Austrian school economist, author of Human Action
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  • Ludwig von Mises

    Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (29 September 1881 - 10 October 1973) was a philosopher, Austrian School economist, sociologist and classical liberal. He became a prominent figure in the Austrian School of economic thought and is best known for his work on praxeology, a study of human choice and action. Fearing a Nazi takeover of Switzerland, where he was living at the time, Mises emigrated to the United States in 1940. Mises' thought has exerted significant influence on the libertarian movement in the United States in the mid-20th century.

    Reference

    Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
    Includes picture and list of selected works with links to those hosted by the Library of Economics and Liberty
    "Ludwig von Mises was one of the last members of the original Austrian School of Economics. He earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna in 1906. ... Mises believed that economic truths are derived from self-evident axioms and cannot be empirically tested. He laid out his view in his magnum opus, Human Action, and in other publications, although he failed to persuade many economists outside the Austrian school."

    Images

    Ludwig Von Mises - The Advocates
    182x300 JPEG, color

    Born

    29 Sep 1881, Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises, in Lemberg (Lviv), Ukraine

    Died

    10 Oct 1973, in New York City

    Biography

    Laissez Faire Books
    "The Vienna-based Mises' first major work was The Theory of Money and Credit (1912) which explained how markets, not governments, determine the value of money. He told how inflations and depressions are caused by government manipulation of money and credit. He became socialism's greatest enemy when, in 1920, he discovered why socialism would impoverish millions. Two years later, he expanded his discovery into the book Socialism, which demolished that dogma."
    Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), by Murray N. Rothbard, 1990
    Lengthy biographical essay with chronological explanation of Mises' writings
    "One of the most notable economists and social philosophers of the twentieth century, Ludwig von Mises, in the course of a long and highly productive life, developed an integrated, deduct­ive science of economics based on the fundamental axiom that in­dividual human beings act purposively to achieve desired goals."

    Associations

    Economic Advisor, 1946-1973, Foundation for Economic Education
    Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, 1945-1969, New York University
    Founding member, Mont Pelerin Society

    Web Pages

    Ludwig von Mises - Online Library of Liberty
    Includes photo, short biography and links to essays and study guides about Mises, to a timeline of his life and works, to various editions of his writings and to selected quotations
    "Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian School of economic thought, a prodigious originator in economic theory, and a prolific author. Mises' writings and lectures encompassed economic theory, history, epistemology, government, and political philosophy. His contributions to economic theory include important clarifications on the quantity theory of money, the theory of the trade cycle, the integration of monetary theory with economic theory in general, and a demonstration that socialism must fail because it cannot solve the problem of economic calculation."
    Ludwig Von Mises - The Advocates
    Biography (from Laissez-Faire Books), picture and quotes
    "Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) did more than anyone else to explain why free markets outperform every other economic system, raising living standards for millions. Mises was the leading champion for free markets during the darkest decades of the 20th century, when intellectuals embraced the New Deal, socialism, communism, Nazism and other types of government interference with economic liberty."

    Bibliography

    The Complete Mises Bibliography
    From 1902 through 2000, broken down mostly into half-decades

