Saturday, February 12, 2011

Larry Sechrest Discusses Objectivist Richard Salsman's Essay on the Great Depression

Missing the Mark: Salsman's Review of the Great Depression. published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

Here is Sechrest:

In effect, Salsman condemns virtually all economists as being deeply misguided and anti-business: Marxists, Keynesians, Progressives, Institutionalists, monetarists, even Austrians. This last constitutes a major departure from past orthodox Objectivist2 doctrine, since Ayn Rand (1967, 339–40) herself praised the economic theories—though not necessarily the philosophical stance—of Austrians such as Ludwig von Mises and Henry Hazlitt. Obviously, though he never states this explicitly, Salsman must think that Rand was gravely in error to have had high regard for Austrian economists.

Salsman has become prominent in Objectivist circles (some of his material is sold by the ARI's bookstore), so it will be interesting to see if Objectivism will develop its own economic theory now that George Reisman was booted out of the movement by Leonard Peikoff. However, Reisman's student Brian Simpson appears Austrian.