Ludwig von Mises

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Austrian economist, mentor of Friedrich von Hayek, and a major right-wing economic crank. Father of Praxeology.


Debunking Austrian Economics 101 [More...]
More than 370 posts with meticulous references arranged in 46 categories from the blog "Social Democracy For The 21st Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective". An enormous scholarly resource for refuting numerous Austrian Economics claims. Highly recommended.
Praxeology (10 links)
Ludwig von Mises' anti-scientific, axiomatic, a priori methodology for supporting his preferred conservative political economy. Also used by Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe and some other libertarians. Ignored by academia, promoted by the crank vanity press Ludwig von Mises Institute.
A new powerhouse for ridiculous GOP economics [More...]
Move over, Milton Friedman: Make room for tiny Northwood University and the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises.
Coercion and the “Taxation is Theft” Argument [More...]
"The belief that taxation is theft obviously implies that property rights are absolute or at least high in value. But why on earth should property rights rank above human life?" Also Ludwig von Mises declares "There is, however, no such thing as natural law."
Deconstructing Ludwig von Mises [More...]
Finds severe contradictions in Mises' writings. "The fact that Mises made a direction confession, regarding the legitimacy of social conditioning, merely serves to undermine the claims of his morally-individualistic-philosophy."
Fascism and Keynesianism? [More...]
"There is a tired and ignorant rhetorical trick of libertarians: to conflate Keynesianism with fascism, or the economics of fascism." Also points out Ludwig von Mises early work for a fascist and praise for Mussolini.
For Mises' Sake [More...]
Tom G. Palmer savages Llewellyn Rockwell, the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Hans-Hermann Hoppe for Austrianism above and beyond the call of sanity.
How the New Classicals drank the Austrians' milkshake [More...]
"It seems to me that the Austrian School's demise came not because its ideas were rejected and marginalized, but because most of them were co-opted by mainstream macroeconomics [...] I'm pretty confident in saying that the paradigm of von Mises and Hayek is dead."
Karl Polanyi (4 links)
Karl Polanyi's critique of Ludwig von Mises and Market Fundamentalism in 1934 still outlines the great fallacies and propaganda that have been foisted on us.
Ludwig von Mises (RationalWiki) [More...]
Mises' greatest work is generally considered (among his followers, at least) to be the gargantuan doorstopper called Human Action, which fully codifies the method of praxeology. Unfortunately for Mises, it was pseudoscientific upon arrival in 1949 and is even more pseudoscientific in light of current knowledge.
Ludwig von Mises Explains (and Solves) Market Failure [More...]
David Glasner points out that Hayek was not a libertarian and Mises supported conscription and taxes. "[Mises] says that voluntary self-defense will not work. Why won’t it work? Because the market isn’t working."
Ludwig Von Mises Makes the Libertarian Case against “Free Love” (and Implicitly Against Birth Control) [More...]
Mike Konczal notices that von Mises associates feminism with Socialism in opposition to the natural order. What a crank!
Mark Blaug was Right on Mises’ Method [More...]
Mark Blaug in his influential book The Methodology of Economics dismissed Ludwig von Mises’ later methodological work and apriorist praxeology as “so idiosyncratic and dogmatically stated that we can only wonder that they have been taken seriously by anyone”.
Mises and Hayek Dehomogenized?: A Note on a Schism in Modern Austrian Economics [More...]
Some fratricidal minutiae of Austrian economics. "Both Misesians and Hayekians live in a fantasy world, with respect to the price system." You can skip the technical parts to appreciate the fanaticism of both sides.
Mises on Mixed Economies and Socialism: He is Incoherent [More...]
"On this subject, Mises was an ignorant and muddle-headed idiot, and it is not surprising that after 1945 he was ignored by serious economists."
Mises on the Ricardian Law of Association: The Flaws of Praxeology [More...]
The alleged economic advantages of free trade claimed by Misesian praxeology and by Ricardo are simply false, because of the false hidden premises in the argument.
Mises' Praxeology: A Critique [More...]
Mises' supposedly a priori theory contained many unstated or hidden assumptions.
Objectivism Versus Subjectivism: A Market Test [More...]
Ayn Rand's objectivism and Ludwig von Mises subjectivism are compared with a bizarre, self-parodic test. "We conclude that the market has spoken: Ludwig von Mises is the more important classical liberal thinker!" Really atrocious statistical bullshit. Gated.
Paul Krugman Asks a Question: On the "Austrian" Hatred of Fractional Reserve Banking, Paper Money, etc. Weblogging [More...]
Brad DeLong wades into the cesspool of Austrian gold versus fiat money and depressions arguments from Ludwig von Mises and his ilk.
Propertarianism and Fascism [More...]
"That the new “libertarians” were not particularly libertarian has been noted by many perplexed observers for they regularly express authoritarian ideas while wholeheartedly supporting the authoritarian social-relationships which genuine libertarians had opposed. This is why the ideology is better termed propertarianism."
A long-supplanted philosophical methodology that is preoccupied with "true" definitions of words, a priori knowledge, logic, deduction, system, and its literary form of syllogistic argumentation. Apriorism and avoidance of empiricism are characteristic.
Schuller’s Challenge to Misesian Apriorists has never been answered [More...]
George Schuller provided a devastating epistemological critique of Human Action's praxeology in 1951, that has never been answered. Easy to understand.
Socialist Calculation Debate (6 links)
A debate about how a socialist economy would be able to allocate resources between goals without resort to capitalism. The debate tends to ignore the fact that Communist and wartime command economies did very well with centralized planning. Not to mention Walmart.
The Artistic Superstructure of the Epoch of Labor Unionism and Socialization: Ludwig von Mises on the Detective Story [More...]
Ludwig von Mises comically sees detective fiction as an essentially leftist literary genre crafted to undermine capitalism.
Tyler Cowen: Statist, anti-Rothbardian agent of the Kochtopus [More...]
Tyler Cowen is a strong critic of Austrian and Rothbardian views, and he is hated for that.
What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist) [More...]
A discussion of how left-libertarian precepts of liberty has been trampled by Lock, Mises, and others.
Why libertarians apologize for autocracy [More...]
Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, the Cato Institute and Hans-Hermann Hoppe all have expressed preferences for autocratic rule instead of democratic rule.


