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Mises Global
por , quarta-feira, 1 de junho de 2011

versão para impressão


suecia1.jpgAt the beginning of reading this article it might strike the reader as odd that a person in Sweden has taken the time to write an article in thanks to Mr. Helio Beltrao, the founder of Mises Brazil, and thus he might ask himself: "What exactly is the connection between Mr. Beltrao and a country that is on the other side of the globe, with a climate that can only be described as the total opposite of Brazil (both in regards to people and weather!), with the some of the highest taxes in the world, and with a reputation for being the worlds most (or only?) succesful welfare state?"

The question is completely justified, so allow me to answer it.

It all started on a bus heading from Madrid to Salamanca. It was in October, 2009, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in connection with the Juan de Mariana institute of Madrid, had organized a conference in Salamanca, with the name "The Birthplace of Economic Theory". As Rothbard explained in his excellent 2 volume work "An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought", Salamanca in the 1400s and 1500s were famous for their scholastics, such as Juan de Mariana. The scholastics from Salamanca were among the first intellectuals to deal with economic problems, and they also happen to be the forerunners of the Austrian School. It was in Salamanca that the Austrian School, or in reality "economics", was born. 500 years or so after this "golden" period, Salamanca was once again to be the birthplace of something else, albeit something much, much smaller, and of a lot less importance. It was to be the birthpace of the Swedish Ludwig von Mises institute, something which would not have been possible without the encouragement and inspiration of Mr. Beltrao.

As a brief history, me, and my good friend Joakim Fagerström (referred to as the Swedish mafia by Mr. Beltrao by the way), had met at work a year or so earlier and had struck up a friendship. We were both
very interested in libertarian ideas and economics, and were eager to "do something", "to make a difference". We both felt that Sweden desperately needed it, and since Sweden's most famous libertarian blogger had gone off to work in the European Union (which he "lovingly" refers to as "the death star")
there was a vacuum the needed to be filled. It is said that nature abhorrs a vacuum, and so we both felt the drive toward accomplishing something in order to fill the void we felt existed.

In the beginning we had many ideas, and I can now, in hindsight, admit that they were all horrible and would have amounted to nothing. However, the idea of doing something stuck with us, and so on that day, on the bus from Madrid to Salamanca, in October 2009, we met Mr. Beltrao.

Joakim, myself, and another friend, sat chatting on the bus, one row in front of two brazilian people that we did not know, that were speaking a language we did not understand. They were Mr. Beltrao and Fernando Ulrich, who at the time was studying a masters in Austrian economics in Madrid, under Jesus
Huerta de Soto. We struck up a conversation with them, and it soon became clear that Mr. Beltrao was the founder of Mises Brazil. He started explaining to us what Mises Brazil did, how they did it, how they got started, and so on and we all listened instensely.

At some point I turned to Joakim and said that this was exactly what we should do in Sweden. The only problem was that we had absolutely no idea on how to get started, or how things should be done. Hell, was it even possible to just start a think thank? How would we even do it? So, we kindly asked Mr.
Beltrao and he gave us the best answer anyone could have given us:

Mises-Tcheco3.jpgHe said, "Just do it!"

And yes, it really was that simple. Get started, be motivated, and figure out the rest as it unfolds. It was as thrilling as it was simple.

During the conference in Salamanca, which included among other things speakers such as Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Walter Block, and which was the place where I met my girlfriend, we had many more subsequent conversations, some more serious and some less serious. In these conversations a plan was developing. Not only did it seem plausible that we could do it. It seemed necessary. It was simply something that needed to be done, and that definitely could be done.

Upon returning to Sweden we got started right away. We started translating articles and designing a webpage, and approximately 4 months after the meeting in Salamanca, The Ludwig von Mises institute in Sweden, was launched.

The costs were low, the work had been done (and would need to be continously done), the time was right.

Our hopes were not very high. Bearing in mind that Sweden is a very small country, with a long socialist tradition (more or less 80 years of continous social democratic rule), and where even the right wing arguably can be considered to be more socialist than some socialists in other countries, the amount we had hoped to reach in terms of visitors where 40, maybe 50 people.

However, in only one month we had a more than a 100 unique individuals visiting our site, per day. This was more than we were expecting, and when the numbers continued to grow, although slowly, we felt inspired to carry on. So far, after more than a year in existence, we have accomplished, among other things:

- More than 150 articles, and countless blogposts, published

- A 4 part lecture series, 2 hours each, about economics held at the Royal Institute of Technology in  Stockholm, named Econ101

- A seminar in front of the Finance Regulatory Committe, teaching them about banking and the monetary system

- A handful speeches given about liberty, economics and the environment

- Acquiring the manuscript and the right to publish Mises' "Economic Policy" (which I believe also was the first book published by Mises Brazil)
- Translating two other books, currently waiting to be published

- Acquiring rights to re-publish three old translations of books by Mises and Hazlitt

- Being part of organizing the very first Freedomfest in Sweden, which had almost 100 visitors

- and more...