    Articles

    NewA Call to Activism, by Margit von Mises, The Free Market, Jun 1984
    Speech delivered 27 Feb 1984 at a Mises Institute dinner in her honor; calling her late husband an "activist of the mind" and encouraging others to become likewise
    "Professor Hayek once called my husband 'a great radical, an intelligent and rational radical, but nonetheless a radical on the right lines.' This was correct, but Ludwig von Mises was also an activist — an activist of the mind. Not only did he write scholarly books containing great wisdom — he also promoted the free market in speeches, articles, lectures, and seminars. ... He stimulated the interest, and then the understanding of all the people he met. And he did even more. He stimulated them to action."
    A Guide to the Writings of Ludwig von Mises, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., Dec 1990
    At the original Laissez Faire Books; a suggested approach to reading Mises works, starting off with Planning for Freedom and leaving Human Action nearly last
    "The great social theorist Ludwig von Mises was born one hundred and ten years ago, published the majority of his important works before midcentury, and died nearly twenty years ago, at the end of a staggeringly productive life. ... Reading through these will give you one of the great experiences of a lifetime, an understanding of the world that you will treasure forever, and a commitment to liberty that will be as precious to you as life itself."
    Ludwig Edler von Mises, by Roger W. Garrison, Business Cycles and Depressions, 1997
    Describes how Mises integrated ideas from the Austrian (Böhm-Bawerk), Swedish (Wicksell) and British Currency schools to develop his business cycle theory and offers explanations as to why the theory has not been accepted within mainstream macroeconomics
    "Building upon this early integration of value theory and monetary theory, Mises sought to explain how both market forces and bank policy affected the purchasing power of money. He also provided a clear account, in this first major work, of the credit-induced boom and subsequent bust. An extended treatment of what came to be known as the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle is provided in his 'Monetary Stabilization and Cyclical Policy' and in Human Action."
    Related Topic: Central Banking
    Ludwig von Mises - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    "In Socialism—published in 1922, and now hailed as the classic that predicted the breakdown of the communist experiment—he argued that socialism could not function in an industrial economy because there would be no market for capital goods and therefore no price system to calculate profit and loss. During the 1920s Mises saw a quickening of interest in his ideas in Europe, and he was one of the few to predict the Great Depression."
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy: His life and times, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk
    "Socialism's most outspoken adversary was the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. ... Mises explained how only capitalism enabled human beings to arise from barbarism ... Mises showed how, at a faster and faster pace, capitalism transformed luxuries for an elite into pleasures for millions. ... Mises did a more complete job than anyone else describing a vision of liberty ... Mises persisted in expressing these radical views even though it meant being treated as an outcast."
    Mises: Defender of Freedom, by George Reisman, Mises Daily, 29 Sep 2006
    Describes several of Mises' contributions to economics theory and other areas, along with some personal reminiscences
    "... when Mises appeared, there was virtually no systematic intellectual opposition to socialism or defense of capitalism. Quite literally, the intellectual ramparts of civilization were undefended. What Mises undertook, and which summarizes the essence of his greatness, was to build an intellectual defense of capitalism and thus of civilization."
    Mises on His 125th Anniversary, by Jörg Guido Hülsmann, Mises Daily, 29 Sep 2006
    Written on the 125th anniversary of Mises' birth, includes excerpts from memorial thoughts from Hazlitt, Kirzner, Rothbard, John Chamberlain, Leonard Read and others
    "Rothbard [writing in] Human Events ... (October 10, 1973) '... what they met was a mind of genius blended harmoniously with a personality of great sweetness and benevolence. Not once has any of us heard a harsh or bitter word escape from Mises' lips. Unfailingly gentle and courteous, Ludwig Mises was always there to encourage even the slightest signs of productivity or intelligence in his friends and students ...'"
    Money and the Individual, by Murray N. Rothbard, 1981
    Foreword to the 1981 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises's The Theory of Money and Credit
    "Ludwig von Mises was a 'third-generation' Austrian, a brilliant student in Böhm-Bawerk's famous graduate seminar at the University of Vienna in the first decade of the twentieth century. Mises's great achievement in The Theory of Money and Credit (published in 1912) was to take the Austrian method and apply it to the one glaring and vital lacuna in Austrian theory: the broad 'macro' area of money and general prices."