Government may even be called the most beneficial of all earthly institutions as without it no peaceful human cooperation, no civilization, and no moral life would be possible.
Ludwig von Mises, "Economic Freedom and Interventionism"
At George Mason University I saw Hoppe present a lecture in which he claimed that Ludwig von Mises had set the intellectual foundation for not only economics, but for ethics, geometry, and optics, as well. This bizarre claim turned a serious scholar and profound thinker into a comical cult figure, a sort of Euro Kim Il Sung.
Tom G. Palmer, "For Mises' Sake"
There is, however, no such thing as natural law and a perennial standard of what is just and what is unjust. Nature is alien to the idea of right and wrong. “Thou shalt not kill” is certainly not part of natural law.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition" p. 716.
The notion of right and wrong is a human device, a utilitarian precept designed to make social cooperation under the division of labor possible. All moral rules and human laws are means for the realization of definite ends. There is no method available for the appreciation of their goodness or badness other than to scrutinize their usefulness for the attainment of the ends chosen and aimed at
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition" p. 716.
All ownership derives from occupation and violence. [...] That all rights derive from violence, all ownership from appropriation or robbery, we may freely admit to those who oppose ownership on considerations of natural law.
Ludwig von Mises, "Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis" Ch. 1, section 2.
Both Misesians and Hayekians live in a fantasy world, with respect to the price system. Both are dependent on the notion of universally flexible prices created by the dynamics of supply and demand curves, tending towards their market-clearing values. Both have failed to grasp the widespread reality and significance of fixprice markets and price administration.
Lord Keynes (pseudonym), "Mises and Hayek Dehomogenized?: A Note on a Schism in Modern Austrian Economics"
The market economy or capitalism, as it is usually called, and the socialist economy preclude one another. There is no mixture of the two systems possible or thinkable; there is no such thing as a mixed economy, a system that would be in part capitalistic and in part socialist.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action" p. 259
Liberalism [libertarianism] is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state. Liberals [libertarians] fully recognize that no social coöperation and no civilization could exist without some amount of compulsion and coercion. It is the task of government to protect the social system against the attacks of those who plan actions detrimental to its maintenance and operation.
Ludwig von Mises, "Omnipotent Government"
...every discipline, as long as it used the Aristotelian method of definition, has remained arrested in a state of empty verbiage and barren scholasticism....
Karl Popper, "The Open Society and Its Enemies", 1950, p. 206.
One incident above all impressed George and me. In the course of a spirited discussion of policies about the distribution of income among a group that included Hayek, Machlup, Knight, Robbins, and Jewkes among others, Ludwig von Mises suddenly rose to his feet, remarked, “You’re all a bunch of socialists,” and stomped out of the room.
Milton Friedman, "Tribute to George J. Stigler, Mont Pelerin Society General Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, September 4, 1992"
It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the modern gurus of libertarian economics – Friedman, Mises, Hayek, and their followers – were and are all basically intellectual McCarthyites, motivated by a visceral hatred of communism and, by association, of all forms of socialism. Their virulent loathing has driven them to embrace with uncritical enthusiasm the opposite doctrine. But it was the vices of nineteenth-century laisser-faire that inspired communism and socialism in the first place!
Angus Sibley, "What’s wrong with Milton Friedman’s economics?"