I don’t know enough about AE to know the significance of this, but I know enough about the robber barons to suspect that VM served their interests in some way. How were his teachings different from his predecessors?
Many readers may be surprised to learn the extent to which the Graduate Institute and then Mises himself in the years immediately after he came to United States were kept afloat financially through generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, for the first years of Mises’s life in the United States, before his appointment as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University (NYU) in 1945, he was almost totally dependent on annual research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. Even after he finally landed the position at NYU, where he remained only a visiting professor until his retirement in 1969, his salary was paid for not by NYU, but from funds contributed by generous private supporters.
Of course this doesn’t take away from the truth of AE or praxeology, but I am just curious about why Rockefeller would fund Mises. Why does a great work like Human Action have to be bankrolled by eugenicist bloodmoney like the Rockefeller Foundation?
Mises argued against the use of probabilities in economic models. Instead, his praxeological method is based on deductive arguments from what are considered undeniable, self-evident axioms, or irrefutable facts, about human existence. According to Mises, deductive economic thought experiment, if performed correctly, can yield conclusions that follow irrefutably from the underlying assumptions and could not be discovered by empirical observation or statistical inference.
Any ideas out there?