In Progress
Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Prologue

There has not been a comprehensive textbook in the Austrian school other than Man, Economy, and State.  But that suffers from the problem that it is unfortunately one of Rothbard’s least accessible books. The book is highly complex and detailed, and focuses too much on debating mainstream economists, and in explaining economic concepts in their mathematical terms.

Rothbard writes obsessed with the opinion of the mainstream. He was, after all, working in the mainstream academic system and there was no alternative to it at the time. To maintain his sanity and intellectual integrity, and relevance to readers inundated with fiat economics, he needed to reconcile how his textbook of economic principles contradicted the mainstream, and for that, he had to expend countless pages debunking and detailing the errors of mainstream economists of his time, whose work, being run-of-the-mill fiat academicology, has sunk into obscurity as Rothbard’s sharp writing and solid Austrian foundations continue to gain him more readers. While necessary for Rothbard and his readers at the time, it makes for dry and tiresome reading today. 

Today, as the internet has opened up knowledge and information like never before, people do not need to be retold economic ideas in the manner of the mainstream. The most important ideas can be communicated through plain English language. As the internet has made it possible for authors to communicate directly with their readers, and receive immediate feedback, it is becoming increasingly possible for authors to write to the benefit of the readers, again, rather than for the sake of promotion and securing research grants. After having published The Bitcoin Standard, and receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers who enjoyed and benefited from the clear analysis of economic phenomena in the Austrian tradition, I took the decision to leave my university job and focus on writing and communicating Austrian economics to interested readers. Liberated from a career requiring me to write to impress committees of colleagues who approve publication in esoteric unreadable journals nobody reads, I am now free to write with the reader in mind.

As mainstream academic economics continues to produce increasingly incoherent and obscure technical gibberish, the disconnect between economics in the real world and the economics of academics grows larger. 

This book is written to introduce the core ideas of economics to readers. It is not written to debate with academics. There are already enough textbooks written from the mainstream perspective, and the reader can consult them to get their perspective. These textbooks rarely, if ever, mention the Austrian school, and there are few reasons for an Austrian school textbook to mention them. Brief reference to mainstream Keynesian and Marxist ideas will only be made when discussing some of the most common misconceptions.

The chapters of this book are to a large degree standalone essays, but they nonetheless follow a sequential structure for applying the economic method of analysis systematically to the kind of actions humans perform to cope with economic scarcity. 

Since the topic is human action, a lot of this book discussed acts by humans. While it is fashionable to use gender-neutral pronouns, this quickly becomes unwieldy in a book discussing human acts and needing to refer to hypothetical individuals with pronouns. The book will alternate between using male and female pronouns, while staying with the male form for