by Peter J. Preusse, February 2014
The works of Rothbard and Hoppe can be understood as an evolution of the
Austrian School from rational economics to
rationally justified ethics, which in turn would make up the logically complete
foundation of economics. The structure of this intellectual edifice is outlined
in a condensed way and the already elaborated complementary third axiom will be
A stringent, consistent and factually accurate representation of the
human condition is found in the new formula which is: the autonomous equal rank of self-owning bearers of the right to valuate.
By depicting the ‘dignity’ of humans, i.e. their position, this representation
can replace the vaguely phrased appellative term ‘equality’ of humans as such
by the short formula of the human rank.
This is the mirror-image equivalent of deconstructing the overloaded and
consequently vague term freedom into a simple definition. Simultaneously, it
bases the desideratum of freedom on the solid deduction of the given of
self-ownership from the self-evident axioms of action, variety, and human rank.
Further need for clarification is shown with regard to the axiomatic
character of autonomous equal rank of self-owning bearers of the right to
valuate. Also addressed is its relationship to the demand that all ethical
maxims be universalizable.
The limited scope of even this expanded ethical theory is shown.
The full article (after Paris AERS)Speech given at the Mises Institute's Austrian Economic Research Conference 2013 (21 min)