-driven drama created a rift between the Mises Institute and organizations like the Cato Institute, whose members had been staunch allies throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.
Mission and activities
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The Institute is generally critical of statism and democracy, with the latter being described in Institute publications as "coercive", "incompatible with wealth creation" "replete with inner contradictions" and a system "of legalized graft."
With 80 academic staff and affiliates (fellows,) the Institute has sponsored numerous conferences and seminars on subjects ranging from monetary policy to "Lincoln and the Growth of Statism." The Institute has published dozens of books, hundreds of papers and thousands of articles covering economic and historical issues.
The Institute's website went online in 1995. The Institute has also produced several documentary films, including Liberty and Economics: The Ludwig von Mises Legacy, The Future of Austrian Economics and Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve.Template:Citation needed
Institute scholars typically take a critical view of most U.S. government activities, foreign and domestic, throughout American history. The Institute characterizes itself as libertarian and expresses antiwar and non-interventionist positions on American foreign policy, asserting that war is a violation of rights to life, liberty, and property, with destructive effects on the market economy, and tends to increase the power of government. The Institute's website offers content which expresses support of individualism and is explicitly critical of democracy, collectivism, fascism, socialism, and communism.Template:Citation needed
The website offers an array of articles and books by Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, and many other scholars who write in the tradition established by Carl Menger in 1871 with the publication of his Principles of Economics. The Institute's current campus was built in 1998; its main building is a Victorian-style villa. Before that, the Institute's offices were located in the business department at Auburn University. A 2006 article in The Wall Street Journal discusses the rationale behind its strategic placement in rural Alabama. The author suggests that "a charming downtown, low prices for room and board, easy access to Atlanta's international airport, and good ol' Southern hospitality" were among the reasons for locating in Alabama. In addition, he suggests that "Southerners have always been distrustful of government," making the South a natural home for the organization's paleolibertarian outlook. Despite its location, the institute is not affiliated with Auburn University.
In 2007, the Institute's annual revenues were $3,583,575 and its expenses were $2,852,751. These expenses went to programs (75.5%), administration (13.6%) and fundraising (10.7%); it does not receive public money.
As of 2006, the Institute publishes seven periodicals. The Free Market examines the economic and political scene from a classical liberal viewpoint and is published monthly. The Austrian Economics Newsletter links their academic network with in-depth interviews. The Mises Review surveys new books in the social sciences. The Mises Memo covers issues and legislation, plus conferences and publications of the Institute.Template:Citation needed
The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics (the successor journal to the Review of Austrian Economics), publishes articles dealing with a wide range of issues in economics. The Journal of Libertarian Studies is the scholarly venue for political theory and applications. Policy implications are frequently discussed in both.
In addition, they also host Reason Papers, which is a peer-reviewed journal on inderdisciplinary normative studies appearing annually. It was founded in 1974, and was edited by Tibor R. Machan from issues 1 through 25. Beginning with Issue 26 (Summer 2003), it is now edited by Aeon J. Skoble. 
The Libertarian Forum was a journal edited (and largely written by) Murray N. Rothbard from 1969 to 1984. It contains substantive theoretical contributions, commentaries on politics, details of disputes and arguments within the libertarian movement, and forecasts on the future of liberty.
Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought was a journal on libertarian philosophy that was the precursor to the Journal of Libertarian Studies. It was published from 1965–1968 and was edited by Murray Rothbard.
They also host a collection of continuously growing academic working papers. These papers are not in final form and are not available for publication. As of August 2006, there are more than 100 papers in draft form, with approximately 2 or 3 added each month.
In addition, they feature original commentary through a stream of Daily Articles and a supplemental weblog. These original essays are written by professors and lay people alike and edited by Jeffrey Tucker. As of August 2006, there are more than 24,000 subscribers to the Daily Articles.
The Institute has published nearly 50 books and pamphlets, most of which deal with topics covering political and economic theories and their interconnectedness. Others deal with history, from early American settlements to chronicling the Great Depression.
Notable entries include:
- Human Action, The Scholars Edition, the original, unaltered treatise (originally published in 1949) written by Ludwig von Mises. It is largely viewed as his magnum opus and is a rejection of positivism within economics. It defends an a priori epistemology and defines the science of praxeology.
