Nation State and Economy

Author: Ludwig Von Mises
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780865976412
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In 1919, Mises explained how the first World War had come about, distinguishing between nations, states, and economies. Prior to the nineteenth century, the boundaries of a state were determined by conquest, coercion, rulers, and princes; the people had nothing to say in the matter. A nation, composed of persons speaking the same language and to a large extent sharing the same culture, was an essentially neutral concept, in no way incompatible with a liberal economy, individual freedom, democracy, and the right of self-determination. Yet this peaceful nationalism gave way to militarism, international conflict, and war. Why? Nations, like individuals, learn from experience. The largely liberal movement for a "greater Germany,” composed of Germany, German-Austria, and scattered enclaves of German nationals in neighboring countries, was frustrated by the state in the form of the Kingdom of Prussia, which became the German Empire, and the Hapsburg Empire of Austria-Hungary. Essential to Mises’s concept of a classical liberal economy is the absence of interference by the state. Under the chancellorship of Bismarck, the essentially reactionary German state became increasingly intrusive in every aspect of the nation--economic, social, and of course political. As the German state sought to become stronger by forcefully acquiring additional territory, German nationalism became increasingly militaristic and imperialistic, leading to international conflict and war. In World War I, Germany and its allies were overpowered by the Allied Powers in population, economic production, and military might. Because Germany needed imports to survive, much less to wage war, and was cut off from foreign suppliers, its defeat was inevitable. Mises believed that Germany should not seek revenge for the "fetters . . . forced upon German development by the peace of Versailles.” Rather, his theme throughout this book is that Germany should adopt liberal ideas and a free market economy by expanding the international division of labor, which would help all parties. "For us and for humanity,” Mises wrote, "there is only one salvation: return to rationalistic liberalism.” Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the leading spokesman of the Austrian School of Economics throughout most of the twentieth century. He earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna in 1906. In 1926, Mises founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research. From 1909 to 1934, he was an economist for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Before the Anschluss, in 1934 Mises left for Geneva, where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until 1940, when he emigrated to New York City. From 1948 to 1969, he was a visiting professor at New York University. Bettina Bien Greaves is a former resident scholar, trustee, and longtime staff member of the Foundation for Economic Education. She has written and lectured extensively on topics of free market economics. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Human Events, Reason, and The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. A student of Mises, Greaves has become an expert on his work in particular and that of the Austrian School of economics in general. She has translated several Mises monographs, compiled an annotated bibliography of his work, and edited collections of papers by Mises and other members of the Austrian School.

Liberalism The Classical Tradition

Author: Ludwig von Mises
Publisher: VM eBooks
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub
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The social order created by the philosophy of the Enlightenment assigned supremacy to the common man. In his capacity as a consumer, the “regular fellow” was called upon to determine ultimately what should be produced, in what quantity and of what quality, by whom, how, and where; in his capacity as a voter, he was sovereign in directing his nation’s policies. In the precapitalistic society those had been paramount who had the strength to beat their weaker fellows into submission. The much decried “mechanism” of the free market leaves only one way open to the acquisition of wealth, viz., to succeed in serving the consumers in the best possible and cheapest way. To this “democracy” of the market corresponds, in the sphere of the conduct of affairs of state, the system of representative government. The greatness of the period between the Napoleonic Wars and the first World War consisted precisely in the fact that the social ideal after the realization of which the most eminent men were striving was free trade in a peaceful world of free nations. It was an age of unprecedented improvement in the standard of living for a rapidly increasing population. It was the age of liberalism.

Planning for Freedom

Author: Ludwig Von Mises
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780865976610
Format: PDF
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In this anthology, Mises offers an articulate and accessible introduction to and critique of two topics he considers especially important: inflation and government interventionism. According to Mises, inflation, that is monetary expansion, is destructive; it destroys savings and investment, which are the basis for production and prosperity. Government controls and economic planning never accomplish what their proponents intend. Mises consistently argues that the solution to government intervention is free markets and free enterprise, which call for reforming government. For that, ideas must be changed to "let the market system work.” There is no better "planning for freedom” than this. Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the leading spokesman of the Austrian School of Economics throughout most of the twentieth century. He earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna in 1906. In 1926, Mises founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research. From 1909 to 1934, he was an economist for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Before the Anschluss, in 1934 Mises left for Geneva, where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until 1940, when he emigrated to New York City. From 1948 to 1969, he was a visiting professor at New York University. Bettina Bien Greaves is a former resident scholar, trustee, and longtime staff member of the Foundation for Economic Education. She has written and lectured extensively on topics of free market economics. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Human Events, Reason, and The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. A student of Mises, Greaves has become an expert on his work in particular and that of the Austrian School of economics in general. She has translated several Mises monographs, compiled an annotated bibliography of his work, and edited collections of papers by Mises and other members of the Austrian School.

Liberalism

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Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute
ISBN: 1610164083
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This is Mises's classic statement in defense of a free society, one of the last statements of the old liberal school and a text from which we can continue to learn. It has been the conscience of a global movement for liberty for 80 years. This edition, from the Mises Institute, features a new foreword by Thomas Woods. It first appeared in 1927, as a followup to both his devastating 1922 book showing that socialism would fail, and his 1926 book on interventionism. It was written to address the burning question: if not socialism, and if not fascism or interventionism, what form of social arrangements are most conducive to human flourishing? Mises's answer is summed up in the title, by which he meant classical liberalism. Mises did more than restate classical doctrine. He gave a thoroughly modern defense of freedom, one that corrected the errors of the old liberal school by rooting the idea of liberty in the institution of private property (a subject on which the classical school was sometimes unclear). Here is the grand contribution of this volume. "The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property, that is, private ownership of the means of production... All the other demands of liberalism result from this fundamental demand." But there are other insights too. He shows that political decentralization and secession are the best means to peace and political liberty. As for religion, he recommends the complete separation of church and state. On immigration, he favors the freedom of movement. On culture, he praised the political virtue of tolerance. On education: state involvement must end, and completely. He deals frankly with the nationalities problem, and provides a stirring defense of rationalism as the essential foundation of liberal political order. He discusses political strategy, and the relationship of liberalism to special-interest politics. In some ways, this is the most political of Mises's treatises, and also one of the most inspiring books ever written on the idea of liberty. It remains the book that can set the world on fire for freedom, which is probably why it has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

How The West Grew Rich

Author: Nathan Rosenberg
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786723485
Format: PDF, ePub
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How did the West--Europe, Canada, and the United States--escape from immemorial poverty into sustained economic growth and material well-being when other societies remained trapped in an endless cycle of birth, hunger, hardship, and death? In this elegant synthesis of economic history, two scholars argue that it is the political pluralism and the flexibility of the West's institutions--not corporate organization and mass production technology--that explain its unparalleled wealth.