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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

Mises on the Velocity of Circulation

1 day ago

[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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Private Property

January 7, 2020

Private ownership of the means of production is the fundamental institution of the market economy. It is the institution the presence of which characterizes the market economy as such. Where it is absent, there is no question of a market economy. Ownership means full control of the services that can be derived from a good. …

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How to Write and Understand History

December 28, 2019

[Adapted from Chapter 2 of Human Action.] The study of all the data of experience concerning human action is the scope of history. The historian collects and critically sifts all available documents. On the ground of this evidence he approaches his genuine task. It has been asserted that the task of history is to show …

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Economics and the Revolt against Reason

December 21, 2019

The Revolt Against Reason It is true that some philosophers were ready to overrate the power of human reason. They believed that man can discover by ratiocination the final causes of cosmic events, the inherent ends the prime mover aims at in creating the universe and determining the course of its evolution. They expatiated on …

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The Boom Is Worse than the Bust

November 30, 2019

[This article is excerpted from chapter 20 of Human Action: The Scholar’s Edition.] The popularity of inflation and credit expansion, the ultimate source of the repeated attempts to render people prosperous by credit expansion, and thus the cause of the cyclical fluctuations of business, manifests itself clearly in the customary terminology. The boom is called …

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There Is No End to History, No Perfect Existence

November 20, 2019

All doctrines that have sought to discover in the course of human history some definite trend in the sequence of changes have disagreed, in reference to the past, with the historically established facts and where they tried to predict the future have been spectacularly proved wrong by later events. Most of these doctrines were characterized …

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Marxism and the Manipulation of Man

November 18, 2019

It is an astonishing fact that a philosophy like Marxism, which attacks the whole social system, remained for many decades more or less unattacked and uncontested. Karl Marx was not very well known in his lifetime and his writings remained practically unknown to the greater part of his contemporaries. The great socialists of his age …

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Currency Debasement and Social Collapse

November 1, 2019

Knowledge of the effects of government interference with market prices makes us comprehend the economic causes of a momentous historical event, the decline of ancient civilization. It may be left undecided whether or not it is correct to call the economic organization of the Roman Empire capitalism. At any rate it is certain that the …

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October 25, 2019

Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow (1979), transcription of Lecture 4 (1958) If the supply of caviar were as plentiful as the supply of potatoes, the price of caviar — that is, the exchange ratio between caviar and money or caviar and other commodities — would change considerably. In that case, one could obtain …

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The Economic Consequences of Cheap Money

October 19, 2019

[From a memorandum, dated April 24, 1946, prepared in English by Professor Mises for a committee of businessmen for whom he served as a consultant, this article appears in The Causes of the Economic Crisis, and Other Essays Before and After the Great Depression (2006) as chapter 5, “The Trade Cycle and Credit Expansion: The …

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Wilhelm Roepke, RIP

October 10, 2019

[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

October 1, 2019

[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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