Austrian Economics Wiki

Why is this, what is this, and so on[]

  • This wiki is about the Austrian School of Economics and the science of economics from an Austrian free market perspective, formulated as accessible as possible.
  • The reason for its creation was really the Wikipedia entries on the Austrian school and related concepts: they are written from a more mainstream point of view, with much critique, that is difficult to address in a compact way, without referring to numerous other resources. A wiki will allow to write down arguments for various stances, with easy linking to all relevant economical concepts and further topics, so one can explore the whole body of the science (well, the part that is here) if interested. At all points should be of course links to more detailed resources. Link for your life!
  • The ideal of this wiki is to be fully referenced, everything should be quoted from a (hopefully) reliable source.
  • This wiki uses the Mediawiki syntax, the same as Wikipedia.

What if I like this wiki?[]

  • Glad to hear that, please help it to grow!

What if I feel critical?[]

  • If there are typos, incorrect quotes, missing resources and arguments, etc., please help the wiki to grow. You can correct them directly or point it out on the Talk page of the page in question - visit it via the Discussion button on the top right.
  • It is only natural some will disagree. A wiki is not necessarily the best place to directly discuss these issues. As long as this is kept in mind, pointing out sources of disagreement with other schools of thought is perfectly acceptable, best done by creating a separate Criticism section on the page where the critique applies, with all other expectations (citing/referencing sources etc.) applied.
  • This is a place to describe disputes, not to engage in them.

What if it looks like it was written elsewhere?[]

  • Well, that is no surprise: most if not all of the content of this wiki comes from outside sources, that allow such quoting. Everything is quoted in good faith, with much of the sources explicitly allowing their quoting. Linking to the sources of quoted material is expected to be done as much as humanly possible. Most of the material is of course rewritten to fit the wiki format and the various sources; it would be still out of place to not recognize the many great works this wiki is built on.

Why are there so many links of important concepts and people leading outside of this wiki?[]

  • Frankly, the area of knowledge is too large to write down in any short amount of time. The problem will be attacked in parts.
  • Some topics would be simply out of place here, especially historical ones, there, a link to an outside page is more appropriate, unless it illustrates in an important way economical themes of this wiki.
  • But if something just screams to belong to here, there is help: please turn the links you consider important enough into internal links and create the initial pages or Stubs. Write as much as you consider necessary.

What a great page about X! Can I use it?[]

  • Yes.
  • You are perfectly free to quote it and use in other places.
  • Using also the original quotes and referencing their sources a) looks way better and b) makes derivative works more professional, and less likely to be attacked for misrepresentation and copyright issues. Give credit where credit is due.
  • If they allow it and you feel confident, you can also update other sites about the topic in question, like Wikipedia (but please be aware of their policies, like Wikipedia:NOR or Wikipedia:NPOV).

How reliable is this thing?[]

  • This site is made by imperfect humans who make mistakes. No other guarantee is expressed or implied.
  • If mistakes are made, please correct them or use the Talk pages to point them out (but see the #What if I feel critical? point above).
  • As a wiki, this page is editable by anyone, so it is not free of vandalism or misguided edits.
  • However, referring to the original resource is one of its hallmarks; plus many of the resources quoted are online as well. It is highly recommended to look up the original sources to make sure it is quoted correctly; also there is nearly always more to find out about the topics of interest.

Okay, I'd like to help, but how?[]

  • This is not, strictly speaking, a place for opinions (even if opinions have a habit of creeping into any text). Please refer to the classics and less known authors, quote as necessary, summarize and rephrase (those classics often write in a complicated way) to make things understandable and easy to read. They do not have to be too simple.
  • Things don't have to be perfect on the first try. Feel free to create a Stub with the definition, some characteristics, and link in a few good resources for more information.
  • Always reference the sources. Always.

Make one paragraph[]

Some people are not sure if contributing to such a wiki is really for them, or too complicated. In that case, the answer is simple - Make one paragraph.

If you want to give it a shot, then just make 1 (one) paragraph. You sure can do more, but it's okay to start with one to get a taste. As a student of the Austrian school, you are most likely studying some book or article. The number of places to improve things is unlimited, so just find something that fits and you are interested in. And then...

  • check if it really fits
  • rewrite it to fit the rest of the text, simplifying and shortening is often necessary (sometimes you can turn several pages or a whole chapter into one paragraph)
  • see if you can link to any other wiki pages (a link or a few are good, don't overdo it); especially historical posts may have use for relevant Wikipedia links
  • create a reference; look at the other references or help for inspiration - or ask for assistance
  • preview, check and save it into the wiki

This can be easy or hard depending on the topic and may take from a few minutes to (rarely) an hour. If you give up during the process, then it really may not be the right hobby, sorry for bothering ya. If you complete it but don't like it, too bad; but know those minutes weren't wasted. Otherwise, congratulations, keep at it!

What are the criteria for inclusion of material?[]

  • The wiki and its standards are still under development, but the following guidelines seem to emerge:
  • Everything should be referenced to its source.
  • Only respected sources should be used - at the moment this includes e.g. articles and books from the Mises Institute. For historical and topical information, articles from notable newspapers, TV Stations etc. can be also used.
  • Avoid blog posts and forum posts.
  • Wikipedia, despite its great usefulness and much linking is not considered a good source for material. Use it to find more sources and as contrast to the Austrian Economics Wiki.

Is there anything that is not referenced?[]

  • Everything should be referenced, but a few things of little controversy have escaped this requirement, like the basic chemical properties of Silver.
  • Some points may be listed without the resource, if the resource cannot be consulted at the moment. As an example, in the History of Money and Banking is said "Long-distance commerce is according to some sources at least 150,000 years old.[citation needed]" This is quoted from Wikipedia, which includes the source book and author - but it was not checked personally by the editor. Note that even if the quote is wrong (if, e.g. the book says trade is 200,000 years old or 100,000), it does not change the point, and does not impact the economic considerations of the article.
  • In cases like this, use the {{Fact}} template. Please also add where the unsourced statement comes from and where a good source could be found.
  • If the source S says something comes from X, but this cannot be confirmed, don't use X as a reference - use the original source S.

What is a Wiki good for[]

The quality may vary, but there are already many solid introductory pages for basic and more advanced concepts, sometimes more. The assumption is, that it will grow. And what is it good for again?

1. Argumentation[]

The wiki was also inspired by the many calls to have a list of "default arguments" for typical questions. It is a great idea, but even a good list takes you only so far.

In a wiki, you can find answers to at least some questions. More importantly, there are pointers to more resources, which may help in finding the right answer.

Discussions on the Internet rarely end with one argument. If an answer is found, it usually turns to a different aspect of the topic or to a different topic altogether. With a large wiki that could mean skipping to another section or following a link to another page... and start the search for answers anew.

2. Study[]

Some materials are harder to find than others. If you are interested in a specific economical concept or moment in history, you could do worse than reading the page about it and following the linked resources - or other related pages. If you find more or better resources, add them. Self-education is another of the goals of the wiki.

3. Research[]

This is a little tricky. Now, the wiki can already help with some questions and will be able to help more as it grows. The topical pages can provide an overview and a bunch of resources to research. Some obscure details can be found already. Which laws exactly formed the US banking system in the 19th century? Are there any resources on the first paper inflation in China? And so on.

Note: as with Wikipedia, serious research can begin or include a wiki page, but one should always consult the original sources.

4. Fun[]

If you consider gathering knowledge fun, you are in the right place. :)

How much detail is needed?[]

As much as is necessary. A given topic should have a summary, then sections on its various aspects. If a section grows too large, it should be turned into a new page.

At the same time, please try to stay concise and clear.