I don’t even want to post the YouTube here, but if you are curious here is the link to “PrisonPlanet” host Alex Jones’ interview with Webster Tarpley. I am commenting on this because different people emailed me asking me for a reaction, since Tarpley shares their views that an elite group of bankers is taking over the world, but yet Tarpley also hammers Austrian economics and the gold standard.
Here’s my quick answer: I had to stop it by the 10:00 mark, because it was causing me physical pain. This guy has a PhD in history, and yet he was botching basic historical facts. Let me just give you two whoppers.
First, he says that the “wave of deregulation”–which he associates with the Austrian School–began under Richard Nixon. (!) This literally could not be more wrong. Richard Nixon instituted wage and price controls, and took the dollar off the gold standard (which was just barely hanging on at that point, in its weakened form under Bretton Woods). Indeed, Ron Paul went into politics to undo the monetary policies of Richard Nixon. So for Tarpley to say that Richard Nixon instituted a wave of deregulation that is associated with the Austrian School, is kind of like saying the Joker works hand-in-hand with the Justice League, because after all he helped a young Bruce Wayne become Batman.
Second–and this is the one that made me stop the video–Tarpley says that the very term “Austrian economics” is a misnomer, because the School wasn’t really from Austria. Instead, Tarpley claims that the ideas of Mises and Hayek (yes he says both of their names) come from the London School of Economics.
This is just so wrong it’s hard to know how to respond. Go look at Mises’ Wikipedia entry. The term “London School of Economics” only appears once, and that’s in reference to it saying that Mises’ friend was Lionel Robbins at the LSE. Contrary to Tarpley, yes indeed the term “Austrian School” comes from the fact that–wait for it–the School was founded by Austrian guys in the country of Austria. Carl Menger was the founder of the school, and his disciple Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk was indeed a famous finance minister in Austria (among his academic contributions). Mises’ famous seminar, where he influenced Hayek and many others, was held in Vienna.
Now it’s true, after Hayek had absorbed the teachings of the Austrian economists, Hayek then brought these ideas to the English-speaking world by taking a position at the LSE. But to make an analogy to Tarpley’s description, would be like saying: Yeah, a lot of people think the actor and filmmaker Roberto Benigni is Italian. Yet this is a misnomer; Benigni’s most famous movie, “Life Is Beautiful,” had an English title.
Last point: For all of Tarpley’s claims about how wonderful Alexander Hamilton’s “American System” of tariffs and government investment spending are, see Tom DiLorenzo’s book Hamilton’s Curse.