April Freeman Banner 2014


The Wisdom of Ludwig von Mises


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.


September 1981

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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