Subjectivism and the Austrian School of Economics
New Thinking in Political Economy series
___________________________________________________ We are in Ignorance of Far More Than We Know. This may appear a little brief as a conclusion to such a study, yet they seem appropriate to a stormy era of fast-moving events. The history of thought has recorded many attempts to master economic events, definitive answers to the great problems of the times being trumpeted from the highest monuments and institutions; the broader history of humankind has recorded many attempts to control the lives of others in the name of the pretence of knowledge, bringing unavoidable disaster. Certainties and over-simplified thinking do not encourage the free development of ideas; internal quarrels and ideological biases can only weaken the support and strength of any tradition of thought. The opportunities for Austrians for inspiring new ideas and exploring rich, new territories are obvious and immense, as is clearly shown in some of the more recent Austrian initiatives. One of these is the forming of ‘New Comparative Economics’ (Boettke et al. 2005), which shines a bright light on the nature of transition processes in the old planned economies in Eastern Europe. More broadly, this new approach recounts the constraints to the field of development by revealing cultural and institutional elements in the coordination process. Different institutional arrangements are distinguished inside capitalism itself and the way these alternatives determine economic performance is examined. It contains an original application of a number of tools and concepts on a societal level that are normally used in the economy of organisations (Coase, Williamson, etc). Another...
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