    The Wisdom of Ludwig von Mises, by George Koether, The Freeman, Sep 1981
    Preface to a selection of excerpts from Human Action arranged topically from Accounting to War, by one of Mises' former students
    "Human Action, generally considered to be the greatest work of the greatest economist of our times, is a towering monument to the mind of a genius. ... As every human action bears on every other human action, so every principle of economic analysis relates to every other principle. Thus, in dealing topically with one subject, Professor Mises never overlooked its relation to all others. Hence his convictions on any one topic were spread throughout his book."
    Best of Both Worlds: Milton Friedman reminisces about his career as an economist and his lifetime "avocation" as a spokesman for freedom, by Brian Doherty, Reason, Jun 1995
    Topics discussed include: the new Congress, flat taxes, the withholding tax, the people who influenced him, what led him to write about policy issues, libertarianism and how his political views have changed over the years
    "At one of the Mont Pelerin meetings, Fritz [Machlup] gave a talk in which I think he questioned the idea of a gold standard; he came out in favor of floating exchange rates. Mises was so mad he wouldn't speak to him for three years. Some people had to come around and bring them together again. It's hard to understand; you can get some understanding of it by taking into account how people like Mises were persecuted in their lives."
    Book Review: Problemas Economicos de Mexico, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Jan 1999
    Review of Problemas Economicos de Mexico by Ludwig von Mises, 1998
    "At the request of a Mexican association of market-oriented businessmen, he prepared, in English, a monograph on 'Mexico's Economic Problems' in June 1943. ... A Spanish translation of this monograph has just recently been published by the Instituto Cultural Ludwig von Mises ... It also includes an introduction by the Institute's director ... and an afterword by the Institute's academic director ... in which the monograph's historical context and continuing relevance are explained."
    Related Topic: Mexico
    Child Labor and the British Industrial Revolution, Part 1, by Lawrence Reed, Future of Freedom, Sep 1999
    Contrasts the situation of "free labour" and "parish apprentice" children during the British Industrial Revolution, the latter being mostly orphans placed in the custody of parish, i.e., government, authorities
    "Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian economist, put it well in his treatise Human Action when he noted that the generally deplorable conditions extant for centuries before the Industrial Revolution and the low levels of productivity which created them caused families to embrace the new opportunities the factories represented ..."
    Classical Liberalism in Argentina: A Lesson for the World, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Jul 1994
    Recounts highlights of Argentine history from the 1810 revolution to the late 20th century, arguing that the period from the ouster of Rosas in 1852 to the military coup of 1930 demonstrated the validity of Adam Smith's writings
    "The year 1958 ... a small group of Argentineans, led by a man named Alberto Benegas Lynch ... invited two [men] to deliver a series of lectures in Argentina. ... Mises, who had immigrated from Austria and was then teaching at New York University, was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian school of economic thought. ... Mises' lectures were ultimately published in a book entitled Economic Policy."
    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), by Peter J. Boettke, The Freeman, Aug 1992
    Lengthy biographical essay, including his criticism of Keynes and the impact of The Road to Serfdom
    "Yet, ironically it was Mises, through his devastating critique of socialism published in 1922, who turned Hayek away from Fabian socialism. ... Mises, the great system builder, provided Hayek with the research program. Hayek became the great dissecter and analyzer. His life’s work can best be appreciated as an attempt to make explicit what Mises had left implicit, to refine what Mises had outlined, and to answer questions Mises had left unanswered."
    Related Topics: Friedrich A. Hayek, Socialism
    Government Interventionism in Ireland, Part 2, by Scott McPherson, Future of Freedom, Jun 2004
    Continued examination of the differences between Irish Protestants and Catholics in the early 20th century, suggesting the principles advocated by Mises could have resulted in better outcomes
    "It was around this same time that an early libertarian commentator would accurately capture the spirit of the times and prescribe the appropriate antidote. In 1927, Ludwig von Mises's Liberalism: The Classical Tradition addressed the very problems that were only exacerbated by Irish nationalists' interventionist tendencies. ... 'Every interference on the part of the government in economic life can become a means of persecuting [minorities],' Mises warned."
    Related Topic: Ireland
    NewHow Nationalism and Socialism Arose from the French Revolution, by Dan Sanchez, 12 Apr 2017
