Pomo Periscope IV: A Rothbard Classic
| Nicolai Foss |
Pomo had no greater enemy than the late Murray Rothbard. Here is a hilarious comment on “the hermeneutical invasion of philosophy and economics,” which was originally published in 1989 in the Review of Austrian Economics (and published a bit later in Danish translation by yours truly in the rather short-lived Danish Austrian economics journal, Praxeologica).Clearly, the context of this piece is the fascination of certain Austrians, mainly located at the George Mason University, with hermeneutics. The article is very clearly over the top, but it has excellent entertainment value, and quite a lot of what it says is correct. Here is Rothbard’s warning to the George Mason Austrians:
One of the main motivations of the ex-Misesian hermeneuticians is that their horror of mathematics, to which they react as to the head of Medusa, leads them to embrace virtually any ally in their struggle against positivism and neoclassical formalism. And so they find that, lo and behold, institutionalists, Marxists, and hermeneuticians have very little use for mathematics either. But before they totally embrace the desperate creed that the enemy of my enemy is necessarily my friend, our Market Process hermeneuticians should be warned that there may be worse things in this world than mathematics or even positivism. And second, that in addition to Nazism or Marxism, one of these things may be hermeneutics.