By Rohan Grey
So there you have it. As far as I can tell, Murphy effectively conceded that the Austrian School’s economic analysis is inapplicable to contemporary policy discussions that assume as a pre-condition the basic features of our existing monetary and political system.
Instead, the substantive contribution of the Austrian school to contemporary economic debates lies in its normative critique of representative government and public law, and its attempt to provide a practical blueprint for a post-revolutionary economic system based around an absolute respect for private property rights above all other values.
But in that endeavor, the Murphy and the Austrian School still has – at least from my perspective as a law student – a long way to go.
I will leave it to the individual reader to decide on the basis of Murphy’s arguments (which I sincerely hope I haven’t misrepresented) whether they find his vision of a “non-coercive” society appealing, or whether they, like me, think it sounds like an oligarchic and corrupt dystopian nightmare masquerading as the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
At the very least, this overall experience suggests to me that the next time we host a debate with a representative of the Austrian School about macroeconomics, it is probably worth asking them to bring their lawyer.
Rohan Grey is one of the founding members of the Modern Money Network, and a coorganizer of the June 3rd MMT vs. Austrian debate at Columbia Law School, where he is a J.D. student. He holds a Bachelors degree in International Relations/International Business from the University of Sydney, a Masters degree in Education from Columbia Teachers’ College, and in the fall will be attending the London School of Economics to pursue an L.L.M. Degree.
In addition to being a political economics dilettante, Rohan has coached debate, mock trial and moot court, and has competed and adjudicated at a number of intervarsity debating tournaments around the world, including the North American, Australian, New Zealand, Australasian and World Intervarsity Championships