    Examines how three crucial ideas (liberalism, nationalism and socialism) emerged around the same time (18th and 19th century) and how they depended on the rise of the modern people's state
    "As Mises insightfully wrote: 'Nationalist ideology divides society vertically; the socialist ideology divides society horizontally.' Mises referred to such doctrines as types of 'warfare sociology.' He brilliantly identified the intellectual fallacies of warfare sociology as the philosophical basis for the 20th century quasi-religion of 'etatism': faith in and devotion to the omnipotent state. What Mises didn't fully realize was that it was the institutional incentives of the people's state (which he too thought was a necessary bulwark for liberty) that made warfare sociology—nationalism and socialism—so alluring."
    Jeff Riggenbach on Samuel Edward Konkin III, by Jeff Riggenbach, Freedom Network News: The Journal of the International Society for Individual Liberty, 2004
    Lengthy biographical and memorial essay
    "One of Sam's principal mentors, Ludwig von Mises, argued in his seminal work Theory and History that history is impossible in the absence of certain assumptions – assumptions about what kinds of events are important and what kinds are not, assumptions about the ways in which causality functions in matters of human action. In the absence of such assumptions, the historian would have no basis for deciding what to write about."
    Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 31: Ludwig von Mises on the Case for Gold and a Free Banking System, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Jun 1999
    Examines Mises' thinking on the gold standard (why it is needed and that it not be subject to political manipulation), free banking and what is needed for it to succeed
    "Throughout most of the 20th century, one of the leading proponents of the gold standard was the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. ... But, at the same time, Mises was conscious of the fact that even a gold standard established and controlled by the political authority was still a managed monetary system. ... In Human Action (1949), Mises summarized the case for a free banking system ..."
    Related Topic: Banking
    Persuasion Power Point #202: Are Government Failures the Result of the Wrong People Running It?, by Michael Cloud, The Liberator Online, 11 May 2006
    Examines the excuses given for the failure of government programs and whether the outcomes would be different if the "right" people were in charge
    "What if the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises were alive -- and put in charge of the Internal Revenue Service. He's subject to today's mandates, laws, regulations, budget, constraints, and political reality. Could Ludwig von Mises make the IRS collect the money while NOT damaging lives -- or the economy?"
    Related Topic: Government
    Professor Ludwig von Mises Discusses Free Enterprise, La Prensa, 2 Jun 1959
    Translation of interview with Ludwig von Mises upon visiting Buenos Aires; discusses Mises' views on free enterprise, inflation, the policies of De Gaulle and Adenauer and the possibility of an Argentine economic recovery
    "Dr. Mises, who was born in Austria and moved to the United States in 1940, has been a member and consultant of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, since 1946. He also teaches at the business administration school of New York University (NYU) and is the author of many books on economics, translated into Spanish, including, The Theory of Money and Credit, Omnipotent Government, and The Anti-capitalistic Mentality."
    Socialized Medicine in a Wealthy Country, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 2 Dec 2006
    Discusses the view of socialised medicine held by left-socialists, examining the problems that existed in Soviet-controlled countries as well as current U.S. problems, and urges for a "complete separation of health and state"
    "Wouldn't it be better if everyone could just consume all the services and drugs and surgeries that they needed? Mises addressed this point brilliantly in 1922. He pointed out that that there is no clean division between sickness and health. We ourselves are capable of making misjudgments on this matter, believing ourselves to be sick and even making ourselves sick if we so will it. The will to health, Mises wrote, is an important determinant of our well-being."
    NewSzasz on the Liberal Tradition, by David Gordon, The Mises Review, Sep 2004
    Review of Szasz' book Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices, highlighting his criticisms of J.S. Mill, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Nozick
    "Szasz finds very much to his liking Mises's contention that all action is, from the point of view of the actor, rational: praxeology has nothing to say about the rationality of ends, and a person always chooses means he thinks best fitted to attain whatever ends he has. '... It is only a short step from Mises's assertion that human action is always rational, to my [Szasz's] assertion that mental illness is a myth' (p. 152). Unfortunately, Mises sometimes fell from grace by speaking of mental illness as though it were real; but he was a great man nonetheless."
    The Businessman and the Defense of Capitalism, by Benjamin A. Rogge, Can Capitalism Survive?, 1979
