I’ve copied these 10 points from Steve Horwitz’s valuable post on this subject. They succinctly define the tenets of Austrian economics.
- Only individuals choose.
- The study of the market order is fundamentally about exchange behavior and the institutions within which exchanges take place.
- The “facts” of the social sciences are what people believe and think.
- Utility and costs are subjective.
- The price system economizes on the information that people need to process in making their decisions.
- Private property in the means of production is a necessary condition for rational economic calculation.
- The competitive market is a process of entrepreneurial discovery.
- Money is non-neutral.
- The capital structure consists of heterogeneous goods that have multi-specific uses that must be aligned.
- Social institutions often are the result of human action, but not of human design.
On their own, these points might seem somewhat vague and obvious. But they’re worded carefully here—it’s what’s implied when we take them as fact that gets interesting.
For more on Austrian economics, read this.
There’s enough here to ponder for a lifetime, if you take what he’s saying seriously. From the Los Angeles Review of Books:
Best to begin, following Thomas Aquinas, by saying what God is not. God is not the biggest being in the universe, or outside of the universe. God is not a discrete entity, like you or me, or a cloud or an atom or a quark, or (if one can put it this way) the universe itself as a whole. Nor is God the clockmaker, winding up time and matter and letting them run their course on their own.
God is the eternal and immaterial fullness of being and life that is the condition of there being anything at all. Infinitely rich and inexhaustibly beautiful, God is being itself, and as such, goodness and truth. Singular and simple, God lacks nothing yet, out of boundless and inexplicable love, creates what is other than himself, that which is not God. Distinct from God, what is not God — which is to say, everything: creation — is nevertheless bound to God, dependent at every moment and in every respect. Yet this dependence is not debilitating but enabling. It is the source of power and identity and, for living creatures, agency and, for rational creatures, freedom. To be is to depend on God for everything, and to acknowledge and celebrate this dependence is to be alive, fully alive, transparent to the source and end and empowering life that fills and moves all living things.Brad East (channeling David Bentley Hart)