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Monday, May 1, 2017

Ludwig von Mises' critique of socialism


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Photo license: CC BY-SA 3.0


Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) is a famous economist best known for his criticism of socialism. Mises was also a supporter of the Austrian School of economics. Economist Friedrich Hayek says,


"There is no single man to whom I owe more intellectually, even though he [Mises] was never my teacher in the institutional sense of the word." (Coping with Ignorance, 1978)


Economist Raimondo Cubeddu says,


"Just when the hopes of socialism seemed to be about to come true, Mises voiced the thoughts uppermost in the minds of so many who lacked the courage to speak out. Socialism could not work or keep its promises, he argued, because under such a system economic calculations in terms of value were rendered impossible." (The Philosophy of the Austrian School, 1993)


This post is a collection of quotes from Mises talking about socialism.


Critique of socialism


"The characteristic mark of this age of dictators, wars and revolutions is its anti-capitalistic bias. Most governments and political parties are eager to restrict the sphere of private initiative and free enterprise." (Socialism, 1922)


"If historical experience could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization." (Human Action, 1949)


"Government spending cannot create additional jobs. If the government provides the funds required by taxing the citizens or by borrowing from the public, it abolishes on the one hand as many jobs as it creates on the other." (Socialism, Epilogue 1947)