Mises Institute

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Mises Institute
Mises Institute logo.svg
Founder(s)Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Burton Blumert, Henry Hazlitt
Established1982; 39 years ago (1982)
FocusEconomics education, Austrian economics, libertarianism, classical liberalism
Key peopleLew Rockwell (Chairman)
Jeff Deist (President)
Joseph Salerno (Editor
Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics)
BudgetRevenue: $4,200,056
Expenses: $4,165,289
(FYE 2017)[2]
Location, ,
United States

The Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics, or Mises Institute, is a libertarian nonprofit think tank located in Auburn, Alabama, United States.[2][3] It is named after Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973).

It was founded in 1982 by Lew Rockwell, Burton Blumert, and Murray Rothbard,[4] following a split between the Cato Institute and Rothbard, who had been one of the founders of the Cato Institute.[non-primary source needed][5] It was funded by Ron Paul.[3]

Background and location[edit]

The Ludwig von Mises Institute was founded in 1982 by Lew Rockwell. Rockwell, who had previously served as editor for Arlington House Publishers, received the blessing of Margit von Mises during a meeting at the Russian Tea Room in New York City, and she was named the first chairman of the board.[6][7][self-published source?] Early supporters of the Institute included F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, Ron Paul, and Burt Blumert.[4][non-primary source needed] According to Rockwell, the motivation of the Institute was to promote the specific contributions of Ludwig von Mises, who he feared was being ignored by libertarian institutions financed by Charles Koch and David Koch. As recounted by Justin Raimondo, Rockwell said he received a phone call from George Pearson, of the Koch Foundation, who had said that Mises was too radical to name an organization after or promote.[8]

Rothbard served as the original academic vice president of the Institute. Paul agreed to become distinguished counselor and assisted with early fundraising.[4][non-primary source needed]

Judge John V. Denson assisted in the Mises Institute becoming established at the campus of Auburn University.[9] Auburn was already home to some Austrian economists, including Roger Garrison. The Mises Institute was affiliated with the Auburn University Business School until 1998 when the Institute established its own building across the street from campus.[10][non-primary source needed]

Kyle Wingfield wrote a 2006 commentary in The Wall Street Journal that the Southern United States was a "natural home" for the Institute, as "Southerners have always been distrustful of government," with the institute making the "Heart of Dixie a wellspring of sensible economic thinking."[5]

Its academic programs include Mises University, Rothbard Graduate Seminar, the Austrian Economics Research Conference, and a summer research fellowship program. In 2020, the Mises Institute began offering a graduate program.[11] It has led to the creation of spin-off organizations around the world, including Brazil,[12][better source needed] Germany,[13] South Korea,[14][better source needed] and Turkey.[15][non-primary source needed]



A defining philosophical trademark of the Institute is grounding the subject of economics in Misesian praxeology ('the logic of human action'), which holds that economic science is a deductive science rather than an empirical science. Developed by Ludwig von Mises, following the Methodenstreit opined by Carl Menger, it is a self-conscious opposition to the mathematical modeling and hypothesis-testing used to justify knowledge in neoclassical economics. Externally, this economic method usually is considered a form of heterodox economics.[16] This emphasis on Misesian methodology stands is distinct from other prominent scholars in the Austrian tradition, including Hayek, and often distinguishes scholars of the Mises Institute from those associated with George Mason University.[17]


The Mises Institute has been associated with the politically libertarian ideas of its leading figures including Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, Ron Paul, Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Tom Woods. It has published a variety of different political traditions, including the work the Jacksonians,[18] Old Right (United States),[19] Constitutionalism,[20] anarcho-capitalism,[21] minarchism,[22] left-libertarianism[23] and paleolibertarianism.[24][non-primary source needed] It has been criticized by some libertarians for the paleolibertarian and right-wing cultural views of some of its leading figures, on topics such as race, immigration, and the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump.[25][26][27][28]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rockwell and Rothbard embraced racial and class resentments to build a coalition with populist paleoconservatives.[25] This rhetoric appeared at the time in newsletters for Ron Paul that Rockwell was later identified as writing, including statements against black people and gay people that later became controversies in Paul's congressional and presidential campaigns.[25][3] Separately, Rothbard's writing opposed "multiculturalists" and "the entire panoply of feminism, egalitarianism".[3]

A 2000 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) categorized the Institute as Neo-Confederate, "devoted to a radical libertarian view of government and economics."[29] In 2003, Chip Berlet of the SPLC described the Mises Institute as "a major center promoting libertarian political theory and the Austrian School of free market economics", noted Rothbard's disgust with child labor laws, and wrote that other institute scholars held anti-immigrant views.[30]

Jeff Deist, president of the institute, has emphasized political self-determination and respect for property rights as foundational political objectives, saying, "The overarching libertarian political value is self-determination. Decentralization, secession, subsidiarity, and nullification are the mechanisms that move us closer to that value. Insisting on universal values, political or otherwise, is both a strategic and ethical mistake."[31][non-primary source needed] The Mises Institute has published articles in support of various secession movements, including Brexit and the Catalan independence movement.[citation needed]

