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Why So Many Do Not Understand AE.

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Ever since I’ve posted links to this humble blog over at reddit, I have been pleased to see many new comments here. Thank you all for gracing the blog with your presence.

Enriched by the interactions with these new readers, backed by experiences over the mises.org forum, and by reading many anti-AE articles as well as youtube videos attacking AE, I begin to see a pattern. I think I now understand why so many have a hard time with AE.

Let us think back to high school. What was the most difficult course there? Even those who are adept at math might say they found the hardest time with high school geometry.

And what was so hard about it? For one thing, you could not toss together a string of buzzwords and get a passing grade. Faced with a proposition, you had to actually prove it, step by step, justifying each step with support.

The proof had to obey the strict rules of logic, too. You could not say Pythagoras was wrong because he is long dead, hopelessly outdated, a member of the bourgeoisie, or did not have an internet connection. That didn’t cut it. You had to address the idea, not the man.

And when you addressed the idea, you had to show exactly why the idea is wrong. At what line of a proof is there a mistake, and what is the mistake, exactly? 

Many people had no clue in high school geometry. They, of course, will also have no clue about AE, because the structure of AE is similar to that of geometry. It is composed of statements backed up by step by step logical proofs.

Even those who excelled in geometry often found that the kind of thinking that went on in geometry class was never used in the real world, as seen on TV. No politician, for example, ever discusses an issue using logic. Instead they use every kind of argument that would have guaranteed them an F in geometry class. I imagine many college courses work the same way. One learns that tossing together buzzwords will earn one respect, and that actually thinking things through earns one failure, if one reaches conclusions disliked by the teacher.

Thus, the role model of proper thinking, seen only in geometry class, was drowned out by a flood of role models that did not use logical thinking. Pretty sad, pretty pathetic, but pretty common.

So guys, I welcome all comments. But don’t be surprised if my reply will be that you please show me exactly where the flaw lies in my thinking, and why it is a flaw. No more of this “Mises is dead and did not have an internet connection, so he must be wrong” stuff. Get used to logical thinking. Be liberated.



  1. Peter Jiang says:

    Hi there, do you actually live in New Zealand? Your URL have .co.nz, just curious, because so do I 🙂 I totally agree with this article, but I also think people don't understand AE because they are used to the "scientific" approach, using math etc, without realising math is just another form of language. Being a psychology student I can greatly appreciate how everything are just a matter of perception. Which was the principal of Menger: Value does not exist outside of man's conciousness.


  2. Smiling Dave says:

    Apparently the url changes from country to country. Try looking up smilingdaveblog.blogspot.fr [for France]. Then replace the fr with it [for Italy].


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