Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mises University 2008 Selections, Part I

Every so often I embark on the long drive home, and I am loathe to make the journey without something to engage my brain, as the "scenic" I-5 isn't, and the drive is usually made during the late evening, since the darkness has a mildly soothing effect on my anti-automotive feline. Having caught up on everything else I regularly listen to via podcast, I downloaded the entirety of Mises University 2008.

I'm not quite done with the series, but I'll be posting links to the lectures that were particularly interesting, entertaining or enlightening.

The Mises Circle: Who Killed the Constitution?
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. : 8/21/2008

Woods colloquially expounds on some of the subject material in his previous works, 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, with an emphasis on the progressive circumvention of Constitutional restrictions on the Federal government by means of Federal interpretation and control of public education.

Woods goes on to examine some of the legal vehicles employed by government entities to erode the rights of the People and the states, including the utter disregard for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, extrapolation of positive power from the Commerce Clause and the historical consequences, presumed Constitutionality of Federal action, Federal interpretation of "fundamental rights", the abuse of executive orders in the 20th Century and beyond, the inference of positive unrestricted powers in Article II and dodging Congressional restriction through signing statements that are seen as "advisory in nature".

Calculation and Socialism

Joseph T. Salerno : 9/04/2008

This lecture focuses on the article "Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth", written by Ludwig Von Mises in 1920, and some of the arguments and counter-arguments made by Mises and the various camps of socialist economists. Salerno expands on the central point that a pricing system is necessary for efficient production ("rational allocation of resources"), and that all of the various socialist economic models either rely on capitalist markets to set their own levels of production or blindly attempt to set production based on various mathematical, trial-and-error, or estimation by labor-hours or gross-output production.

In addition to outlining Misis' key ideas from the article, Salerno discusses the various historical consequences for each of the socialist methods, and the a priori refutations by Mises for each of the attempted applications: mathematical calculation yielded a equilibrium without means of feedback forced a static economy, trial-and-error "market socialism" presupposed a price-system as a basis for production, and estimation through "natural units" and labor-hours relied on heterogeneous units of measurement, resulting in what Mises called "planned chaos" in production. Furthermore, the positive argument for a free-market with entrepreneurial actors is revealed to be the fundamental basis for efficient production, as only the "social appraisment process" provides for a self-correcting price mechanism.


Wonder Woman said...

Wow - I entertain myself with a "book on disk" or loud music :)

Elusive Wapiti said...

If you get the wild hair to summarize what you listened too, that'd be great, dude.

Something Feral said...

Sure thing. I'll have a quick write-up on each of them soon; at just under an hour each, it is a bit of a time investment if one isn't unavoidably committed to something requiring a minimum of active thought.

I'll be working through the archives at later dates, and will post summaries of each selected lecture.

Something Feral said...

Okay, the summaries are up; I listened to each lecture again to make sure that I accurately represented the content to the best of my ability. Enjoy!