In 2017, Deist gave a speech at the Mises University conference, where in his concluding remarks he stated that the ideas of "blood and soil and God and nation still matter to people".[32] Deist's use of the phrase blood and soil was alleged by some to be an explicit signal to Neo-Nazis and other white nationalist groups. In particular, Nicholas Sarwark and Arvin Vohra, then the chair and vice-chair of the United States Libertarian Party, condemned Deist's speech, with Vohra stating that "the Mises Institute has been turned into a sales funnel for the White Nationalist branch of the Alt Right". Vohra further accused the Mises Institute as a whole of being "authoritarian, racist, nazi".[28][33] The criticism was dismissed by some other prominent libertarians,[34][better source needed] including Bryan Caplan, who called it "a reasonable presentation of a plausible view".[35][non-primary source needed]

Republican politicians that have spoken at Mises Institute events include Ron Paul, Thomas Massie, and Glenn Jacobs.[citation needed] Senator Rand Paul referenced the work of Mises Institute author Jose Nino in his book The Case Against Socialism.[36][non-primary source needed] When serving as Chairman of the House Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Ron Paul had several Mises Institute-associated scholars testify on the Federal Reserve and monetary policy. Mises Institute Senior Fellow Robert P. Murphy has spoken before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works[37][undue weight? ] and U.S. House Energy Committee.[38][self-published source?]

When a New York Times reporter requested a tour of the Institute in 2014, Rockwell asked him to leave, saying he was "part of the regime."[3]

Candice Jackson, who served as acting head of the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights during the Trump Administration, was previously a summer fellow at the Mises Institute.[39]


Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Mises.org is the website of the Mises Institute

The Mises Institute makes available a large number of books, journal articles, and other writings online, and archives various writings on its website. Its Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics discusses Austrian economics. It published the Journal of Libertarian Studies from 1977 to 2008.[citation needed]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable figures affiliated with the Mises Institute include:[40][non-primary source needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mises Academy:What Is The Mises Institute; What We Do". June 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Mises Institute in Charity Navigator". Charity Navigator. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tanenhaus, Sam; Rutenberg, Jim (January 25, 2014). "Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "The Story of the Mises Institute". Mises Institute. September 18, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Wingfield, Kyle (August 11, 2006). "Von Mises Finds A Sweet Home In Alabama". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  6. ^ "30 Years of Bedeviling the Bad Guys". Mises Institute. October 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "Biography of Margit von Mises: 1890–1993". Mises Institute. August 18, 2014.
  8. ^ Raimondo, Justin (2000). Enemy of the State: The Biography of Murray Rothbard. Prometheus.
  9. ^ "Why the Mises Institute Is in Auburn". Mises Institute. October 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mises and Liberty". Mises Institute. September 15, 1998.
  11. ^ "Graduate Program". Mises Institute. March 26, 2020.
  12. ^ https://mises.org.br/
  13. ^ "Ludwig von Mises Institut Deutschland".
  14. ^ miseskorea.org
  15. ^ misesenstitusu.com
  16. ^ Lee, Frederic S.; Cronin, Bruce C.; McConnell, Scott; Dean, Erik (2010). "Research Quality Rankings of Heterodox Economic Journals in a Contested Discipline". American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 69 (5): 1409–1452. doi:10.1111/j.1536-7150.2010.00751.x.
  17. ^ "Socialism: The Calculation Problem Is Not the Knowledge Problem". Mises Institute. March 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "William M. Gouge". Mises Institute. June 20, 2014.
  19. ^ "Garet Garrett". Mises Institute. June 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "The Wisdom of Henry Hazlitt". Mises Institute. August 18, 2014.
  21. ^ "Why I Am an Anarcho-Capitalist". Mises Institute. December 2, 2013.
  22. ^ Anarchist-Minarchist Debate | David Gordon – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "Roderick T. Long". Mises Institute. June 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "The Irrepressible Rothbard". Mises Institute. August 18, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c Sanchez, Julian; Weigel, David (January 16, 2008). "Who Wrote Ron Paul's Newsletters?". Reason. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  26. ^ Sheffield, Matthew (September 2, 2016). "Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  27. ^ Rutenberg, Jim; Kovaleski, Serge F. (December 26, 2011). "Paul Disowns Extremists' Views but Doesn't Disavow the Support (Published 2011)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  28. ^ a b Welch, Matt (July 4, 2018). "Libertarian Party Rebuffs Mises Uprising". Reason. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  29. ^ "The Neo-Confederates". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Summer 2000.
  30. ^ Berlet, Chip (Summer 2003). "Into the Mainstream". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  31. ^ "Self-Determination, not Universalism, is the Goal". Mises Institute. May 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "For a New Libertarian". July 28, 2017.
  33. ^ "Arvin Vohra – Since so many are asking "What's the big... | Facebook". March 11, 2018. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  34. ^ "Ep. 966 Left-Libertarians and Their Endless Moral Outrage | Tom Woods". tomwoods.com.
  35. ^ "Bryan Caplan Critiques Jeff Deist on Decentralization". Mises Institute. July 12, 2018.
  36. ^ Paul, Rand. The Case Against Socialism. Broadside Books. p. 18.
  37. ^ Dr. Robert Murphy testifies before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works – via YouTube.
  38. ^ Dr. Robert Murphy testifies on federal energy tax policy – via YouTube.
  39. ^ Waldman, Annie. "DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White". ProPublica.
  40. ^ "Faculty Members". Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  41. ^ "Peter Klein". Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  42. ^ "Senior Fellows, Faculty Members, and Staff". Ludwig von Mises Institute.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°36′24″N 85°29′29″W / 32.60664°N 85.49128°W / 32.60664; -85.49128