RECENT DEVELOPMENT: Friends to both my right and my left latch onto my admiration for Ludwig von Mises as a way to avoid using the word “libertarian.”
Today I was invited to help out on a political campaign, a run for office by a man thinking of using the “Tea Party” rubric. To get my support, he said that his campaign organizers were all “Misesians.” And a neighbor of mine, a famous rock musician, has repeatedly brought up Mises as an indicator of my political and social thought and orientation.
This interests me, in part, because it seems something new. “Mises” is becoming a brand, “Misesian” a respectable label.
It also interests me that the Hayek Brand appears to be receding in importance. Twenty years ago, I am sure Hayek would have been chosen as the hero corresponding with my ideology. Though “Hayek” still soars in academia, in America at large “Mises” has gained ground, and perhaps even surpassed “Hayek.”
Further, none of my friends and interlocutors really want to dredge up the one thinker with whom I most readily identify: Herbert Spencer. His brand is still in the proverbial toilet.