Richard Duke: Personal message about the Mises Institute

I met Lew Rockwell, the founder of the Mises Institute (then the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Austrian Economics), in 1982 in its Washington D.C. office. I was ecstatic when the Mises Institute moved to Auburn, Alabama, in 1983 to be “affiliated” with Auburn University.  SEE BELOW: The Founding of the Mises Institute by John Denson.

The Mises Institute is now independent with no affiliation and in its own building, across the street from the Auburn University campus; and close to the Business School, where the Mises Institute had offices before moving to the Mises building. Both the football stadium and the School of Business can be seen from the Mises building and both within short walking distance.

I was counsel to the Mises Institute from 1983, the year it moved to Auburn, until 1992. In the early years of the Mises Institute, I had the opportunity to watch Lew Rockwell, with great passion and an indefatigable mind and spirit, move toward his personal goals of keeping the Mises Institute going and teaching and promoting truthful economics, such as making people aware of the actions and implications of the Federal Reserve, fiat currency and fractional reserve credit. I often heard Lew speak; so he was teaching me also. Lew Rockwell was a man with dreams and visions in those early years who probably had no idea that one day he and the staff of the Mises Institute were to be in such a building as the Mises building.

The materials available—much or maybe most accessed for free, including books—on the Mises website is astonishing. One can find articles, journals and books about almost any subject relating to economics, freedoms and liberties for individuals and families, the impact of government interventions and on and on. 

I knew Lew Rockwell in the early days, and still do, and I was aware of his visions and dreams. Lew Rockwell, in those early days, wanted to reach people and teach people the truths of economics—human action—and the advantages of the free market where prices of goods and services are at the center for entrepreneurs to find and determine ways to produce and meet the demands and needs of consumers verses the negative impact on prices with government intervention.  And Lew taught the advantages of sound vs. unsound fiat currency (called “money”) and credit as well as who benefits and who is harmed from this fiat (let it be done).  Lew Rockwell was not dreaming of a building but of teaching as many people as he could and getting others involved to also teach, whether in a coffee shop, on the street, or in a college or university or in one’s daily work.

It is now 2017 and as I look back to the Mises Institute during the 1980s, and I can only say: my, my.  With no internet during those years, it was not possible for me to see the Mises Institute and all it has and does; and all it has accomplished. 

The Mises Institute now has numerous scholars who write, teach and speak in order to educate other Austrian economists, economists in general, the public, professors, students (both undergraduate and graduate), including high school students. What the Mises Institute is now and what it now does most likely is beyond any dreams that Lew Rockwell had in the 1980s. In addition to everything else, on-line teachings are available for all who want to learn about many and numerous subjects. Who could have known about on-line teachings in the 1980s!

I not only continue to learn from the Austrian economists and liberty teachers but personally know many of them. Each has a passion to teach others.  But having passions to teach others can be dangerous, if the passions are not teaching truths. In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of the Mises Institute is that so many students have been taught by these Austrians over the years at the Mises Institute, across the U.S. and around the world. For example, each July scholars at the Mises Institute teach students for a week at Mises University. These students are not attending to get a certificate or other acknowledgement. They are there to learn and to debate and converse with other students, and learn truths. Critical thinking and truths are important to these students.

I write the above to ask you, including those who know me personally or are colleagues of mine, to consider supporting the Mises Institute. The Mises Institute is not only using technology to teach and reach people but also using conferences, seminars, writings, etc. I have a passion to further the teachings of sound economics and the implications of bad economics to as many as can be reached.  I personally do not know of a better way to do this than through the Mises Institute. 

The Founding of the Mises Institute by John Denson:

The Founding of the Mises Institute

A Personal History of the Mises Institute-John Denson


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