Mises.se delivers 11 lectures at Handelshøyskolen BI in Oslo

On September 15-16th Joakim Fagerström (president and founder) and Klaus Bernpaintner (senior fellow) will deliver 11 lectures about Austrian economics and the ethics of liberty at Handelshøyskolen BI Oslo. All lectures will be in English, more information will come within one week. The event is hosted by Kapitalisme utvalget. This is the outline for the lectures:

1. Main ideas and history of the Austrian school (Joakim Fagerström)
What are the main ideas of the Austrian school? Learn about the history of the Austrian school and its main figures. Why was Ludwig von Mises so important and how has the Austrian school evolved since Carl Menger wrote his book principles of economics 1871? Were there any predecessors to the Austrian school?

2. The method of the Austrian school: Praxeology (Klaus Bernpaintner)
The fundamental difference between (main line) Austrian economics and other economic theories is the view of methodology, i.e. the proper way to do economic science. In this day and age economists tend to emulate the natural sciences whereby they gather data and use this to try to abstract economic laws. Austrian economics on the other hand takes an apriori view, which means that the theory is developed using logic starting from basic postulates of human action entirely independent of data. This methodological difference has far-reaching consequences.

In this lecture we will introduce praxeology, the science of human action, and show how economic laws are derived logically the Austrian way. We will first consider a very simple economy consisting of only one person so called Robinson Crusoe economics and discuss concepts such as production, time preference and investment.

3. Value, utility and price (Klaus Bernpaintner)
To reach the next level in the Austrian economic structure we now introduce more actors than the solitary Robinson Crusoe. This enables an entirely new type of action: trade, which is a way of cooperation for mutual benefit.

When actors trade goods and services are exchanged and prices arise. We will discuss the fundamental differences between value and price, a dangerous confusion that has plagued economic theory and society from the days of Aristotle, through Adam Smith, Marx and up to our day.

4. Money and Banking (Klaus Bernpaintner)
Few people today understand what money is. That is unfortunate because with that knowledge people would understand they are being systematically robbed. In this lecture we will discuss the origin and wealth promoting features of money. We will also talk about the evil of inflation and why governments always destroy the monetary system. Finally we will talk about banking and the two fundamentally different functions of banks: money storage and credit brokering.

5. Ethics of Liberty 1 – Foundations of libertarian ethics (Joakim Fagerström)
What are the basis of the libertarian belief system? How can we track it origins and the main ideas and influences? Why do we own ourselves? Does man have a nature?

6. Central Banking and the Business Cycle (Klaus Bernpaintner)
Banks are always tempted to behave in a fraudulent manner to increase profits. This is a dangerous thing to do on a truly free market. Central banks were instituted to support banks in their fraudulent business practices. This has costly consequences for the rest of the economy, most notably because it gives rise to the business cycle which leads to a waste of economic resources.

7. Ethics of Liberty 2 – Security in a free world (Joakim Fagerström)
Is there really no alternative way to organize our society? Do we need the state to organize every little part of our society? This lecture will explore alternative ways organize our society with ethical foundations instead of a society based on force.

8. Interventionist economics (Klaus Bernpaintner)
So far we have been talking about economics from a free market perspective, i.e. without government intervention. Now we introduce the government and analyze some of the wealth destroying consequences that inevitably follow.

9. The Myth of the Socialist Paradise Sweden (Joakim Fagerström)
Sweden is used as an example worldwide to prove that Socialism “works”. How could anyone be a libertarian and against the state in Sweden, where it all works so well!? Isn’t Sweden the country where everyone is happy and everything is for free!? Where no one pays and everyone benefits?! Sweden has the reputation of having the best, and only functional, welfare state, that works in perfect coordination with the market to solve all the problems. The famous third way they call it. Today even Swedish liberals and libertarians are spreading a myth that Sweden is privatizing the government industries. This is of course all nonsense and we obviously reject this view completely. In this lecture we will debunk these myths and describe the real situation from a free market perspective.

10. Austrian economics vs Keynes and the Chicago school (Klaus Bernpaintner)
So what is the difference between Mises and Keynes? Wasn’t Friedman of the same opinion as Mises and Hayek regarding economics? This lectures gives you the most important aspects of the main differences between Austrian economics, Keynes and the Chicago school.

11. Democracy the end of history? (Joakim Fagerström)
Is Democracy the end of history and the one and only way to organize our society? Is Democracy the finest and best system that man in history has come up with? This lecture explores Democracy and its ethical foundations and possible alternatives.

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