    Chapter 1 of Part IX, "an explicit follow-up to the Schumpeter-based 'Can Capitalism Survive?'" (the lead essay in this volume); offers business leaders suggestions as to what to do and not to do in helping "the cause of freedom"
    "In the words of one of the great idea men of this century, the late Ludwig von Mises, 'The masses, the hosts of common men, do not conceive any ideas, sound or unsound. They only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But their choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster.'"
    Related Topics: Business, Capitalism, Government
    The Early History of FEE, by Henry Hazlitt, The Freeman, Mar 1984
    Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983
    "And then in an amazingly short time a stream of publications began to pour forth. ... Next, in 1947, came Planned Chaos, a 90-page pamphlet by Ludwig von Mises. Lu had been put on the payroll by Leonard from the first year of the Foun­dation."
    The Flagellation of the Pursuit of Happiness, by George Reisman, 14 Jun 2006
    Commentary on Paul Krugman's lamentations about a Senate vote that would abolish the estate tax
    "Among the most important things that Mises showed is that the pursuit of self-interest is the foundation of the saving and investment and continuous innovation and improvement of products and methods of production that serves to raise the standard of living of all. In a country governed by the principle of the individual's pursuit of his own happiness, the standard of living of the very poorest comes to surpass the standard of living of the very richest of a few generations back."
    Related Topic: Pursuit of Happiness
    The Justice and Prudence of War: Toward A Libertarian Analysis, by Roderick Long, Mises Daily, 20 Sep 2006
    Examines the ethics of war from a libertarian perspective, considering both deontological and consequentialist claims
    "Ludwig von Mises used to argue that a market economy regulated by governmental intervention, hailed by many as a middle path between socialism and laissez-faire, is an inherently unstable system: each additional interference with private commerce distorts the price system, leading to economic dislocations that must be addressed either by repealing the first intervention or by adding a second, and so on ad infinitum."
    The life and times of F.A. Hayek, who explained why political liberty is impossible without economic liberty, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay, with extensive quotes both from Hayek and others (including Keynes)
    "In October 1921, with a letter of introduction from his economics professor Friedrich von Wieser, Hayek met Ludwig von Mises who was a financial advisor at the Chamber of Commerce. ... Mises' 1922 book Die Gemeinwirtschaft [Socialism] had a major impact on Hayek's thinking. ... Mises helped Hayek's career many ways. ... Upon his return, Hayek began attending Mises' twice-monthly private seminar on free market economics. It met in Mises' office at the Chamber of Commerce."
    The Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary: The Society Helps Keep Alight the Lamp of Classical Liberalism, by Greg Kaza, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Historical and anecdotal essay about the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society and its first meeting
    "Mises was the first economist to demonstrate that socialism could not possibly work because of the absence of a price system. In Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (1920), he had shown that without the guiding hand of the price system, there was no way to allocate scarce resources intelligently. Mises remained an implacable foe of government economic intervention ... "
    The Nature and Significance of Economic Education: Economists Should Pursue Their Science with Objectivity, Detachment, and Passion, by Israel M. Kirzner, The Freeman, Oct 1998
    Explains why economic education of both the general public and politicians/legislators is needed and why a teacher, such as Mises, must remain scientifically detached (value free) even if passionate about the teaching goals
    "On the one hand, even the casual reader of Mises senses the enormous passion with which he preached the message of the free society and its dependence upon free markets. ... On the other hand, one of the foundations of economic science was, for Mises, the austere wertfreiheit with which, he maintained, the economist must pursue his scientific work. Science, Mises insisted, must never express or reveal the personal preferences, or judgments of value, of the scientist."
    Von Mises Finds A Sweet Home In Alabama, by Kyle Wingfield, The Wall Street Journal, 11 Aug 2006
    Describes the Mises Institute, its location, its programs, faculty and students, including comments from Jeffrey Tucker (then a vice president at the institute)
    "In the 1920s and '30s, Ludwig von Mises was a leading light of Austrian economic thought, seeking to counter the growing trend toward socialism by arguing for limited government, lower taxes, stronger private property rights and less business regulation. In 1934, he fled the Nazis in Vienna -- going first to Switzerland and later to America, where he was a prolific thinker and writer until his death in 1973."

