Freeman

ARTICLE

Public Opinion

SEPTEMBER 01, 1981 by LUDWIG VON MISES

The supremacy of public opinion determines not only the singular role that economics occupies in the complex of thought and knowledge. It determines the whole process of human history.

New ideas and innovations are always an achievement of uncommon men. But these great men cannot succeed in adjusting social conditions to their plans if they do not convince public opinion.

Capitalism gave the world what it needed, a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people. But the liberals, the pioneers and supporters of capitalism, overlooked one essential point. A social system, however beneficial, cannot work if it is not supported by public opinion. They did not anticipate the success of the anticapitalistic propaganda.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

September 1981

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Heavily-armed police and their supporters will tell you they need all those armored trucks and heavy guns. It's a dangerous job, not least because Americans have so many guns. But the numbers just support these claims: Policing is safer than ever--and it's safer than a lot of common jobs by comparison. Daniel Bier has the analysis. Plus, Iain Murray and Wendy McElroy look at how the Feds are recruiting more and more Americans to do their policework for them.
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