That book shows that the founder of Austrian economics was worlds apart from the modern cult of anarcho-capitalism.
In chapter VII of Menger’s book, we find him endorsing the following:
(1) public works constructed by the state such as roads, railways and canals:All in all, the founder of Austrian economics appears to have accepted the existence of the state and a number of interventions, perhaps on utilitarian grounds.“Important roads, railways and canals that improve the general well-being by improving traffic and communication are special examples of this kind of enterprise and lasting evidence of the concern of the state for the well-being of its parts and thereby its own power; at the same time, they are/constitute major prerequisites for the prosperity of a modern state.” (Menger 1994: 121).(2) government established agricultural and vocational training institutions (Menger 1994: 123).
(3) government subsidies to certain sectors:“The state may also well support the various sectors of the national economy by actual subsidies, of course only when it is useful to the citizens but surpasses their individual means: strictly speaking, such subsidies are intended to become a useful public good, owned by the community as a whole.(4) state intervention to stop clearing of forests on private property in the mountains of Austria when this clearing had serious and bad effects on agriculture, such as soil erosion and floods on the plains:
This will occur, for example, if the state wants to promote agriculture and especially cattle breeding by purchasing prime quality breeding animals whose price exceeds most people's means; by becoming public property, the animals best serve their purpose, to serve all alike.” (Menger 1994: 123).“The Southern Tyrol, Istria, Dalmatia are sad object lessons of the blind greed of individuals and thoughtless negligence of former governments”. (Menger 1994: 131).(5) government intervention to stop child labour (Menger 1994: 129).
The progressive liberalism and Fabian socialist sympathies of later Austrians like Eugen von Philippovich, Friedrich von Wieser and Richard von Strigl were not deviations from Menger’s ideas on the state, but a development of them.
Menger, Carl. 1994. Carl Menger’s Lectures to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (ed. by Erich W. Streissler and Monika Streissler; trans. Monika Streissler and David F. Good), E. Elgar, Aldershot.