Ludwig von Mises – A Primer

My friend, Dr. Eamonn Butler, Director and a founder of the Adam Smith Institute, has just published his work summarising and introducing us to the work of Ludwig von Mises. It is available here, from the IEA, either as a free download, or as a paid for publication.In many ways, von Mises has been over looked by today’s generation of policy makers and economists, yet his prescience and clarity help better explain the context for today’s recession. Politically his insight was far reaching and still holds great resonance:In Interventionism, An Economic Analysis(1940), Ludwig von Mises wrote:”The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is ‘left‘ and what is ‘right‘? Why should Hitler be ‘right’ and Stalin, his temporary friend, be ‘left’? Who is ‘reactionary‘ and who is ‘progressive‘? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended.”

His output is huge – from the four volume work of “Human Action” to the brilliant and comprehensive “Socialism” (both available from Liberty Fund), his previously unpublished work, essays and lectures are still finding significance in a new generation of readers.

Dr. Butler manages to provide a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to these works: every paragraph is rich in reference. Speaking about the Liberal Framework, he say of von Mises:

“Nor does liberalism aim to provide a particular social structure, or a particular distribution of income. It merely establishes a framework of peace, stability and equality before the law, and within that framework, people are free to co-operate in any way they see fit…These things are merely the outcome of the complex , voluntary interactions between free individuals.” For a small book with a lot of punch, you could do far worse than read Ludwig von Mises – A Primer…

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