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What Are People's Thoughts Here On Reisman?

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I was just curious, someone told me that I should listen to his lecture/speech which gave credit to Mises, Rothbard and Rand as the ones who brought capitalism back into the intellectual arena. I was wondering if anyone knew of this man or had read him and liked him. He wrote "Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics."

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I was just curious, someone told me that I should listen to his lecture/speech which gave credit to Mises, Rothbard and Rand as the ones who brought capitalism back into the intellectual arena. I was wondering if anyone knew of this man or had read him and liked him. He wrote "Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics."

Reisman was a fixture in the Objectivist movement for many years (into the early 1990s at least). He wrote articles that were published in The Objectivist, The Objectivist Forum and The Intellectual Activist. He's written two books: The Government Against the Economy and the aforementioned Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics. (The latter contains pretty much all the substantive material from the former in just 3 of its 20 chapters.) He is the founder and owner of the Jefferson School, which ran biannual Objectivist conferences from (I believe) 1985 through 1991 inclusive. (Or was it 1993? I can never remember if TJS put on a conference after severing ties with UC San Diego or not.)

Sometime in the mid-to-late 90s, Reisman (along with some other intellectuals in his orbit, such as Jerry Kirkpatrick and Linda Rearden) broke with ARI. Initially the break was described as non-philosophical, but I think it may have taken on a philosophical component later. Reisman continues to write the occasional essay and op-ed; my impression is that he's been getting more rationalistic in recent years.

He's got a website here.

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I remember reading one of his booklets around 1990 and thinking to myself, "he'll leave the ARI within a few years" and I turned out to be right. It was after he wrote something to the effect that Mises and Rand were the hope for the future. I detect in him a stance I call "primacy of economics," believing like Mises that people hold wrong views not because of flawed epistemological/moral theories but because of a lack of education in economics.

As an economist, I find him overly focused on polemics. But if you're looking for an identification of what's wrong with this or that policy, his books catalogue a lot of that.

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He's got a website here.

The links section in the left column, about one-third of the way down the page, lists libertarian organizations. Does Dr. George Reisman now sanction libertarianism? If so, then the parting of ways 10 years ago appears to have become a philosophical divide as well. Does anyone have information to the contrary?

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...It was after he wrote something to the effect that Mises and Rand were the hope for the future. I detect in him a stance I call "primacy of economics," believing like Mises that people hold wrong views not because of flawed epistemological/moral theories but because of a lack of education in economics.

I also remember him saying that the reason why people don't advocate capitalism, is because they know too little economics; thereby evading the entire field of philosophy.

Generally speaking, the older the writings are by Reisman, the better; though he is, as A.West points out, very polemic.

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Thank you for the link, and as for A West's remarks about economics...why do you think that economics does not adequately represent that people act how they believe? I don't think economics solves or explains everything, but I believe it can adequately predict, represent or explain the area of human actions.

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... I believe [economics] can adequately predict, represent or explain the area of human actions...
Do you mean this of economics as it ought to be, or in its current state? If the latter, then in what sense do you mean "adequately predict". Do you mean good economists have reached a stage where they can make general predictive statements like: "raising taxes will slow growth". Or, do you mean they can predict more specific things about the economy, and do so better than a non-economist statistician/extrapolator/correlator could?

Aside: Somewhere in Reisman's "Cap" book, he cautions against specific predictions.

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Do you mean this of economics as it ought to be, or in its current state? If the latter, then in what sense do you mean "adequately predict". Do you mean good economists have reached a stage where they can make general predictive statements like: "raising taxes will slow growth". Or, do you mean they can predict more specific things about the economy, and do so better than a non-economist statistician/extrapolator/correlator could?

Aside: Somewhere in Reisman's "Cap" book, he cautions against specific predictions.

By predict, I meant general statements.

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I had heard that part of the break had to do with a sort of 'primacy of economics' view on Reisman's part.

I remember reading one of his booklets around 1990 and thinking to myself, "he'll leave the ARI within a few years" and I turned out to be right. It was after he wrote something to the effect that Mises and Rand were the hope for the future. I detect in him a stance I call "primacy of economics," believing like Mises that people hold wrong views not because of flawed epistemological/moral theories but because of a lack of education in economics.

As an economist, I find him overly focused on polemics. But if you're looking for an identification of what's wrong with this or that policy, his books catalogue a lot of that.

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The links section in the left column, about one-third of the way down the page, lists libertarian organizations. Does Dr. George Reisman now sanction libertarianism? If so, then the parting of ways 10 years ago appears to have become a philosophical divide as well. Does anyone have information to the contrary?

http://www.capitalism.net/linkspol.htm

TJS's Policy on Links

TJS considers it a matter of the highest importance that it reach a wider audience. For this reason it is glad to receive links from other web sites and encourages the operators of other web sites which do not have links to TJS to establish them. In return, TJS is willing to provide reciprocal links.

