Many of us remember it like it was yesterday when Nicholas Sarwark posted an asinine tweet directed towards the Mises Institute:
“If my political party or think tank was the preferred choice of actual Nazis, I’d probably want to make jokes about weed too.”
Many of us also remember that this whole dispute was over Tom Woods refusing to sign an anti-fascist petition. Why? For an obvious reason: libertarians are already against fascism by definition, hence the “pro-capitalism” part—fascists are both anti-communist and anti-capitalist. Sarkwark, however, still took it as “a clear sign” that the Mises Institute and its faculty were nothing but dog whistlers to Nazi’s.
Fast forward ten months and we find another attack on Tom Woods, this time from the same people that supposedly have an affinity for the Mises Institute. Yes, of course, Hitler-loving fascists are now taking a swing at the Ph.D. historian.
To preface, during the Mises University 2018 summer program this past July, I had the honor of attending the week-long seminar full of talented and ambitious individuals in the liberty movement. We learned about the Austrian business cycle theory, how the stages of production are warped by the government, and almost any economics topic you can think of; we also learned about the economics of Hitler.
Tom Woods gave a fact-filled lecture about Hitler and economics, which you can watch here. Backed up by a plethora of quotes he argued that fascists and Nazis:
• Thought economics was a sham science, and that economic laws didn’t exist
• Were against the gold standard
• Thought currency was backed up by a supply of goods, instead of by the total stock of commodity money
• Believed state interests must always trump private interests, and that the will of the state represents the will of the people
These are only a few topics he touched on, but nevertheless, the comments on the video made it clear that fans of Hitler are no fans of the Mises Institute. Here are a few of the comments, and you can go see the rest for yourself:
• “So let me get this straight, In the 1930’s Germany put 6 million back to work while America was starving; Germany had a trade surplus with America that irritated FDR so much he tried to ban goods from Germany; international jewry declared economic war on Germany, refusing international credits; Germany used a barter system with third-world countries for raw materials with no usury or currency manipulations that left both parties satisfied and Germany as a favored nation to trade with; FDR had to push America into a devastating World War and he still never raised America out of the depression. Ahhh… professor, what was your cherry-picked, anecdotal point again????”
• “Wow, a PhD in history with almost zero clue why the fascist movement began. Talk about the Wiemar Republic, usurious banking, and social degeneracy, you hack.”
• “There are no “laws” of economics. There are beliefs, idealised hypotheses. They may be workable, but that doesn’t make them inviolable truths.”
Fortunately, we can finally put this whole conspiracy to rest, and speaking of rest, maybe Sarwark can sleep better now knowing a Nazi invasion isn’t imminent, at least not from the likes of the Mises Institute.
* Steven Clyde is the host of the Peace and Liberty podcast, as well as a graduate of Mises University.