    Writings

    "Anticommunism" versus Capitalism, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, 1956
    Excerpt from part V
    "There exists today a sham anticommunist front. ... They make an illusory distinction between communism and socialism and — paradoxically enough — look for a support of their recommendation of noncommunist socialism to the document which its authors called The Communist Manifesto. They think that they have proved their case by employing such aliases for socialism as planning or the welfare state."
    Related Topic: Communism
    Capital Goods and Capital, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 15, Section 2; explains what are capital goods, differentiates them from "capital", defines other terms such as saving, income and capital consumption, and discusses spurious concepts such as real capital and social capital
    "At the outset of every step forward on the road to a more plentiful existence is saving--the provisionment of products that makes it possible to prolong the average period of time elapsing between the beginning of the production process and its turning out of a product ready for use and consumption. The products accumulated for this purpose are either intermediary stages in the technological process, i.e. tools and half-finished products, or goods ready for consumption that make it possible for man to substitute, without suffering want during the waiting period, a more time-absorbing process for another absorbing a shorter time. These goods are called capital goods."
    Related Topic: Capital Goods
    Catallactic Unemployment, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 21 "Work and Wages", Section 4; defines catallactic or market-generated unemployment, details reasons why some people choose to remain unemployed and discusses "frictional" and institutional unemployment
    "What causes unemployment is the fact that--contrary to the above-mentioned doctrine of the worker's inability to wait--those eager to earn wages can and do wait. A job-seeker who does not want to wait will always get a job in the unhampered market economy in which there is always unused capacity of natural resources and very often also unused capacity of produced factors of production. It is only necessary for him either to reduce the amount of pay he is asking for or to alter his occupation or his place of work."
    Related Topic: Unemployment
    General Observations Concerning the Theory of Rent, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 22 "The Nonhuman Original Factors of Production", section 1; explains that the differential rent concept, formulated by David Ricardo, can in general be accepted within modern economics, whereas the residual rent idea is incorrect
    "The fact that land of different quality and fertility, i.e., yielding different returns per unit of input, is valued differently does not pose any special problem to modern economics. ... Land and the services it renders are dealt with in the same way as other factors of production and their services. ... Only if one clings naively to general terms such as land or labor, is one puzzled by the question why land and labor are differently valued and appraised. "
    Related Topics: Land, Economic Resources
    Inequality of Wealth and Incomes, The Freeman, May 1955
    Describes how attempts to equalize incomes and wealth lead to lowered standard of living for the masses and eventually to socialism
    "When Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto recommended 'a heavy progressive or graduated income tax' and 'abolition of all right of inheritance' ... They were fully aware of the inevitable consequences of these policies. They openly declared that these measures are 'economically untenable' and that they advocated them only ... as a means of bringing about socialism."
    Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism, 18 Apr 1950
    Speech to the University Club of New York; argues that the middle of the road policies of interventionism, such as price controls and progressive taxation, eventually lead to socialism via central planning
    "They advocate the substitution of public control of the means of production for private control. They aim at the establishment of what is called socialism, communism, planning, or state capitalism. All these terms signify the same thing. No longer should the consumers, by their buying and abstention from buying, determine what should be produced, in what quantity and of what quality. Henceforth a central authority alone should direct all production activities."
    Minimum Wage Rates, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 30, "Interference With the Structure of Prices", Section 3; discusses the setting of minimun wages both by legislation and by collecitve bargaining, pointing out some of the resulting problems
    "The advocates of minimum wage rates, whether decreed and enforced by government or by violent action, contend that they are fighting for the improvement of the conditions of the working masses. ... However, the problem is precisely whether there is any means for raising the standard of living of all those eager to work other than raising the marginal productivity of labor by accelerating the increase of capital as compared with population."
    On Equality and Inequality, Modern Age, 1961
    Examines the premise that "all men are created equal" and some possible as well as purported conclusions
    "The doctrine of natural law that inspired the eighteenth century declarations of the rights of man did not imply the obviously fallacious proposition that all men are biologically equal. It proclaimed that all men are born equal in rights and that this equality cannot be abrogated by any man-made law, that it is inalienable or, more precisely, imprescriptible. Only the deadly foes of individual liberty ... interpreted the principle of equality before the law as derived from an alleged psychical and physiological equality of all men."
    Prices, The Freeman, Sep 1981
    Extracted from Human Action by George Koether
    "The valuations which result in determination of definite prices are different. Each party attaches a higher value to the good he receives than to that he gives away. The exchange ratio, the price, is not the product of an equality of valuation, but, on the contrary, the product of a discrepancy in valuation. The characteristic feature of the market price is that it tends to equalize supply and demand. Any deviation of a market price from the height at which supply and demand are equal is—in the unhampered market—self-liquidating."
    Related Topic: Prices
    Rationality and Irrationality; Subjectivism and Objectivity of Praxeological Research, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
    Chapter 1, "Acting Man", section 4; argues that all human action is rational, i.e., the outcome of reasonable deliberation
    "The impulse to live, to preserve one's own life, and to take advantage of every opportunity of strengthening one's vital forces is a primal feature of life, present in every living being. However, ... man has the power to master even these impulses. He can control both his sexual desires and his will to live. He can give up his life when the conditions under which alone he could preserve it seem intolerable. ... To live is for man the outcome of a choice, of a judgment of value."
    Related Topics: Life, Economics
    The Economic Role of Saving and Capital Goods, The Freeman, Aug 1963
    Explains there is a third factor of production aside from nature's resouces and human labor, and also that entrepreneurial judgement is necessary to attain the desired end of production
    "Capital goods come into existence by saving. A part of the goods produced is withheld from immediate consumption and em­ployed for processes the fruits of which will only mature at a later date. ... Civilized man produces tools and intermediary products in the pursuit of long-range designs that finally bring forth results which direct, less time-consuming methods could never have attained, or could have attained only with an incomparably higher expenditure of labor and material factors."
    The Fallacy of the Concept of "National Character", Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, 1944
    Chapter 10, "Nazism as a World Problem", section 2; explains why it is incorrect to generalize from some supposedly representative persons of a given nation to a national "character"
    "In the first World War British propagandists used to cite over and over again a few lines from Goethe's Faust. ... These verses do not at all express Goethe's own tenets. Faust concludes with a glorification of productive work; its guiding idea is that only the self-satisfaction received from rendering useful services to his fellow men can make a man happy; it is a panegyric upon peace, freedom, and—as the Nazis scornfully call it, 'bourgeois'—security."
    The Idea of Liberty is Western, American Affairs, Oct 1950
    Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", meaning primarily the cities of ancient Greece, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting, for example, life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
    "What gives to the individuals as much freedom as is compatible with life in society is the operation of the market system. The constitutions and bills of rights do not create freedom. They merely protect the freedom that the competitive economic system grants to the individuals against encroachments on the part of the police power."
    Related Topics: Liberty, Capitalism, Greece, Socialism
    The Ricardian Law of Association, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 8 "Human Society", section 4; discusses how all people benefit when they cooperate with each other and how the division of labor results in greater productivity
    "Ricardo expounded the law of association in order to demonstrate what the consequences of the division of labor are when an individual or a group, more efficient in every regard, cooperates with an individual or a group less efficient in every regard. ... It is advantageous for the better endowed area to concentrate its efforts upon the production of those commodities for which its superiority is greater, and to leave to the less endowed area the production of other goods in which its own superiority is less."
    Wages, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Chapter 21 "Work and Wages", section 3; discusses labor, wages, how are wages determined and erroneus attacks on that explanation
    "Labor is a scarce factor of production. As such it is sold and bought on the market. The price paid for labor is included in the price allowed for the product or the services if the performer of the work is the seller of the product or the services. If bare labor is sold and bought as such, either by an entrepreneur engaged in production for sale or by a consumer eager to use the services rendered for his own consumption, the price paid is called wages."
    Related Topics: Wages, Entrepreneurship, Labor

