CJay Engel
CJay Engel
Creator and Editor of Austro Libertarian. Lives in Northern CA, runs several businesses, spends time with his family, and reads as much economics and political theory as possible.

In Praise of Individualism

The topic of individualism is a tricky one. It used to be (and still is) that individualism was sort of a manipulatory smear word against those who were opposed to collectivism and the propaganda put forth by socialists who pushed the idea that those who did not believe in community ownership or “helping out the […]

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Joe Salerno on Hans Sennholz

In a 2011 interview, The Daily Bell asked Joe Salerno about Hans Sennholz. Here was his answer: Daily Bell: Why do you think so highly of Hans Sennholz? Why was he under-appreciated? Dr. Joseph Salerno: I greatly admire the work of the late Hans Sennholz because he embodied so well the virtues and skills of […]

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The Mathematization of Austrian Economics?

Comments on Marek Hudik

One of the more bizarre essays within the Austrian camp I have read recently was published in the festschrift in honor of Joe Salerno. It is titled Mises and Hayek Mathematized: Toward Mathematical Austrian Economics. As soon as I read that title, I was cynical. Herein, I do not offer a fully developed refutation, but […]

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Worker's Owning their Own Capital

Per Bylund makes a great observation in a recent post on the alleged exploitative nature of the “gig economy.” The interventionist (usually on the left) storyline is that the gig economy makes people accept lower wages; that is, they complain that companies such as Uber and Lyft ought consider the drivers to be employees rather […]

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George Reisman on Child Labor

We are always lectured about how government involvement in labor markets was the cause of the end of child labor. From George Reisman’s new ebook on Socialism/Marxism, he rebuts this: Capitalism abolishes child labor by virtue of the fact that as the real wages of parents rise, families become less and less dependent on any […]

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Interview with Peter Klein

On Entrepreneurship Theory in the Austrian Tradition

Peter Klein is the Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Management at the Norwegian School of Economics. He earned his PhD in economics at the University of CA in Berkeley and is a former Associate Editor of The […]

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Governance as a Role vs. the State as an Entity

The solution to the problem of social order.

The following essay seeks to address the foundations of civil order and the mechanisms by which the civil order is enforced.  It is highly influenced by an essay from Hans-Hermann Hoppe entitled “State or Private-Law Society.” The Problem The necessity of an institution which enforces legal property boundaries and punishes criminals that act outside of the parameters […]

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Glenn Greenwald on the "protocol for public figure deaths"

In the same vein as my post last night on John McCain’s death, and the nature of our reflection, I was just made aware of Glenn Greenwald’s excellent observations regarding the “protocol for public figure deaths.” While in the context of Reagan’s death, he makes a similar point, though is perhaps even more clear: But […]

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On Burying the Politician

Meanderings on the Death of John McCain

Upon first hearing the news of John McCain’s death, my mind immediately jumped to the words of the great libertarian historian Ralph Raico, dismantling the myth of Winston Churchill: When, in a very few years, the pundits start to pontificate on the great question: “Who was the Man of the Century?” there is little doubt […]

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The Economic Phenomenon of Wages

George Reisman's brilliant argument against the claim that profits are exploitation

Because the gap between my knowledge and David Gordon’s knowledge on the history of economic thought is wider than the United States’ liability deficit, I will trust him when he implies that George Reisman’s argument against the Marxist theory of the exploitive nature of profit is pretty much unique to Reisman. I have written on […]

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Reisman: "Social democrats should stop calling themselves socialists."

George Reisman is out with a new ebook, a long essay– which most of his ebooks are essentially– on Marxism/socialism. While Reisman isn’t a Misesian purist, especially in the Rothbardian tradition of Mises interpretation, I nevertheless think he is an immensely important contributor in the greater Austrian economic framework. He echoes something I have been communicating […]

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Socialism: Clarifications and Elaborations

A broad understanding of the distinctions and flavors of socialist movements

As recently explained in numerous posts, socialism is best defined as the public ownership of the means of production (that is to say, social democrats are not socialists). A prerequisite aspect of a system that wants to be accurately characterized as socialist, is that it must first figure out a way to transition from private […]

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We Live in an Interventionist Paradigm

A handful of comments on a Vox socialist/capitalist article.

