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Praxeology of War. A Mises Evening with Matthew McCaffrey

I mean, you find this key word
“strategies”, but it’s not quite exactly
what you find in theory of war. I mean, when I am speaking
about strategies in game theory, I am thinking about payoffs about ultimatum games,
and stuff like that that are more mathematical. And I don’t know how you make
the connection with theory of war,
with strategies, I mean maybe you have the same word,
but two different meanings? Or it’s my…
I misunderstood? So what’s the difference
between game theory strategy and praxeological strategies? Only one back and forth.
Once So, you think sometimes that we
will go back to both actually? To both strategies -game theory
and the theory of war? I want to ask if you got to
read the “On War”, by Carl von Clausewitz,
and if yes if we could make a link between the concept of the “fog of war” and the concept of
“invisible hand”. Going back to your slide on
deception you said that if you know your
opponent completely, and the opponent knows you
completely, that’s undesirable because it
can lead either to no action or direct conflict. But let’s take an example.
For example, there is side A, which is very
strong from all points of view and there is side B,
who is very very weak. I would dare to say that for
side A this complete knowledge of your opponent and them
knowing you completely is very advantageous,
because it can lead lead to that situation where you
have no conflict that you win, you have no fight.
Why would you say that? Ok, so there’s no “if you
can’t beat them, join them” course of action in this
situation. I have more of a curiosity
than a question I observed that usually Austrian
economists say that praxeology is a much
broader slice than economics? The curious thing is that the
only relevant findings praxeology, as a science, has
are in the realm of economics So we have cycle theory,
we have calculation theory, which are not preview; and
are much much further much more complex than just
saying that “people lack this type
of behavior” So, of course, I don’t want
to say that praxeology cannot be applied to other
domains than economics, but I think if we applied it,
we would have the findings like the ones
we have in economics Non trivial findings Ok, some other questions?
I have two in store until, maybe, you figure out
others The first question would be, when I think about Rothbard,
speaking“The Ethics of Liberty” “For a New Liberty” and few
other articles when he speaks about strategy,
he mostly has in mind the idea the political idea of switching
from a relatively more statist society to a relatively more
non-statist or private-property-order-like
society. Is there any connection or
parallel, or overlapping, or relation between his
way of seeing strategy and your way of seeing it?
And, if so,what what could we learn from
studying strategy praxeological studies, such
as exposed by, explained by
Sun Tzu to apply in a strategy for
freedom, let’s say, for more
freedom. My second question is related to
this Rothbardian theory
of aggression, which would make someone
uncomfortable,uncomfortable to
make a parallel between, let’s say, business strategy,
in which you always have to use let’s say peaceful means, and
war making in which anything is accepted,
in the end. So what lesson can you draw from
war making for business strategy if in one, in war making,
aggression is acceptable you can kill people,
you can torture people,
you can strangle people you can deceive people to
the fullest extent possible and business strategy, where you
can do lots of things but not aggress, which limits
your means very much.

Reader Comments

  1. Matt… you sank my battleship!

    Praxeology and strategy. That was something that was on my mind only last night, and suddenly I discover this! And in the process I also find you and Salerno are looking into praxeological proofs for ethics!

    Which is really making my ears burn ( possibly UK-only expression ) because I have been bothered by thoughts of getting Objectivism out of Libertarianism… and further… thoughts of a full-bodied justification for liberty using nothing but Austrian School analysis – no Objectivism, no metaphysical nonsense, just praxeological proofs!

    Indeed, a study of creativity might inter-relate to strategy as humans must employ creativity to solve problems ( like harnessing fire, or inventing the wheel, or creating bitcoin ), or perhaps not.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, I found the parallels fascinating, not just on an intellectual level but a personal one, as praxeology does remind me constantly of the Tao Te Ching and the Art of War. Nicely done, Matt, and I wish you well in your enquiries!

  2. I have great admiration for Matthew McCaffrey. I find his work to be very interesting and I feel that it is necessary.

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