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

CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

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 don't 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.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION