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Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute: A Hub of Austrian Economics

The Mises Institute, founded by Lew Rockwell, is a prominent center for the study and promotion of Austrian economics. With a rich history and a strong influence on economic thought, the Mises Institute has become a renowned institution for those interested in free-market principles and libertarian philosophy.

One of the most common questions asked about the Mises Institute is regarding its funding. The institute relies on private donations from individuals and organizations that share its commitment to Austrian economics. These contributions enable the Mises Institute to conduct research, publish books and articles, and organize conferences and seminars to further the understanding of Austrian economics.

To understand the origins of the Mises Institute, it is essential to delve into the life of Ludwig von Mises, the renowned economist and philosopher. Mises, a prominent figure in the Austrian School of Economics, left Austria in 1934 due to the rise of the Nazi regime. He sought refuge in Switzerland and eventually emigrated to the United States in 1940. Mises’ departure from Austria was driven by his opposition to totalitarianism and his desire to continue his work in a free and open society.

Although the Mises Institute maintains a close relationship with Auburn University, it is an independent organization. While Auburn University provides support for the institute’s operations, the Mises Institute operates autonomously and is not directly affiliated with the university.

Ludwig von Mises received his education at the University of Vienna, where he studied economics and law. He later became a professor at the same university, contributing significantly to the development of economic thought through his teachings and writings.

Despite his immense contributions to the field of economics, Ludwig von Mises did not win a Nobel Prize. This omission has been a subject of debate among economists, with many arguing that Mises’ ideas were overlooked due to their deviation from mainstream economic theories.

Mises’ definition of capitalism is rooted in the principles of individual freedom, private property rights, and voluntary exchange. According to Mises, capitalism is a system where resources are allocated through the price mechanism, driven by the choices and actions of individuals in pursuit of their own self-interest.

On the other hand, the Keynesian theory, named after economist John Maynard Keynes, emphasizes the role of government intervention in stabilizing the economy. Keynesians argue that government spending and monetary policy can mitigate the negative effects of economic downturns and promote economic growth.


Milton Friedman, another influential economist, is known for his advocacy of free markets and limited government intervention. Friedman’s theory, known as monetarism, emphasizes the importance of controlling the money supply to maintain stable economic growth and prevent inflation.

Praxeology, a term coined by Ludwig von Mises, refers to the study of human action and its economic implications. Mises developed this methodology to analyze human behavior and deduce economic laws based on the premise that individuals act purposefully to achieve their desired ends.

The Mises Institute is located in Auburn, Alabama. It serves as a hub for scholars, students, and enthusiasts of Austrian economics, providing a platform for research, education, and intellectual exchange. The institute’s physical location offers a conducive environment for studying and promoting the ideas of Ludwig von Mises and other Austrian economists.

While there are several universities that offer programs in Austrian economics, the Mises Institute is widely regarded as a leading institution in this field. Its extensive library, research resources, and network of scholars make it an attractive destination for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of Austrian economics.

Auburn University, where the Mises Institute is located, gets its name from the city in which it was founded. The university was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College and was later renamed Auburn University in 1960. The name “Auburn” is derived from the vibrant reddish-brown color of the local soil, which resembles the color of an auburn hair.

In conclusion, the Mises Institute, founded by Lew Rockwell, is a renowned institution dedicated to the study and promotion of Austrian economics. Through its research, publications, and educational initiatives, the institute continues to shape economic discourse and inspire individuals to explore the principles of free markets and individual liberty.

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