Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Austrian vs. Distributist Debate

The Church and the Libertarian

The Church and the Libertarian: A Review

The debate continues...

The Austrian Version of the English Enclosures

The Austrian Version of the English Enclosures Part II

The Austrian Version of the English Enclosures Part III

Christopher Blosser and I co-wrote a post together giving the long history of this debate with important links to documents going back over several years - Thomas Woods and His Critics, The Austrian vs. Distributist Debate Among Catholics.

After studying Libertarianism and Austrian Economics for a couple years here is my judgment over a several posts at TAC. These posts generated quite a discussion in the comments.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Should Catholics Support Ron Paul?

One shoe size too small

Libertarianism vs. Catholicism

A Union of Conservatives and Libertarians?

I am concerned about the Libertarian/Anarcho-Capitalist (Austrian Economist) take-over of certain print and online publications such as The American Conservative and Crisis Magazine. Both TAC and Crisis had died as a print publications. They maintained an online presence though. I suspect one or more wealthy Libertarian benefactors helped to resurrect these publications and now greatly influences the direction of these magazines/websites. For example, check out the videos at Crisis Magazine. This is suppose to be a Catholic website, but it seems to me to be more oriented toward leading Catholics into the Austrian Economic camp. Why should Catholics be concerned about this Libertarian take-over? Well simply because much of Catholic Social Ethics contradict with Austrian Economics which I talk about in my above TAC posts.

Listen I recognize that Crisis always had somewhat of a political orientation. I am familiar with Deal Hudson's history, but Republican thought didn't and doesn't necessary contradict the teachings of the Church. Libertarian ideology does. Regarding TAC, it was a traditional and paleo-conservative publication, not a libertarian one. The paleo-conservatives and paleo-libertarians are now attempting some type of unity. Is that a good thing? Maybe and maybe not. I am very happy to see that Rod Dreher is actually blogging again. I feel he represents the best of modern traditional conservative thought.

I encourage a discussion now right here on my own blog regarding the topics on this post. Please share your thoughts and opinions.

Related Posts


Unknown said...

Big surprise: some Catholics believe in rationality, material progress, and human rights.

Fr. D.L. Jones said...


Christ is in our midst!

I am honored by your presence (comments) on my blog. You are always welcome here, as is Tom and any others from the Mises Inst! In the past, Tom Woods has commented which I deeply appreciated. In fact it was through Tom's comments that I began my journey into studying Austrian Economics. I have spoken (through email) to Lew Rockwell, Jr. and Bob Murphy as well. All of these good men were very gracious to me. They are true gentlemen and maybe someday I will have a chance to meet them face-to-face to thank them, have some spirits together, and smoke a pipe or cigar together.

I would encourage everyone reading this post to check out the good work that Mises Inst. does. You find them at Judge their work and verify it with your own experience and understanding of the faith. Everything they have published is available online for free. That initiative is largely the brilliant idea of Jeffrey Tucker.

I encourage folks to read Jeff Tucker's book - Bourbon for Breakfast. It's a very witty and fun read. It's available for free at either as a PDF or ePub. And you have have to love anybody is wears a bow-tie!

Jeff - for your information and as a point of fact, I have never enjoyed the writings of Christopher A. Ferrara on any topic. Anybody who reads Tom Woods in comparison to Ferrara knows this. Tom has been independently recognized for excellence in thought and writings by others outside his camp and also by his own peers. To my knowledge, Christopher Ferrara's work has never received that notoriety which speaks volumes.

If either you, Tom, Lew or any others have written articles which you would like me to link to I would be happy to do so. Both sides of this debate need to be heard. I always tried to be very fair in alerting folks to both camps' thought. Refer to my post with Blosser.

Please help me out here Jeff! Read my questions in the above linked posts but also my objections. Please address them. I will publish everything that you (Tom, Lew, or any other Catholics at Mises) have to say because I know it will be reasonable. In fact, I will make your comments their own posts. Feel free to send your comments to my personal email: I promise to post them. It would be my honor to do so.

On a side-note but a related one, I would love to get links to any articles, audios, or books on the topic of Paleolibertarianism.

Fr. D.L. Jones said...

When one begins studying economics from an Austrian perspective you get a macro picture. I deeply appreciate that perspective! For example, you begin to understand why the boom and bust cycles of the market occur, why recessions or depressions occur. You begin to understand basic economic laws. For example, that folks must work, save, and invest. The economy should be based off these fundamentals. An economy, or even a certain economic sector, which is relying too heavily on debt or the false injection of a fiat based currency will eventually collapse in on itself. Anyone who takes the time to study Austrian Economics will learn more about the world and how it works, especially regarding monetary and fiscal policies, economics, etc. That is not to say Austrian Economics doesn't have problems or that all Libertarians are Austrians though.

Fr. D.L. Jones said...

I guess some of biggest problems that I have with libertarian thought is not so much with Austrian Economics per se, but the "anarcho-capitalist" mentality that animates much of it. Read Walter Block for example, i.e. Defending the Undefendable. He takes this thought to its logical ends. It doesn't seem reasonable to me.

Maybe I should engage more thought of Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. I am attracted to the Palelibertarianism of Rothbard's thought, but has not Lew Rockwell, Jr abandoned this approach and adopted more a radical one? Maybe not, especially when considering what has actually occurred with Crisis ( and The American Conservative (TAC) or the publication of many libertarian books through ISI. Is the reunion of conservatives and libertarians that Rothbard envisioned and desired finally occurring now? Maybe I should be rejoicing?

Will Ron Paul run in a 3rd Party in the General Election? Is the Conservative American Party (Americans for a Free Republic) the next evolution of this movement to join conservatives and libertarians together to form a really viable winning coalition?