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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

Wilhelm Roepke, RIP

5 days ago

[From the papers donated to the Mises Institute by Bettina Bien Greaves. Appeared in National Review XVIII, no. 10 (March 8, 1966): 200.] Wilhelm Roepke belonged to the generation of Germans that grew up in the time of the First World War and the fantastic inflation of the years following it. He studied at the …

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What Economic Progress Means

14 days ago

[Excerpted from chapter 10 of Theory and History.] The ideas of historicism can be understood only if one takes into account that they sought exclusively one end: to negate everything that rationalist social philosophy and economics had established. In this pursuit many historicists did not shrink from any absurdity. Thus to the statement of the …

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Why Government Plans for Fixing Recessions Ultimately Fail

September 14, 2019

An essential element of the “unorthodox” doctrines, advanced both by all socialists and by all interventionists, is that the recurrence of depressions is a phenomenon inherent in the very operation, of the market economy. But while the socialists contend that only the substitution of socialism for capitalism can eradicate the evil, the interventionists ascribe to …

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What Is “Originary Interest”?

September 3, 2019

[This article is excerpted from chapter 19 of Human Action: The Scholar’s Edition.] Originary interest is the ratio of the value assigned to want-satisfaction in the immediate future and the value assigned to want-satisfaction in remoter periods of the future. It manifests itself in the market economy in the discount of future goods as against …

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Economic Nationalism Is a Philosophy of War

August 23, 2019

[This article is excerpted from “The Conflicts of Our Age” in chapter 24 of Human Action, the Scholar’s Edition.] Popular opinion sees the source of the conflicts which bring about the civil wars and international wars of our age in the collision of “economic” interests inherent in the market economy. Civil war is the rebellion …

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The Rise of Capitalism

August 14, 2019

The precapitalistic system of production was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest. The victorious kings had given the land to their paladins. These aristocrats were lords in the literal meaning of the word, as they did not depend on the patronage of consumers buying or abstaining from buying on a market. On the other …

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Wage Earners and Employers

July 29, 2019

[Bettina Bien-Greaves has given the Mises Institute a treasure trove of items from Mises’s own personal belongings that had been handed on to her, among which was a long-playing record, recorded as a radio broadcast made during intermission of the US Steel Concert Hour, May 17, 1962. An MP3 of this recording is available in …

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Secession and the State

July 29, 2019

A nation, therefore, has no right to say to a province: You belong to me, I want to take you. A province consists of its inhabitants. If anybody has a right to be heard in this case it is these inhabitants. Boundary disputes should be settled by plebiscite. (Omnipotent Government, p. 90)
No people and no part of a people shall be held against its will in a political association that it does not want. (Nation, State, and Economy, p. 34)
Liberalism knows no conquests, no annexations; just as it is indifferent towards the state itself, so the problem of the size of the state is unimportant to it. It forces no one against his will into the structure of the state. Whoever wants to emigrate is not held back. When a part of the people

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Planning for Freedom

July 19, 2019

1. Planning as a Synonym for Socialism The term “planning” is mostly used as a synonym for socialism, communism, and authoritarian and totalitarian economic management. Sometimes only the German pattern of socialism—Zwangswirtschaft—is called planning, while the term socialism proper is reserved for the Russian pattern of outright socialization and bureaucratic operation of all plants, shops, …

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Wages and Subsistence

July 18, 2019

[This article is excerpted from chapter 21 of Human Action, the Scholar’s Edition and is read by Jeff Riggenbach.] The life of primitive man was an unceasing struggle against the scantiness of the nature-given means for his sustenance. In this desperate effort to secure bare survival, many individuals and whole families, tribes, and races succumbed. …

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The Alleged Absence of Depressions under Totalitarianism

June 25, 2019

[This article is excerpted from chapter 20 of Human Action: The Scholar’s Edition and is read by Jeff Riggenbach.]   Many socialist authors emphasize that the recurrence of economic crises and business depressions is a phenomenon inherent in the capitalist mode of production. On the other hand, a socialist system is safe against this evil. …

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The Elite Under Capitalism

May 17, 2019

In a free society there is no other means to avoid the evils resulting from one’s fellows’ bad judgment than to induce them to alter their ways of life voluntarily. Where there is freedom, this is the task incumbent upon the elite. Originally published in The Freeman, January 1962.

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The Individual in Society

May 17, 2019

Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom. Excerpted from Economic Freedom and Interventionism.

