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Ludwig von Mises
1881 - 1972

Internationally renowned economist, early practicioner of the "Austrian school" of economics, author of The Theory of Money and Credit (1912), Socialism (1922), and others. For nearly 30 years von Mises taught as a visiting professor at New York University Graduate School of Business, and profoundly influenced economic thought around the world.

Books by Ludwig von Mises
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Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (Scholars Edition)
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The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality
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Click here for an essay by Ludwig von Mises
Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.

from Socialism
The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state. The history of the West, from the age of the Greek polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.

Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out.

...economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.

There is simply no other choice than this: either to abstain from interference in the free play of the market, or to delegate the entire management of production and distribution to the government. Either capitalism or socialism: there exists no middle way.

quoted in The MacMillan Book of Business and Economic Quotations by Michael Jackman
Progress is precisely that which the rules and regulations did not foresee.

Only in a progressing economy is there a surplus of total profits over total losses. The popular belief that profits are a deduction from the income of workers and consumers is entirely fallacious.

The jealousy of the common man looks upon the profits of the entrepreneurs as if they were totally used for consumption. A part of them is, of course, consumed. But only those entrepreneurs attain wealth and influence in the world of business who consume merely a fraction of their profits and plough back the much greater part into their enterprises. What makes the small business develop into the big business is not spending but saving and capital accumulation.

Modern civilization is a product of the philosophy of laissez faire.