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.

Unknown said...

Great Work
I discovered Mises in a Physiology book !!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered why the U.S. seems to be in endless wars and military actions which change the governments of foreign nations into dictators? Have you noticed an acceleration in a pattern that seems to disturb the tranquility of political activity throughout the world? Have John Perkins, William Blum, David Talbot, Stephen Kinzer, Douglas Valentine and others sufficiently illuminated Wall Street as the initiators of such oppressive actions which are now being brought home to the U.S. ?

The pasted writing details the precise method Wall Street utilizes the Federal Reserve to embezzle money from the US government. The FRBNY maintains exclusive control over the disbursement and handling of funds from the auction accounts of Treasury securities. The accounts currently handle >$10T annually and have never been audited. They are client accounts; not operational accounts. Ref. 31 CFR 375.3.

It is a tribute to my professor who taught a graduate course of Money and Banking. His inspiration has resulted in a mathematical conclusion from TreasuryDirect documentation, GAO reports, inherent economic parameters, and other sources.

The “ultimate goal” for Wall Street --- to collect on the [fraudulent] $21 trillion U.S. national debt in the manner of Greece --- is identified by others in footnotes 20 and 21.

Perhaps the research may be of interest.
Jim Carter


“What difference does an increase in the National Debt make? We owe it to ourselves.” virtually every congress-critter has declared. Such a paraphrased statement, reflecting on the exoskeleton structure of the Federal Reserve, ignores the inner historic mechanisms of Rothschild banking, the intense subterfuge and arm-twisting of the Fed’s creation, and the proven destructive forces inherent but hidden therein. 1

The medieval Rothschild Banks established a line of credit for the King provided the King issued a written promise to pay gold, with interest, to the bank at a time in the future. The book-entry Rothschild credit was used to pay for obligations incurred by the king. The credit continued to be circulated in the kingdom between merchants. The bankers sold the king’s interest bearing promise of gold to investors. The promise was renewed by the king on its maturing date and became perpetually rolled-over. 2

VOILA !!! The king made the suppliers of services happy with Rothschild credit; the bankers had the gold from investors; the investors had a promise the king would eventually pay them in gold—which would never happen. 3 Everything went smoothly as long as the bankers could sell the promise and the investors did not demand the gold. 4 As Benjamin Ginsburg has lamented in FATAL EMBRACE; (bankers) AND THE STATE 5, eventually the schemes, which stole the wealth from the people with book-entry fiat money, would come to a catastrophic climax. 6

The Federal Reserve system, claimed to be “staffed and run by Council on Foreign Relations members” 7 does the same thing for the U.S. government’s deficit spending. Their wizard is hiding behind Frank Baum’s curtain as obscurant to any public inquiry.8

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will grant credit (not “create money”) in an account of the US government with an amount that the government will pledge. 9 The government will expend the book-entry-credit account (deficit spending) to pay for goods and services consumed by the government. The suppliers are content. Evidence that the supplier has received a credit voucher is obvious. [It is touted to the public as a loan.10]

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