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Optimism and Social Power

November 29, 2012
A supporter writes to Mark Thornton: "Your Nov 29  “Why I’m a Raging Optimist” post raised by a notch or two my pessimism and depression about the future of the country. My thanks to you for that! My intro to Von Mises was his “Theory of Money and Credit”.  A daughter attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania.  Hans Sennholz, one of von Mises’ students, was professor economics.  I had my daughter buy me a copy of von Mises’ “Human Action”, one of the textbooks Sennholz was using.  (I also attended the ceremony at which von Mises’ beautiful wife presented his private papers to the College.) I was delighted to learn of the Von Mises Institute. Unfortunately, I cannot shake the pessimism voiced by Alfred J. Nock in his 1935 “Our Enemy, the State”.  He concluded that there would be no reversal of the surrender of “social power” to “state power” which he observed taking place at such an accelerating pace under F. D. Roosevelt. He predicted with amazing accuracy what has taken place since Roosevelt, which makes his dismal projection for the long term the more believable.  (I am pleased to see it among the books  the Mises Institute  offers.) I trust my pessimism will not dampen your optimism. I am encouraged that a younger generation may be beginning to see the merits of Austrian Economics. A return to “social power” can not be accomplished without it. I commend you and the work of the Institute! P.S.  I will turn  93 in January. 1941 graduate of Georgia Tech. I was 13 when Roosevelt took office in 1933."

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