    Books

    Human Action: A 50-Year Tribute
        by Richard M. Ebeling (Editor), 2000
    Volume 27 of Champions of Freedom: The Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series; contributors include Gene Epstein, Sanford Ikeda, Israel Kirzner, Robert Poole, Roberto Salinas-León, Charles Murray, Hans Sennholz, Karen Vaughn, Gleaves Whitney and Leland B. Yeager
    Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard, 1988
    Partial contents: The Young Scholar - The Theory of Money and Credit - The Reception of Mises and of Money and Credit - Mises in the 1920s: Economic Adviser to the Government - Mises in the 1920s: Scholar and Creator
    "It boggles the mind what this extraordinarily productive and creative man was able to accomplish in economic theory and philosophy when down to his mid-50s, his full-time energies were devoted to applied political-economic work. Until middle-age, in short, he could only pursue economic theory and write his extraordinary and influential books and articles, as an overtime leisure activity. What could he have done, and what would the world have gained, if he had enjoyed the leisure that most academics fritter away?"
    • ISBN 9999827659: Paperback, Ludwig von Mises Institute, First edition, 1988
    Ludwig Von Mises: The Man and His Economics
        by Israel M. Kirzner, 2001
    Partial contents: Ludwig von Mises, 1881-1973 - Ludwig von Mises, Economist - The Nature of Economic Inquiry - The Economics of the Market Process - Monetary Theory, Cycle Theory, and the Rate of Interest - Mises: Free-Market Economist of the Century
    Mises: An Annotated Bibliography: A Comprehensive Listing of Books and Articles by and About Ludwig Von Mises
        by Bettina Bien Greaves, Robert W. McGee, 1993
    Partial contents: Books and Monographs - Articles - Audiocassette Tapes - Excerpts from Works - Reviews of Books (all previous: by Ludwig von Mises) - Books and Articles About Ludwig von Mises: 1909-1981
    Mises Made Easier: A Glossary for Ludwig Von Mises' Human Action, by Percy L. Greaves, Jr., 1974
    Alphabetical list of definitions, each with one or more references to Mises' books; includes the essay "A Critique of Böhm-Bawerk's Reasoning in Support of his Time Preference Theory"
    The Essential von Mises
        by Murray N. Rothbard, 1973
    Partial contents: Part One: The Essential von Mises - The Austrian School - Mises and the "Austrian School" - Mises on the Business Cycle - Mises on the Methodology of Economics - Mises in America - Part Two: Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero
    The Legacy of Ludwig Von Mises
        by Peter J. Boettke (Editor), 2006
    Partial contents: Vol. 1: Theory - The Misesian System - Methodology - Market Theory and the Price System - Money, Capital and Business Cycles - Vol. 2: History - Price Controls and Interventionism - Socialism - The Great Depression and Business Cycles

