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The 7 Essentials of Austrian Economics

David Kimbell
2 min readJan 28, 2022


I listened to Saifedean Ammous and @Michael Saylor talk for an hour about Austrian Economics. (Link to the video here:

Saifedean Ammous teaches a course on it at, and has two books (The Bitcoin Standard, The Fiat Standard)

Here is what I concluded from listening:

AUSTRIAN economics: Individual human beings matter.

MAINSTREAM economics: Collections of human beings matter.

AUSTRIAN: Value is subjective, and should be measured by individuals.

MAINSTREAM: Value should be measured by central authorities, and decisions made accordingly.

AUSTRIAN: The study of peaceful cooperation between individuals.

MAINSTREAM: The study of centrally-planned coercion of individuals for the good of the whole (but particularly the few at the top).

AUSTRIAN: Human behaviour is non-linear and chaotic.

MAINSTREAM: Human behaviour ought to be simple, linear, and easy for the few at the top to model.

AUSTRIAN: The way the world actually works.

MAINSTREAM: The way the world OUGHT to work.

AUSTRIAN: You can’t measure people.

MAINSTREAM: Yes you can, and we will.

AUSTRIAN: People are very different.

MAINSTREAM: But we’re going to make decisions on their behalf, on the basis that they’re all the same.

Additional thoughts:

  • There are more private security guards in the world than police today.
  • When a privileged few hold a monopoly on violence, they are very unlikely to wield in for the benefit of the many, but rather for their own benefit.
  • Nobody gets out of bed in the morning for the good of the country or the planet. They do it for their own good.



David Kimbell

Curiosity. Questions. Simplicity. Principles. Meaning. The Vital Few, not the Trivial Many. Be your own Chief Questions Officer.