Menger, Marx, and Markets – The second day at OeNB, Kassensaal
The second day started very Austrian where Mateusz Michnik discussed “The use of language in society” and how it connected to economics. Igor Wysocki and Łukasz Dominiak continued the “Rothbard philosophy discussion” from the day 1. And if anyone was still sleepy in the morning, Antony Sammerhoff raised the roof, lifting the spirits up with his talk on Mises, Marx and history. Jacek Gniadek explained the connection he saw between the Austrian and the religious approach when it comes to the concept of work through the works of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. This segment ended with Carlos Dávila explanation of how scholasticism entered Peru in the 17th century, its connection to the Austrian School.
After lunch Agnieszka Płonka gave the 3rd Juan Carlos Cachanosky Memorial Lecture, a tradition started in 2019 at the 8th Austrian Economics Conference in honor of Juan Carlos Cachanosky. He was a great Austrian economist and certainly one of the greatest in the Spanish speaking world. He was part of our conference ever since 2010 until his passing. He collaborated closely with us and was instrumental in the growth of our Austrian conference. Agnieszka Płonka went into a deep dive into the history of dialectics. History has made the word itself hard to define, let alone understand and Agnieszka showed how time was not so kind to the word. In little more than two millennia the word changed “from a method of argumentation to a method of manipulation.” This can be seen best in Marx himself who used the method to be “always right” or “never wrong,” whichever way works better. Furthermore, thought very simple examples Agnieszka showed how this way of argumentation has been used by the totalitarian Marxist regimes throughout the 20th century in great success, unfortunately.
The third panel of the conference was organized by the Mises Institute (United States) in which Kristoffer Mousten Hansen explained a simple model of the demand for money and the demand for secondary media of exchange. On monetary theory, Menger and von Wieser went head to head in Karl-Friedrich Israel lecture. Marton Kónya gave an interesting perspective to the invisible budget constraint, explaining it through the communist era practices of his home country Hungary. Andreas Kramer did not let us forget that we are still living in the COVID-19 era, reminding us in detail how “effective” the pandemic measures enacted by different governments around the world were. The panel ended with Olga Peniaz’s discussion on Menger and the origins of organic institutions, with focus on money.
The grand finale of the 10th Austrian Economics Conference was Hannes H. Gissurarson with his keynote lecture on Carl Menger’s political significance. After all, Carl Menger was not just an economist. As we have learned during Scott Nelson’s “Menger Walk,” Menger’s most famous student was none other than Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg. Professor Gissurarson made the connection between Menger and other classical liberals. These ideas not only change economic textbooks but the world we see around us. Exactly those ideas paved the way of the prosperity that the liberal democracies have brought around the world and Menger has certainly played a big part.
The AEC’s fundamental goal is to promote a free, responsible and prosperous society. Through education and improving public understanding of key economic questions, the AEC promotes the idea of a free market economy and the ideal of a free society.