Friday, December 26, 2014

High Courage and Unusual Integrity

-Lew Rockwell
Ludwig von Mises, when I met him, was exactly what you would have expected: a dignified, beautifully mannered gentleman from what Murray Rothbard called an older and better time. A genius, Mises was a great economist of the twentieth century, and a hero in his personal battles with Marxism, National Socialism, and Keynesianism.

Never did he put his own career ahead of telling the truth, which he did in brilliant book after brilliant book. As a result, he never had the professorships and honors that were his due. Forced to flee his country’s Nazi occupiers, he found American Keynesians a hostile bunch, too. So his career was stunted, but not his spirit, and not the magnificent legacy and example he left to all who cherish freedom.

Murray I had the privilege of knowing well. He was funny, charming, brilliant — a star to whom everyone in a room naturally gravitated. Like his mentor Mises, he suffered in his career for his total integrity and truth-telling, which he also did in brilliant book after brilliant book. Even oligarchs and billionaires couldn’t sway him. A model scholar, teacher, and polymath, he seemed, like Mises, to know everything, and was delighted to share it.

Murray once told me he never heard Mises express any self-pity for his treatment, but only good will and determination. I never heard Murray express such feelings either. He was the happy warrior of Austrian economics and liberty.