In 1934, Ludwig von Mises left his native Austria in fear of the Nazis, who seized all his papers in 1938 in Vienna and, Mises thought, destroyed them, but the papers were not destroyed. In 1996, Richard and Anna Ebeling discovered the papers in an archive in Moscow. This volume from Liberty Fund represents a treasure trove of important essays.
After he fled Austria, Ludwig von Mises arrived in the United States and continued to write essays on economics. Among those included in this volume are:
The present volume is devoted to some of Mises’s earliest writings. As with the second volume in the series, the articles that compose this book include Mises’s policy memoranda, essays, and speeches that were found in a formerly secret KGB archive in Moscow. The articles have two primary focuses: First, they reveal Mises’s thoughts on the monetary, fiscal, and general economic policy problems of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before and during World War I; and second, they focus on his thoughts on the new postwar Austrian Republic after the dismantling of the Habsburg monarchy.
In this anthology, Mises offers an articulate and accessible introduction to and critique of two topics he considers especially important: inflation and government interventionism. Mises believes 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.
The Theory of Money and Credit integrated monetary theory into the main body of economic analysis for the first time, providing fresh, new insights into the nature of money and its role in the economy and bringing Mises into the front rank of European economists.
The three treatises in On the Manipulation of Money and Credit were written in German between 1923 and 1931. Together they include some of Mises’s most important contributions to monetary and trade-cycle theories and constitute a precursor to Mises’s major work, Human Action.
Economic Freedom and Interventionism is both a primer of the fundamental thought of Ludwig von Mises and an anthology of the writings of perhaps the best-known exponent of what is now known as the Austrian School of economics. This volume contains forty-seven articles edited by Mises scholar Bettina Bien Greaves. Among them are Mises’s expositions of the role of government, his discussion of inequality of wealth, inflation, socialism, welfare, and economic education, as well as his exploration of the “deeper” significance of economics as it affects seemingly noneconomic relations between human beings. These papers are valuable reading for students of economic freedom and the science of human action.
In The Anti-capitalistic Mentality, the respected economist Ludwig von Mises plainly explains the causes of the irrational fear and hatred many intellectuals and others feel for capitalism. In five concise chapters, he traces the causation of the misunderstandings and resultant fears that cause resistance to economic development and social change. He enumerates and rebuts the economic arguments against and the psychological and social objections to economic freedom in the form of capitalism. Written during the heyday of twentieth-century socialism, this work provides the reader with lucid and compelling insights into human reactions to capitalism.
In this volume, Mises argued that economics is a science because human action is a natural order of life and that it is the actions of humans that determine markets and capital decisions. Since Mises believed these links could be proven scientifically, he concluded that economics, with its basis on that human action, is indeed a science in its own right and not an ideology or a metaphysical doctrine.
This book presents the theoretical and practical arguments for liberalism in the classical tradition as defined by Mises as “the liberal doctrine of the harmony of the rightly understood interests of all members of a free society founded on the principle of private ownership of the means of production.” The foundation of liberalism, Mises says, rests on an understanding and appreciation of private property, social cooperation, the freedom idea, ethics and morality, democracy, and the legitimate role of government. Also in this book, Mises contrasts liberalism with other conceivable systems of social organization such as socialism, communism, and fascism.
Bureaucracy contrasts the two forms of economic management—that of a free-market economy and that of a bureaucracy. In the market economy entrepreneurs are driven to serve consumers by their desire to earn profits and to avoid losses. In a bureaucracy, the managers must comply with orders issued by the legislative body under which they operate; they may not spend without authorization, and they may not deviate from the path prescribed by law.
Theory and History is primarily a critique of Karl Marx, his materialism, and his prediction of the inevitability of socialism. Marx attributes the creation of tools and machines, as well as the economic structure of society, to undefined “material productive forces.” Mises rejects this materialistic view; he points out that tools and machines are actually created by individuals acting on the basis of non-materialistic ideas.
Essential to Mises’s concept of a classical liberal economy is the absence of interference by the state. In World War I, Germany and its allies were overpowered by the Allied Powers in population, economic production, and military might, and its defeat was inevitable.
After Ludwig von Mises’s death in 1973, his wife, Margit von Mises, went through his unpublished and out-of-print essays and selected twenty-one of the essays for publication. The result was Money, Method, and the Market Process, published in 1990 by Kluwer Academic Publishers and the Ludwig von Mises Institute and reissued now by Liberty Fund.
More than thirty years ago F. A. Hayek said of Socialism: “It was a work on political economy in the tradition of the great moral philosophers, a Montesquieu or Adam Smith, containing both acute knowledge and profound wisdom. . . . To none of us young men who read the book when it appeared was the world ever the same again.” This is a newly annotated edition of the classic first published in German in 1922. It is the definitive refutation of nearly every type of socialism ever devised. Mises presents a wide-ranging analysis of society, comparing the results of socialist planning with those of free-market capitalism in all areas of life.
Interventionism provides Mises’s analysis of the problems of government interference in business from the Austrian School perspective. Written in 1940, before the United States was officially involved in World War II, this book offers a rare insight into the war economies of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Mises criticizes the pre–World War II democratic governments for favoring socialism and interventionism over capitalist methods of production. Mises contends that government’s economic role should be limited because of the negative political and social consequences of the economic policy of interventionism.
In Human Action, Mises starts from the ideas set forth in his Theory and History that all actions and decisions are based on human needs, wants, and desires and continues deeper and further to explain how studying this human action is not only a legitimate science (praxeology) but how that science is based on the foundation of free-market economics.
Published in 1944, during World War II, Omnipotent Government was Mises’s first book written and published after he arrived in the United States. In this volume Mises provides in economic terms an explanation of the international conflicts that caused both world wars. Although written more than half a century ago, Mises’s main theme still stands: government interference in the economy leads to conflicts and wars. According to Mises, the last and best hope for peace is liberalism—the philosophy of liberty, free markets, limited government, and democracy.
First published in German in 1933 and in English in 1960, Epistemological Problems of Economics presents Ludwig von Mises’s views on the logical and epistemological features of social interpretation as well as his argument that the Austrian theory of value is the core element of a general theory of human behavior that transcends traditional limitations of economic science.
Economic Policy contains six lectures Ludwig von Mises delivered in 1959 for the Centro de Estudios sobre la Libertad in Argentina. The lectures were posthumously edited by Mises’s wife, Margit, and George Koether, a student and long-time friend of Mises. This volume serves as an excellent introduction to what Mises sees as the simple truths of history in terms of economic principles. In straightforward language, Mises explains topics such as capitalism, socialism, interventionism, inflation, foreign investment, and economic policies and ideas.
Published for the first time together in one volume is Ludwig von Mises’s Notes and Recollections with The Historical Setting of the Austrian School of Economics.