Back to the Roots: Austrian Economics Summit in Vienna

September 26, 2011

(Blog post appeared first at


Last week the Austrian School of Economics returned to their roots. The Mises Supporter Summit was held in Vienna and attracted a lot of attention. 210 people from over 25 countries attended the three day Summit at the Academy of Science in the heart of Vienna.

The participants learned about the history, uprising and protagonists of the Austrian School. It is not a homogenous school and their roots go back further than the founder Carl Menger. Gabrielle Calzada, my professor in my Austrian Economics Masters degree program and president of the Juan de Mariana Institute in Madrid, lectured about the Spanish Scholastics. This group of highly educated and well-read theologians realized that they had to study Economics in order to understand the world around them and to advocate a moral system according to reality and their beliefs. They established magnificent insights about economics in the 16th and 17th centuries. Long before Adam Smith these scholars discovered theories like time preference, subjective value theory (which was lost and lead to the Water-Diamond-Paradox that classical economist could not solve) and that markets are dynamic institutions.

It was a beautiful experience to sit in the Academy of Science which was completed in 1755 and to listen to great speeches about a variety of topics, such as the life of Mises in Vienna, the rising awareness of the failing fiat money system, the upcoming free-banking debate in England and the Tragedy of the Euro (brilliant book from Philipp Bagus, a young Austrian economist who is another teacher of mine). It felt wonderful to be with so many people excited about Libertarianism and Austrian Economics, in the very same room in which Carl Menger and Eugen Böhm von Bawerk taught classes more than one century ago.

A panel of different international Mises Institutes were represented,. It was exciting to hear from the increasing interest and the achievements of Mises Institutes from Brazil, Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden. I am especially excited about an upcoming book in 2012 from the Mises Institute Sweden which is debunking the myth that interventionism and economic planning works in Sweden. Joakim Fagerström stressed this point: “Sweden: the country where everything is for free. This is of course bogus and it comes at a high price.”

We now have new groups in Austria and Spain in our network and more and more people are interested in Students for Liberty. We are working hard to extend our network. It looks good, but we still have plenty of work to do. Please support us to bring back Austrian Economics and Libertarianism to Europe


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