Mises-Equador3.jpgOne thing that needs to be mentioned, before moving on, is that none of this would have been possible if it hadn't been for the totally open and generous policy of Mises institute, which allows anyone, anywhere, to use whatever material they publish.

Before starting up we had many conversations with Mr. Jeffrey Tucker about this, and we were amazed by their open attitude and extreme generosity. They truly understood not just the power of ideas, but the importance of spreading them, and also doing this in a completely decentralized way. Of course, without this attitude we would not be were we are today, and on a global scale you can see that this attitude is really having an impact. When we started the swedish Mises institute there were maybe 5 other Mises institutes around the world, and today, 1.5 years later, there are almost 20! The austro-libertarian starfish is truly here to stay."

As of now, we currently average around 200 and 300 unique visitors every day. It might not seem as much, but as Lew Rockwell once said, given the state of public opinion, "it is easy to make a big difference". I don't know if I would say that we are making a big difference, but we are definitely making a one.

Thanks to the continous inspiration, support and encouragement of Mr. Beltrao, the future for liberty in Sweden is looking up, and we look with great expectations on what will happen in the coming years. It is true that there might be tough times ahead, but that only makes our (you, me, everyone) work so much more important. As Hoppe says, history is ultimately determined by ideas, be they true or false, and ideas can, at least in principle, change almost immediately. That is why I can not understate the importance of having educated people about true ideas, of peaceful cooperation, of sound economic thinking, when things get bad.

As Mises so eloquently stated it,

Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.

Mr. Beltrao is definitely doing his share. He is truly a shining light in the liberty movement, and I consider myself very lucky to be able to call him my friend.

The caricature of a liberty loving, free market oriented, person is a cold hearted, greedy, and selfish person, that cares about little else than progress, progress, and progress (and of course himself!). Mr. Beltrao could not be further away from this mis-characterization. He is a truly genuine, and warm, person, always with a smile close at hand, and with a true passion for justice and a love for humanity.

He is also a very good friend.

So Helio, my good friend, thank you for being a ceaseless inspiration to me and to all of us here in Sweden. We all salute you, and congratulate you to your first 1000 articles! Here's to another 1000!

And, as we say in Sweden, hipp hipp hurra!

In liberty,

Mises Sweden

___________________________________________________________________________

Our inspiration, model and source of knowledge

usa.jpg

 

, Mises around the world so far....

 brazil2.jpg

    polonia.jpg

equador.jpg

      estonia2.jpg

  finlandia.jpg

      barcelona.jpg

      alemanha2.jpg

    israel.jpg

  

  portugal.jpg

          romenia1.jpg

        russia.jpg

   suecia.jpg

 suiça.jpg

   tcheco.jpg    

    canada2.jpg

     ucrania.jpg

     italia3.jpg

       hispano.jpg

        australia3.jpg

    turquia.jpg

    islandia.jpg

     africadosul.jpg

     china.jpg

       noruega.jpg

         holanda.jpg

...and

        

       tcheco1.jpg

 reino_unido.jpg

        belgica.jpg

      espanha.jpg

      italia1.jpg

     paraguai1.jpg

        romenia3.jpg

    austria.jpg

       espanha2.jpg

     franca.jpg

Joakim Kämpe é um desenvolvedor de softwares e fundador do Instituto Mises da Suécia.


5 comentários
5 comentários
Sonny Ortega 05/06/2011 10:40:48

The link to LvMI Czech republic & Slovakia is wrong (it links to Swiss LvMI). The right link is www.mises.cz.

But anyway, it's great to see how the starfish is growing. Greetings from the Czech republic!

Responder
Peter S. 06/06/2011 06:28:25

Hallo, just a small blemish to take care of: the image of the Czech institute leads actually to the Swiss one.

Nice progress, folks! May you get thousands of articles!

Responder
Malcik 06/06/2011 06:57:06

Hi,

The link to Czech & Slovak Ludwig von Mises Institute is wrong - it should be www.mises.cz and not mises.ch.

Otherwise, nice article. Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Malcik
www.mises.cz

Responder
Fernando Chiocca 06/06/2011 13:05:14

Sorry guys. It's fixed now.

Thanks.

Responder
Facundo 26/02/2013 13:22:56

Funny that Argentina is not there. Here Hayek is fashion, not Mises, too radical. Obviously free-market's anarchists are almost unknown (I only know 5 guys).
Actually most of pro liberty/libertarian organizations in this country are pretty corrupt at it's best Argentinean style.

Sincerely,


Facundo

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