Freeman

ARTICLE

The Wisdom of Ludwig von Mises

SEPTEMBER 01, 1981 by GEORGE KOETHER

Human Action, generally considered to be the greatest work of the greatest economist of our times, is a towering monument to the mind of a genius. Its 885 pages of text contain insights that have revolutionized economic thought and are moving the world toward a true and complete understanding of human freedom.

Because of the “warp and woof’ nature of all human action—with one strand of action by one individual affecting and being affected by the action of all other individuals, and because of the necessity for recognizing and explaining this connexity of all economic phenomena—Human Action is not a book one reads; it is a book one studies.

As every human action bears on every other human action, so every principle of economic analysis relates to every other principle. Thus, in dealing topically with one subject, Professor Mises never overlooked its relation to all others. Hence his convictions on any one topic were spread throughout his book.

In these extracts I have sought to capture the essence of his thought on a number of topics, but for purposes of brevity and ease of comprehension, sentences have been shortened and juxtaposed, words eliminated, paragraphing changed and punctuation sometimes altered. Yet, with the exception of a very few words in brackets, every word in these extracts is pure Mises, every word is taken from Human Action.

May those who have never savored the fine flavor of this wine of wisdom be tempted, by this small sip, to enjoy deep draughts from the full bottle.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

September 1981

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

September 2014

For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited out social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION