At least according to this person after I ask if Menger advocating specific regulation makes him socialist:
Also, I will say that such policies are certainly socialist. So, if Menger did indeed make such statements, then he certainly was recommending socialist policies in such an instance. However, that would be a separate issue from Menger’s work on theory and methodology.
Seriously?! This is simply clear ignorance of an Internet Austrian. Sure the policies advocated are separate from theory, but it is clear that Menger’s theory is one that doesn’t see markets as pure spontaneous order, indeed he notes several times that as great as the automatic system is (spontaneous order), there are indeed limits, and development must be expanded via government. Most Austrians only see the spontaneous order part of Menger and completely forget to flip the other side of the coin, for it is a picture they refuse to accept. The same commenter questions a source in which provides a lot of Menger’s views on policy:
In any case, the source in question is the notes of Crown Prince Rudolf from when Menger was one of his tutors. This is pretty shoddy, because we don’t know if these are the words of Menger, or of Rudolf, nor do we know that these aren’t the words of another of Rudolf’s tutors. In fact, the entire collection is from a classical perspective, and is in fact very Smithian. Further, there is no mention of Menger’s subjectivity, monetary theory, or any of his methodological work at all. That seems a bit strange, doesn’t it? Menger could very well have been instructed to teach Rudolf from a particular perspective. Or, none of those words could be Menger’s. It could be Rudolf’s ode to Smith.
This is really a bad critique on Rudolf’s notes. As noted in these series of lectures, while Rudolf did write the majority of these lectures by memory, Menger revised and corrected the lectures, in other words, these are the final revised lectures. So misrepresentation of Menger’s views is of (very) low possibility. Actually as Oscar Jaszi notes in his The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (published in 1929 btw) , the lectures by Menger and his student were used to some extent to dismantle the aristocracy in Austria (p 152).
Thus, Menger’s appreciation for Smith, advocacy of forest regulations (p 131-3), government to improve workers’ conditions (p 127), and government to build roads, schools, railroads, canals (p 121) were Menger’s views, this is not a “shoddy” claim, unless one is going to take the position that Menger sucks at revising and correcting his student’s notes on lectures by Menger himself.
This isn’t the only source of Menger’s policy views. In his article “Geld” (the latest edition is the one of 1909), Menger makes it clear that he supports government monopoly of coinage.
In Transcript of Finanz-Wissenschaft von Prof. Carl Menger translated by Mizobata, Menger claims to advocate progressive income tax (p 52).
Why didn’t the lectures have Mengerian issues like subjectivism, I don’t know and I am not going to speculate a reason. The point though is that there is evidence to show Menger’s views and the validity of the lectures. Menger truly was an ideal figure for classical liberalism, his lectures show the importance to stress the limitations of government, while still demonstrating a role for the state, one that goes beyond providing security, courts, and laws. If others want to interpret this as socialistic, go ahead, I am not going to get myself involved into a semantics debate too heavily. I just don’t get why one advocating for an active role of government makes one a socialist, maybe I will never get it, given that I have probably been brainwashed by the socialistic public school system!