- Man, Economy, and State, an economic treatise covering both micro and macro thought and written by Murray Rothbard. It was originally published in 1962, but the final eight chapters were removed due to political conflicts with the original publisher. These were finally published as Power and Market in 1970. The 2004 edition published by the Institute combines both books in a single volume.
- For a New Liberty, written by Murray Rothbard and published in 1973. It attempts to reconcile his libertarian system of thought, including natural law, natural rights, Austrian economics, American history, and State intervention.
- The Case for Gold, by Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman (originally published in 1982 by the Cato Institute). Republished by the Mises Institute in 2007, it presents the libertarian case for forms of the gold standard from the viewpoint of minority members of the U.S. Gold Commission.
- Mises and Austrian Economics, by Ron Paul, published in 1984. It recalls Paul's personal recollections of Austrian school economists, such as Rothbard and Hans Sennholz, both of whom Paul knew well.
- Reassessing the Presidency, edited by John V. Denson and published in 2001. It is a critique of each American President through the lens of libertarianism.
- The Myth of National Defense, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe and published in 2003. It is a collection of essays on the theory and history of security production.
Student outreach programs
The Institute provides various resources for students regardless of academic background.
- The "Are You An Austrian?" quiz is designed to test an individual's economic reasoning. Its questions include topics covering many fundamental tenets in economic thought (e.g., property rights, the role of state intervention, value of money). It has been criticized by economists such as Arnold Kling.
- The Austrian Literature Guide is a freely-accessible comprehensive selection of Austrian-oriented literature comprising videos, audio lectures, books, papers and more. As of May 2008, it comprises approximately 3,000 unique items and the entire contents of 239 books and seven academic journals.
- The Mises Community is a web-based interactive forum and blog community in which students from across the globe can discuss theories, papers, research agendas, conferences and a cornucopia of other topics. As of May 2008 it has over 2800 members, 22,000 posts, and dozens of active blogs.
In addition to maintaining an active website since October 1995, the Institute also maintains a virtual store of its entire in-print catalogue, a group weblog, numerous RSS feeds for weekly podcasts, and BitTorrent files for much of its video library. It also offers lectures, conferences and audiobooks via iTunes U.
- The Mises Academy, started in March 2010, is a Moodle-based e-learning education initiative of the Institute which aggregates multimedia from both past Mises Academy conferences and Academy-exclusive material from fellows of the Institute (many of whom are professors from other universities). It is pay-based and expands the scholastic scope of the Institute. Notable Mises Academy instructors include Thomas DiLorenzo, David Gordon, Stephan Kinsella, Robert P. Murphy, Thomas Woods, and Peter G. Klein.
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- The Austrian Scholars Conference is an interdisciplinary meeting of the Austrian School held annually each spring at the Institute's campus. It typically lasts three days and involves paper presentations and moderated panels.
- Mises University, started in 1986, is a week-long summer instructional program. The schedule of events includes lectures from senior and adjunct faculty members, reading groups, discussion panels and various social functions. It takes place twice each summer, and typically hosts 100–125 students from around the world (reportedly nearly 30% are from Europe).
Throughout the year, the Institute hosts numerous symposia. These range on topic from the history of taxation to free speech and dissent during wartime. They are typically hosted by a senior faculty member or noted scholar (such as historian Charles Adams and literary critic Paul Cantor).
Support of scholarship
The Ward and Massey libraries are an on-site archive of nearly 35,000 volumes.
The Institute also awards scholarships and fellowships throughout the year. These include the Peg Rowley Summer Fellowship for graduate and post-doctoral students. The O.P. Alford, III Fellowship is awarded to undergraduates studying during the summer. The Kurzweg Fellowship sponsors a visiting scholar for an entire year of research and study at the Institute. Economist Walter Block was a recent Kurzweg Fellow, due to the events of Hurricane Katrina.
