Ludwig von Mises


September 29, 1881 — October 10, 1973


Ludwig von Mises was an economist born in what is now Lviv, Ukraine to an Austrian father and Jewish mother. Mises left Europe for the U.S. in 1940 to continue his academic career where he initially struggled to gain popularity. Today, his ideas about the economics of peace are foundational yet often overshadowed. Not unlike Jane Addams, Mises and his ideas are also brutally contorted to support illiberal ends.


Essential Thoughts


The goal of liberalism is the peaceful cooperation of all men. It aims at peace among nations too… All nations can coexist peacefully. — Omnipotent Government


The main achievement of economics is that it has provided a theory of peaceful human cooperation. This is why the harbingers of violent conflict have branded it as a dismal science and why this age of wars, civil wars, and destruction has no use for it. — Economic Freedom and Interventionism


History has witnessed the failure of many endeavors to impose peace by war, cooperation by coercion, unanimity by slaughtering dissidents.... A lasting order cannot be established by bayonets. — Omnipotent Government


There is no use in conjuring away these conflicts by wishful thinking. What is needed to make peace durable is a change in ideologies. What generates war is the economic philosophy almost universally espoused today by governments and political parties…The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. The wars of our age are not at variance with popular economic doctrines; they are, on the contrary, the inescapable result of a consistent application of these doctrines. — Human Action


If you want to abolish war, you must eliminate its causes. What is needed is to restrict government activities to the preservation of life, health, and private property, and thereby to safeguard the working of the market. Sovereignty must not be used for inflicting harm on anyone, whether citizen or foreigner. — Omnipotent Government