    Books Authored

    Bureaucracy, 1944
    Partial contents: Profit Management - Bureaucratic Management - Bureaucratic Management of Public Enterprises - Bureaucratic Management of Private Enterprises - The Social and Political Implications of Bureaucratization
    Related Topic: Bureaucracy
    Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow
        by Ludwig von Mises, Bettina Bien Greaves ((introduction)), 1979
    Six lectures originally given in 1959 on the following subjects: capitalism, socialism, interventionism, inflation, foreign investment and policies/ideas
    Related Topic: Economics
    Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 1949
    Partial contents: Acting Man - The Epistemological Problems of the Sciences of Human Action - Economics and the Revolt Against Reason - A First Analysis of the Category of Action - Time - Uncertainty - Action Within the World - Human Society
    Related Topic: Economics
    • ISBN 0786101709: Audio cassette, Blackstone Audiobooks, Section One, 1997
    • ISBN 0786101717: Audio cassette, Blackstone Audiobooks, Section Two, 1997
    • ISBN 0809297434: Hardcover, NTC/Contemporary Publishing Co, 3rd edition, 1966
    • ISBN 0945466242: Hardcover, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Scholars Edition, 1998
    • ISBN 1572460210: Hardcover, Foundation for Econ Education, 4th edition, 1996
    • ISBN 0930073185: Paperback, Fox & Wilkes, Scholars edition; 4th edition, 1996
    Interventionism: An Economic Analysis, 1940
    Partial contents: Capitalism or Market Economy - The Socialist Economy - Interference by Restriction - Interference by Price Control - Inflation and Credit Expansion - Confiscation and Subsidies - Corporativism and Syndicalism - War Economy
    Related Topic: The State
    Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War [PDF], 1944
    Partial contents: German Liberalism - The Triumph of Militarism - Etatism - Etatism and Nationalism - Refutation of Some Fallacious Explanations - The Peculiar Characteristics of German Nationalism - The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany
    Related Topics: War, Germany
    Planned Chaos, 1947
    Partial contents: The Failure of Interventionism - The Dictatorial, Anti-Democratic and Socialist Character of Interventionism - Socialism and Communism - Russia's Aggressiveness - Trotsky's Heresy - The Liberation of Demons - Fascism - Nazism
    Related Topic: Socialism
    Planning for Freedom: And Sixteen other Essays and Addresses, 1952
    Partial contents: Planning for Freedom - Middle-of-the-road Policy Leads to Socialism - Laissez Faire or Dictatorship - Stones into Bread, The Keynesian Miracle - Lord Keynes and Say's Law - Inflation and Price Control - Profit and Loss
    Related Topic: Liberty
    Selected Writings of Ludwig Von Mises: Volume 2, Between the Two World Wars: Monetary Disorder, Interventionism, Socialism, and the Great Depression
        by Ludwig von Mises, Richard M. Ebeling (Editor), 2002
    Partial contents: The Quantity Theory - On the Currency Question - Remarks Concerning the Establishment of a Ukrainian Note-Issuing Bank - Foreign-Exchange Control Must Be Abolished - Direct Taxation in City and Country
    Related Topic: Money
    Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, 1922
    Partial contents: Ownership - Socialism - The Social Order and the Political Constitution - The Social Order and the Family - The Nature of Economic Activity - The Organization of Production Under Socialism - The Distribution of Income
    Related Topic: Socialism
    The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, 1956
    Partial contents: The Social Characteristics of Capitalism and the Psychological Causes of its Vilification - The Ordinary Man's Social Philosophy - Literature Under Capitalism - The Noneconomic Objections to Capitalism - "Anticommunism" versus Capitalism
    Related Topic: Capitalism
    The Free Market and Its Enemies: Pseudo-Science, Socialism, and Inflation
        by Ludwig von Mises, Richard M. Ebeling (Introduction), Foundation for Economic Education, 2004
    Based on lectures delivered in 1951; partial contents: Economics and Its Opponents - Pseudo-science and Historical Understanding - Acting Man and Economics - Marxism, Socialism, and Pseudo-science - Capitalism and Human Progress - Money and Inflation
    Related Topic: Free Market
    The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method [PDF], 1962
    Partial contents: The Human Mind - The Activistic Basis of Knowledge - Necessity and Volition - Certainty and Uncertainty - On Some Popular Errors Concerning the Scope and Method of Economics - Further Implications of the Neglect of Economic Thinking
    Related Topic: Economics

    Videos


    Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Leonard P. Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
    Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.