In maintaining a tradition of recognizing scholarly achievement, each year the Institute awards several individuals for their accomplishments. The annual Schlarbaum Prize for lifetime defense of liberty, awards $10,000 to a public intellectual or distinguished scholar. The Kurzweg Family Prize awards $5,000 for the defense of liberty, property, and personal responsibility. The Elgin Groseclose Award, a $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle, goes to the best piece of money writing in the previous year. The Lawrence W. Fertig Prize in Austrian Economics awards $1,000 to the author of a paper that best advances economic science in the Austrian tradition. The O.P. Alford III Prize in Libertarian Scholarship awards $1,000 to the author of the paper best advances libertarian scholarship.
Individuals such as Congressman Ron Paul and philosopher Antony Flew are among past laureates.
Views espoused by founder and organization scholars
Mises Institute scholars are generally consistent with several philosophies, including: Austrian Economics, Libertarianism, Anarcho-Capitalism, and Just War.
Institute scholars have been highly critical of Abraham Lincoln's conduct of the American Civil War (e.g. suspending habeas corpus), asserting that his policies contributed to the growth of statism in the United States. Senior faculty member Thomas DiLorenzo, in his critical biographies The Real Lincoln and Lincoln: Unmasked, argues that the sixteenth president substantially expanded the size and powers of the federal government at the expense of individual liberty. Adjunct faculty member Donald Livingston shares a similar view, blaming Lincoln for the creation of "a French Revolutionary style unitary state" and "centralizing totalitarianism." Institute scholars have also taken a more general anti-war stance. Many works espousing a general anti-war view such as John Denson's A Century of War and H.C. Engelbrecht's The Merchants of Death can be found on the institute’s website and purchased through its bookstore.
The Institute's publications argue that fascism and National Socialism (Nazism) are branches of socialist political philosophy. They assert that these ideologies are based on collectivist rejections of the individual in favor of some "greater good", and that they incorporate central control over the economy and often also society. This line of argument is discussed in more detail at Fascism and ideology.
Institute scholars are often opposed to democracy, described by Institute Fellow Hans-Hermann Hoppe as Democracy: The God That Failed. James Ostrowski describes the system as follows:
Not to be confused with a republic, a democracy is a system in which, theoretically, what the majority says goes. The reality, however, is more complex and much uglier. In a democracy, various political elites struggle for control of the state apparatus by appealing to the material interests of large voting blocks with promises of legalized graft.
Institute scholars disagree on the subject of immigration. Walter Block argues in favor of open borders. Hans-Hermann Hoppe argues that in a stateless society individuals would only be able to travel with permission of individual land owners.
Faculty and administration
The institute has a staff of 16 senior scholars and about 200 adjunct scholars from a variety of universities in the United States and around the world.
- Lew Rockwell, Chairman
- Peter G. Klein, Executive Director
- Patricia Barnett, Vice-President
- Walter Block
- Thomas DiLorenzo
- Jeffrey Herbener
- Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Distinguished Fellow, former editor, Journal of Libertarian Studies
- Peter G. Klein
- Roderick Long, former editor, Journal of Libertarian Studies
- Ralph Raico
- Joseph Salerno
- Mark Thornton
- Thomas Woods
- Yuri Maltsev
The Institute has been characterized by some writers as "right-wing," a label which individuals associated with the Institute, including Lew Rockwell, say is inaccurate. This claim is also disputed by sources published in the Mises Institute working papers, which cite Institute faculty member Roderick Long and others whom they describe as "left libertarians."
Views on the Confederacy
The Claremont Institute's Harry V. Jaffa has debated on Lincoln with LvMI's Thomas DiLorenzo and writers from both organizations have sparred in editorial publications. DiLorenzo's references to the American Civil War as the "War to prevent Southern Independence" and Mises faculty member Thomas Woods's presence at the founding of the League of the South were cited by James Kirchick, writing for the New Republic, as suggesting a "disturbing attachment to the Confederacy." Woods has stated that he was present at the meeting at which the organization was founded, and later contributed to its newsletter, but that his involvement was limited.
Lew Rockwell responded to these criticisms by writing "We have published revisionist accounts of the origins of the Civil War that demonstrate that the tariff bred more conflict between the South and the feds than slavery. For that, we were decried as a dangerous institutional proponent of “neoconfederate” ideology. Why not just plain old Confederate ideology."
- Economic liberalism
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- The Ludwig von Mises Institute
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