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The Case Against the Market Economy

May 14, 2019

[Human Action (1949)] The objections which the various schools of Sozialpolitik raise against the market economy are based on very bad economics. They repeat again and again all the errors that the economists long ago exploded. They blame the market economy for the consequences of the very anticapitalistic policies which they themselves advocate as necessary …

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Nationalism, Socialism, and Violent Revolution

May 3, 2019

Marxian doctrine doesn’t deny the possibility of absolute truth, but it maintains that absolute truth can be attained only in the classless society. Or in the proletarian class society. Lenin’s main book1, or at least his most voluminous book (now available in the Collected Works of Lenin), led some people to call him a philosopher. Most …

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Marxism vs. the Majority

April 25, 2019

Class consciousness, says Marx, produces class ideologies. The class ideology provides the class with an interpretation of reality and at the same time teaches the members how to act in order to benefit their class. The content of the class ideology is uniquely determined by the historical stage of the development of the material productive …

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The Rejection of Economics

April 16, 2019

[Excerpted from chapter 10 of Theory and History.] As historicism sees it, the essential error of economics consists in its assumption that man is invariably egoistic and aims exclusively at material well-being. According to Gunnar Myrdal, economics asserts that human actions are “solely motivated by economic interests” and considers as economic interests “the desire for …

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The “State of Nature” Is a State of Poverty

March 24, 2019

From time immemorial men have prattled about the blissful conditions their ancestors enjoyed in the original “state of nature.” From old myths, fables, and poems the image of this primitive happiness passed into many popular philosophies of the 17th and 18th centuries. In their language, the term natural denoted what was good and beneficial in …

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On Equality and Inequality

March 20, 2019

[This article is excerpted from chapter 14 of Money, Method, and the Market Process, edited by Richard M. Ebeling. It was originally published in Modern Age (Spring 1961).] Different and Unequal The doctrine of natural law that inspired the 18th century declarations of the rights of man did not imply the obviously fallacious proposition that …

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Liberalism and Capitalism

February 28, 2019

[From the Introduction to Mises’s Liberalism (1927).] A society in which liberal principles are put into effect is usually called a capitalist society, and the condition of that society, capitalism. Since the economic policy of liberalism has everywhere been only more or less closely approximated in practice, conditions as they are in the world today …

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The Why of Human Action

February 21, 2019

[Found among the papers of Bettina Bien Greaves and reprinted from Plain Talk (1949), Editor’s comment: Those millions of illiterate and semi-literate armed men now in action from the borders of the Yellow Sea to the mountains of Greece have been set in motion by a ponderous and little-read study of economics — Das Kapital …

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Capitalism as It Is and as It Is Seen by the Common Man

February 12, 2019

The emergence of economics as a new branch of knowledge was one of the most portentous events in the history of mankind. In paving the way for private capitalistic enterprise it transformed within a few generations all human affairs more radically than the preceding ten thousand years had done. From the day of their birth …

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“Progressive” Attacks on Capitalism Were Key to Hitler’s Success

February 8, 2019

The following, written in 1940, is excerpted from Interventionism, An Economic Analysis, which was originally part of Nationaloekonomie, the German predecessor to Human Action. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini constantly proclaim that they are chosen by destiny to bring salvation to this world. They claim they are the leaders of the creative youth who fight against …

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The Capitalist Revolution

February 2, 2019

The pre-capitalistic system of product was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest. The victorious kings had given the land to their paladins. These aristocrats were lords in the literal meaning of the word, as they did not depend on the patronage of consumers buying or abstaining from buying on a market. On the other …

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Socialism: A Doctrine of the Aristocrats

January 16, 2019

[Omnipotent Government (1944)] Among the infinity of fallacious statements and factual errors that go to form the structure of Marxian philosophy there are two that are especially objectionable. Marx asserts that capitalism causes increasing pauperization of the masses, and blithely contends that the proletarians are intellectually and morally superior to the narrow-minded, corrupt, and selfish …

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What the Nazis Borrowed from Marx

January 2, 2019

[From Omnipotent Government (1944)] The Nazis did not invent polylogism. They only developed their own brand. Until the middle of the 19th century no one ventured to dispute the fact that the logical structure of mind is unchangeable and common to all human beings. All human interrelations are based on this assumption of a uniform …

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Is There Room for Compromise with Socialism?

December 28, 2018

[A Selection from Human Action (1949).] Private ownership of the means of production (market economy or capitalism) and public ownership of the means of production (socialism or communism or “planning”) can be neatly distinguished. Each of these two systems of society’s economic organization is open to a precise and unambiguous description and definition. They can …

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The Definition of Economic Progress

December 12, 2018

[Excerpted from chapter 16 of Theory and History (1957).] A realistic philosophical interpretation of history must abstain from any reference to the chimerical notion of a perfect state of human affairs. The only basis from which a realistic interpretation can start is the fact that man, like all other living beings, is driven by the …

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Innovation Requires Economic Freedom

November 18, 2018

[Excerpted from chapter 16 of Theory and History (1957).] A civilization is the product of a definite worldview, and its philosophy manifests itself in each of its accomplishments. The artifacts produced by men may be called material. But the methods resorted to in the arrangement of production activities are mental, the outcome of ideas that …

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