Will Wilkinson interacts with varying sentiments regarding the rising (and horrifically defined) capitalist/socialist debate at Vox, which is not necessarily a free market friendly source. My comments here are swift and lack elaboration.  But his article does provide a decent launchpad to make a few observations. First of all, as I’ve been discussing in considerable […]

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Our Path Forward

Miscellaneous Observations on Hans Hoppe, Marxism, and Strategy

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, a libertarian par excellence, embodies the tendency I tried to articulate in my essay on Tory Anarchism. There, I wrote: The tory anarchist then is one who not only takes up a radical position on the nature of the state (as well as its right to exist), but he also carries with it a demeanor of […]

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Why Americans Clamor for Socialism

If every time the government intervenes (known as economic interventionism) into the broader economy there is an eventual wave of resulting economic pain, and if the political and academic classes continue to describe our system as free market or capitalistic, then the entirely predictable result is a mass embrace of socialism as the solution to […]

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Socialist Propaganda and The Plight of Underdeveloped Nations

Mises: "The socialists and interventionists of the West have poisoned the mind of the East."

Mises’ article on “The Plight of Underdeveloped Nations” makes an insightful observation regarding the sad impact of western socialist propaganda on underdeveloped nations— especially during the mid-twentieth century increases of worldwide awareness and globalization. As he points out, the very possibility of “foreign investment” originated when the capitalists of wealthier nations saw profit opportunities in […]

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Economic Analysis and the Limits of Empirical Data and Model Driven Conclusions

Mises: "Economics is not only not derived from experience, it is even impossible to verify its theorems by appeal to experience."

We live in the age of the anti-apriori; a complete rejection of any theory which exists independent of “the data.” This refusal to embrace or even consider the importance of theory advertises itself as a commitment to “evidence,” “hard-facts,” and independence from ideologies and biased interpretations. Any attempt to challenge the usefulness of “facts” independent […]

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Bohm-Bawerk Against Marxian Exploitation Theory

As Mises predicted, government interventionism has wrought economic pain for the very people groups it was intended to benefit. This economic pain has, also predictably, resulted in a growing voice amongst an agitated public against capitalism, or at least what they perceive it to be. In its stead, many of the themes and narratives of […]

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Epater le Bourgeois!

Epater le Bourgeois is, as Charles Burris phrases it, “the revolutionary rallying cry of the left.” It is French and it is translated to mean “shock the bourgeoisie.” To make it more applicable to our setting, the strategy can be slightly altered to be “shock the middle classes.” The Oxford Reference site expands on this […]

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The Aleatory Contract: A Definitional Comment on Fractional Reserve Banking

This post is intended to be a quick note, and in no way a complete investigation into the matter. As I have elaborated in extensive detail in the past, modern defenders of fractional reserve banking (who go by the phrase “free bankers”) are, whether they know it or not, defending something referred to as an […]

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The People's Poverty: Democracy as the New Face of Socialism

The last several articles I have posted here have been reflections on the variants of socialism: both traditional marxism and reformism. I have observed that the orthodox marxists are adamant in their opposition to deviations from revolutionary attempts to establish a system of the public ownership of the means of production. However, the fact of […]

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Mises: Socialists are Against Economic Interventionism

In a further expansion of my recent posts on Marxism and socialism (here, here, and here), I want to quote from Mises himself on a particular matter that will certainly enlighten. In my previous posts, I have tried to explain that not all those who carry the label “socialist” are actually socialist in a meaningful […]

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UBI and Other Wealth Transfer Schemes

When it comes to Universal Basic Income and other attempts to use government as a medium of wealth transfers, most opponents simply focus on the classical “incentive problem” (that is, if you subsidize non-productivity, you will keep it in existence). However, besides the incentive problem, which is of course a legitimate concern, the much more serious […]

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Anarchism, Minarchism, and the Libertarian Label

This article comes directly from a certain line of reasoning that I see all throughout the libertarian world. I hope that the following article will prove to be a one stop solution and will encourage more nuance in the anarchist/minarchist dichotomy. Let me start here with an overview of the dichotomy as I conceive it. I find that […]

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Marxism, Reformism, and Interventionism

One of the points that I made in my previous article on socialism is that the Orthodox Marxists define socialism as the situation in which there is public (community) ownership of the means of production. Since historically labelled socialist regimes (Stalin, Venezuela) do not match this definition and because the means of production were controlled […]

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