The provision of a link by TJS should not be understood to signify anything more than this, unless explicitly so indicated. TJS does not monitor the web sites to which it provides links and recognizes that from time to time such other web sites or their operators may take positions which are at variance with those of TJS itself, including positions on matters of fundamental importance. In such cases, TJS is confident that the good judgment and independent intelligence of those who visit its web site is ample protection against their being led astray. At the same time, TJS is also confident that the visitors it gains from other web sites will profit from their exposure to TJS's web site.

Notwithstanding the above, TJS will not establish links to individuals or organizations that it judges to be notorious for error. In such cases, the establishment of a link could reasonably be inferred as disregarding the prominence of error and thereby sanctioning it.

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He's got a website here.

The book advertised on that website looks great "Noble Vision by Gen LaGreca --anyone read it, well I suppose that's a different forum. Just wanted to point that out.

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The link policy confirms what I suspected: TJS is tolerant of anti-Objectivists -- unless of course they are "notorious" in their "error."

Notoriety is a matter of degree, that is, of measurement. Whether someone is notoriously anti-Objectivist is irrelevant to the issue of whether they are anti-Objectiivst as part of their function.

Hal, thanks for the confirmation.

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Thank you for the link, and as for A West's remarks about economics...why do you think that economics does not adequately represent that people act how they believe? I don't think economics solves or explains everything, but I believe it can adequately predict, represent or explain the area of human actions.

I think his remark was that the reason people hold flawed political beliefs is because they stem from flawed epistemological/moral theories, not that economics as a science is inadequate.

try, for example, to tell a liberal that the reason minimum wage laws are harmful from an economic standpoint, using supply and demand charts. It's so easy and simple you'd wonder why you've ever bothered using anything else. However, most opponents of capitalism, while it is true they probably have very little education in higher economics, would probably outright reject you, offering some sort of pragmatic excuse that fancy formulas and economics are not accurate in the real world.

I've seen it happen before; I took an economics class with a capitalism-orientated economics professor (not perfect, of course, but then again, better than 99% of most college professors out there) where he showed us through detailed economic models, the consequences of minimum wage laws. For the part of class that wasn't actually asleep, they were mostly just doing parrot work, and as soon as class ended, went back to their usual beliefs.

It's like A.West said, Reisman, Mises, and any economist are useful in providing for and expanding on economic theory, (which is why mises.org is still one of the few op-ed websites I still visit) but to fight the opponents of capitalism requires a philosophically sound foundation upon which to stand, which only Objectivism can provide.

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The book advertised on that website looks great "Noble Vision by Gen LaGreca --anyone read it?

I've read it.

It's clearly a first novel, and suffers from some of the pitfalls associated with that. There are places in the novel, particularly early on, where it's difficult to tell whether a passage is in 'current time' or a flashback, or what the appropriate chronological ordering of some events actually is. But the heroes are heroic, the villain are nasty, and the author's love for rational medicine shines through every word.

I'm not sorry I read it, and I'll definitely take a look at Gen Lagreca's next novel.

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I think his remark was that the reason people hold flawed political beliefs is because they stem from flawed epistemological/moral theories, not that economics as a science is inadequate.

try, for example, to tell a liberal that the reason minimum wage laws are harmful from an economic standpoint, using supply and demand charts. It's so easy and simple you'd wonder why you've ever bothered using anything else. However, most opponents of capitalism, while it is true they probably have very little education in higher economics, would probably outright reject you, offering some sort of pragmatic excuse that fancy formulas and economics are not accurate in the real world.

I've seen it happen before; I took an economics class with a capitalism-orientated economics professor (not perfect, of course, but then again, better than 99% of most college professors out there) where he showed us through detailed economic models, the consequences of minimum wage laws. For the part of class that wasn't actually asleep, they were mostly just doing parrot work, and as soon as class ended, went back to their usual beliefs.

It's like A.West said, Reisman, Mises, and any economist are useful in providing for and expanding on economic theory, (which is why mises.org is still one of the few op-ed websites I still visit) but to fight the opponents of capitalism requires a philosophically sound foundation upon which to stand, which only Objectivism can provide.

Thank you for that post, that was very well written and insightful to A. West's point. I just never know what to think when West replies to me, mostly because I think he doesn't like me. So I always feel as if I need to be on defense when he leaves a vague remark like that.

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The link policy confirms what I suspected: TJS is tolerant of anti-Objectivists -- unless of course they are "notorious" in their "error."

Notoriety is a matter of degree, that is, of measurement. Whether someone is notoriously anti-Objectivist is irrelevant to the issue of whether they are anti-Objectiivst as part of their function.

Hal, thanks for the confirmation.

Wait, is Capitalism.net an Objectivist site? If not, then I don't see why they wouldn't be "tolerant" of anti-Objectivists, or simply non-Objectivists. Plus I think their goal is to reach people who have otherwise never heard of Objectivism or maybe capitalism in the true sense, so they allow reciprocal links to places that other people might just be browsing through.

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