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Ludwig Von Mises

Mises Canada

The Ludwig von Mises Institute, often referred to as the Mises Institute, is a tax-exempt libertarian organization located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. It is named for Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973). Its website states that it is dedicated to advancing "the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention."

Articles by Mises Canada

Socialism vs. Economic Freedom

18 days ago

[From Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow (1979), Lecture 2, “Socialism” (1958)] I am here in Buenos Aires as a guest of the Centro de Difusión Economía Libre.1 What is economía libre? What does this system of economic freedom mean? The answer is simple: it is the market economy, it is the system in which the cooperation …

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Individualism and the Industrial Revolution

28 days ago

[Marxism Unmasked (2006)] Liberals stressed the importance of the individual. The 19th-century liberals already considered the development of the individual the most important thing. “Individual and individualism” was the progressive and liberal slogan. Reactionaries had already attacked this position at the beginning of the 19th century. The rationalists and liberals of the 18th century pointed …

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What “Capitalism” Really Means

December 12, 2020

[Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow (1979), lecture 1 (1958)] Descriptive terms which people use are often quite misleading. In talking about modern captains of industry and leaders of big business, for instance, they call a man a “chocolate king” or a “cotton king” or an “automobile king.” Their use of such terminology implies that …

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When Governments Confiscate Wealth to Fund Government Programs

November 30, 2020

The entrepreneurs try to undertake only such projects as appear to promise profits. This means that they endeavor to use the scarce means of production in such a way that the most urgent needs will be satisfied first, and that no part of capital and labor will be devoted to the satisfaction of less urgent …

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Why the Free Market Liberals Underestimated the Socialists

November 13, 2020

The masses only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But the masses’ choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster. Original Article: “Why the Free Market Liberals Underestimated the Socialists”. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated …

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Why the Free Market Liberals Underestimated the Socialists

November 7, 2020

[A selection from Human Action.] 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. The social …

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Socialists Have Never Shown How They Could Increase the Standard of Living

November 3, 2020

[A selection from Nation, State, and Economy. Editor’s note: When Mises refers to “liberals” or “liberalism” he means the ideology of laissez-faire, sometimes now called “classical liberalism.”] Marxism sees the coming of socialism as an inescapable necessity. Even if one were willing to grant the correctness of this opinion, one still would by no means be …

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Understanding the Proper Meaning of “Equality”

October 29, 2020

[A Selection from Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition.] Equality Nowhere is the difference between the reasoning of the older liberalism and that of neoliberalism clearer and easier to demonstrate than in their treatment of the problem of equality. The liberals of the eighteenth century, guided by the ideas of natural law and of the Enlightenment, …

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The Economics of Government Regulation

October 9, 2020

Restrictive measures are those measures undertaken by the authority which directly and primarily are intended to divert production, in the widest meaning of the word, including commerce and transportation, from the ways which it would take in the unhampered economy. Each interference diverts production from the channels prescribed by the market. The peculiar characteristic of …

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Why “Taxing the Rich” Doesn’t Make Us Better Off

September 28, 2020

The complete confiscation of all private property is tantamount to the introduction of socialism. Therefore we do not have to deal with it in an analysis of the problems of interventionism. We are concerned here only with the partial confiscation of property. Such confiscation is today attempted primarily by taxation. The ideological motivations of such …

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Inflation: Its Effects and Failures

September 21, 2020

Inflationism is that policy which by increasing the quantity of money or credit seeks to raise money prices and money wages or seeks to counteract a decline of money prices and money wages which threatens as the result of an increase in the supply of consumers’ goods. In order to understand the economic significance of …

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Governments Never Give Up Power Voluntarily

September 10, 2020

[A selection from Liberalism.] All those in positions of political power, all governments, all kings, and all republican authorities have always looked askance at private property. There is an inherent tendency in all governmental power to recognize no restraints on its operation and to extend the sphere of its dominion as much as possible. To …

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Mises on Syndicalism

September 6, 2020

Syndicalism is a method of attack by organized labor for the attainment of certain political ends. It requires widespread acts of destruction on “capitalist” institutions as a means of ushering in a socialist regime. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Mises on Syndicalism”.

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Why Entrepreneurs—Unlike Politicians—Seek to Truly Serve the Public

September 4, 2020

[A selection from Profit and Loss.] The consumers by their buying and abstention from buying elect the entrepreneurs in a daily repeated plebiscite as it were. They determine who should own and who not, and how much each owner should own. As is the case with all acts of choosing a person—choosing holders of public …

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Mises on Syndicalism

August 27, 2020

[This article is excerpted from Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis.] As political tactics Syndicalism presents a particular method of attack by organized labour for the attainment of their political ends. This end may also be the establishment of the true Socialism, that is to say, the socialization of the means of production. But the term …

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Why Ideas Dictate What We Think Is in Our Self-Interest

August 20, 2020

Marx assumes tacitly that the social condition of a class uniquely determines its interests and that there can be no doubt what kind of policy best serves these interests. The class does not have to choose between various policies. The historical situation enjoins upon it a definite policy. There is no alternative. It follows that …

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The Myth of the Failure of Capitalism

July 27, 2020

[From The Clash of Group Interests, and Other Essays, translated by Jane E. Sanders]1 The nearly universal opinion expressed these days is that the economic crisis of recent years marks the end of capitalism. Capitalism allegedly has failed, has proven itself incapable of solving economic problems, and so mankind has no alternative, if it is to …

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Competition in the Marketplace

July 20, 2020

[This article is excerpted from chapter 15 of Human Action.] In nature there prevail irreconcilable conflicts of interests. The means of subsistence are scarce. Proliferation tends to outrun subsistence. Only the fittest plants and animals survive. The antagonism between an animal starving to death and another that snatches the food away from it is implacable. …

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Mises on the Velocity of Circulation

July 15, 2020

In this short essay recently found in the Mises Institute Archives, Mises goes over the basics of monetary theory and shows why the concept of velocity of circulation is useless for understanding changes in the purchasing power of the monetary unit. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. …

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Mises on the Velocity of Circulation

July 7, 2020

[Editor’s note: this essay was found among Bettina Bien Greaves’s files. A note in her handwriting indicates that it was written in 1944 and that Mises used it in his 1959 seminar. In this short essay, Mises in his characteristically lucid and forceful manner goes over the basics of monetary theory and shows why the …

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Socialist Destructionism

March 12, 2020

To the socialist, the coming of Socialism means a transition from an irrational to a rational economy. Under Socialism, planned management of economic life takes the place of anarchy of production; society, which is conceived as the incarnation of reason, takes the place of the conflicting aims of unreasonable and self-interested individuals. A just distribution …

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The Political Consequences of the Welfare State

March 5, 2020

Ludwig von Mises speaks about the political consequences of the welfare state. He begins by recounting the origin and semantics of the term welfare state. He then concentrates on how the interests of individual members of a legislature is not the welfare of the nation, but the welfare of its constituents. Mises believes the system of …

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Language and the Inflation Debates

March 2, 2020

Ludwig von Mises discusses inflation, labor unions, and issues of the adoption of improper terminology and widespread public misinformation. Delivered at the ninth meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society; Princeton, New Jersey; September 11, 1958.

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Mises: To Adopt Keynesian Terminology Is to Legitimize It

February 29, 2020

Some years ago, there was published a book in the German language with the title L.T.I. These three letters stood for three Latin words, lingua Tertii Imperii, the language of the Third Reich. And the author, a former professor of Romance languages at one of the German universities, described in this book his adventures during …

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The Origins of Nazism

February 22, 2020

[An excerpt from Omnipotent Government: The Rise of Total State and Total War, originally published in 1944 by Yale University as the first full-scale examination of German-style National Socialism as a species of socialism in general.] 1. The Ancient Regime and Liberalism It is a fundamental mistake to believe that Nazism is a revival or a continuation …

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The Anticapitalist Front

February 12, 2020

From the very beginnings of the socialist movement and the endeavors to revive the interventionist policies of the precapitalistic ages, both socialism and interventionism were utterly discredited in the eyes of those conversant with economic theory. But the ideas of the revolutionaries and reformers found approval with the immense majority of ignorant people exclusively driven …

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Do People Really Seek to Maximize Profit?

February 4, 2020

[This article is excerpted from chapter 14 of Human Action.] It is generally believed that economists, in dealing with the problems of a market economy, are quite unrealistic in assuming that all men are always eager to gain the highest attainable advantage. They construct, it is said, the image of a perfectly selfish and rationalistic …

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The Folly of Economic “Stabilization”

January 27, 2020

[Excerpted from chapter 12 of Human Action.] Shortcomings in the government’s handling of monetary matters and the disastrous consequences of policies aimed at lowering the rate of interest and at encouraging business activities through credit expansion gave birth to the ideas which finally generated the slogan “stabilization.” One can explain its emergence and its popular …

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The Limits of Economic Calculation

January 21, 2020

[This article is excerpted from chapter 12 of Human Action] Economic calculation cannot comprehend things which are not sold and bought against money. There are things which are not for sale and for whose acquisition sacrifices other than money and money’s worth must be expended. He who wants to train himself for great achievements must …

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How Do We Calculate Value?

January 14, 2020

[From Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, by Ludwig von Mises, pp. 113–22.] All human action, so far as it is rational, appears as the exchange of one condition for another. Men apply economic goods and personal time and labour in the direction which, under the given circumstances, promises the highest degree of satisfaction, and …

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