Sunday, October 18, 2009

Human Action Comics by Lilburne

Issue #TopicPicassaFacebookYouTube
1The BasicsView in PicassaTemporarily Unavailable in FacebookView in YouTube (older, incomplete version)
2Subjective Theory of ValueView in PicassaView in FacebookView in YouTube
3Marginal Theory of ValueView in PicassaView in FacebookView in YouTube
"3.2"Diminishing Marginal UtilityView in PicassaUnavailable in FacebookUnavailable in YouTube
4Opportunity Cost and the EntrepreneurView in PicassaView in FacebookCurrently Unavailable in YouTube
5Capital TheoryView in PicassaTemporarily Unavailable in Facebook Currently Unavailable in YouTube
6Simple ExchangeView in PicassaView in Facebook Currently Unavailable in YouTube

Ever since I first started studying the Austrian tradition, I have never accepted the characterization of economics as the "dismal science".

Economic truths are only "dismal"--in the sense of "depressing"--to busy-body statists who long for a free hand in coercively remaking society according to their own liking.  To those who love freedom, however, economics is a scientific affirmation of what we already know in our hearts: that freedom works.

And economic truths are only "dismal"--in the sense of "dreary"--to those unfortunate enough to have learned mainstream neoclassical economics from textbooks.  To students of the Austrian tradition, who learned economics from, for example, reading the penetrating prose of Ludwig von Mises or listening to the hugely enjoyable lecture archive of Murray Rothbard, economics is the thrilling study of ACTION.

In the spirit of economics thus conceived, I have started a new project to communicate the basic principles of Austrian economics in the most action-oriented medium around: comics.  I would like to introduce you to that project.  I usually wouldn't write a "review" of my own work.  But the great Lew Rockwell suggested I do so.  And when Mr. Rockwell says "write", I say "how much?"

In my new series, Human Action Comics, I try to explain the principles of Austrian Economics in a manner as simple, as clear, and as enjoyable as possible.  I'm no visual artist, so don't expect dazzling graphics.  But I am a teacher by profession and a writer by passion.  So, in Human Action Comics, I try to bring my communicative and creative strengths to bear through:

  • Clear explanations and examples (with extensive use of "Crusoe Economics")
  • Dynamic character interaction (by giving life and personality to great figures from the history of economic thought)
  • Generous dollops of humor (witness the power of Menger's beard in Issue #3)
  • Even a bit of drama (Issue #2 ends with a cliff-hanger!)
My hope is that these comics will make the "cost of entry" of being introduced to Austrian Economics so low that even those skeptical friends and family that all libertarians have will take a gander.

Here's some feedback I've received in the past week:
"Excellent... thanks for making it so enjoyable to understand."
" might have actually given me the tools to show my fiancee that economics is actually fun!"
"I find your Human Action Comics very funny and enlightening. I think that if someone has a drive to learn about economic theory, your stuff is spot on."
"You just keep outdoing yourself! Thanks again, these help me introduce friends to Austrian economics and open up discussions. Loving them."
All six current issues (and all future ones) can be found in the table at the top of this post.  I hope you will enjoy them.


Anonymous said...

I must say, these are very clear, and quite funny! I can't wait for more!

Anonymous said...

These are great! Thanks for making them Lilburne.

Anonymous said...

Great work!

Nathaniel said...

Inspiring! And hilarious too! Wonderful work!

Anonymous said...

Great and very funny. Hope it will reach the masses.

Jesse said...

These are great.
Like a cross between Irwin Schiff and Monty Python.
Hope to see more of these soon.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, great comics.

I am waiting for young Ludvig von Mises to kick some utilitarian ass.

Havvy said...

You should continue these, and probably move the slideshows to somewhere accessible on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, thank you.

Nicolas Lévy said...

Great Work
I discovered Mises in a Physiology book !!

Anonymous said...