The last of the Austrians

For those of you who didn’t understand Gregor Gysi or are just looking for an alternative perspective, here are some pithy remarks from Ron Paul, who is that rarest of creatures, a politician who actually knows a great deal about economics. I have of course pretty major differences with Ron, but his critiques are usually great value. And, with there being more common ground than you would think between the Marxists and the Austrians… well, his talent for hitting the nail on the head comes in handy.

7 Comments

  1. Charlie said,

    January 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    He’s much more honest with his analysis, and has some principled positions (particularly regarding American foreign policy) but I don’t see how you could pen his analysis as anything remotely resembling a Marxist critique (at least not if Marx’s critique is to retain any of its original meaning in contemporary debate).

    Ron Paul is a classical neoliberal bourgeois economist, who recognises the faultlines within the post-Keynesian economical perspective and seeks to remedy them through a purging ‘bust’ and a return to more honest capitalist social and productive relations. He is also a monetarist, who places near his entire analysis of today’s crisis on ‘false credit’ caused by ‘fractional reserve banking’ and Federal Reserve spending. He in no way retains a realistic perspective upon the broader forces of overaccumulation and a shortfall in the innovation of new forms of organic capital which lie behind this crisis – though he may tangentally recognise that the only way to reinvigorate the American economy will be through an increased extraction of surplus-value through a contraction of real wages.

    If having something in common with Marx’s economic analysis has been reduced, in this day and age, to having a vaguely serious commitment towards addressing the structural problems facing western capital, then I suppose we do have something in common. But that’s a dire state of affairs for both left and right.

  2. Charlie said,

    January 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    The issue is, there is absolutely nothing the Austrians produce for the debate which hasn’t already been covered in the standard Marxist economical canon. It’s a bourgeois misapprehension on the part of Austrians and general neoliberals alike when they presume their theories are in any way original.

  3. charliemarks said,

    January 30, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Yeah, but he’s pretty fuckin funny. And I didn’t know he was from Austria.

  4. james said,

    January 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    “It’s a bourgeois misapprehension on the part of Austrians and general neoliberals alike when they presume their theories are in any way original.”

    As opposed to the proletarian misapprehension that there’s going to be a revolution any time soon?

  5. Charlie said,

    January 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I’m not going to pretend I’m not baffled by your agenda.

  6. james said,

    January 31, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Alleviation of tedium.


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