Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

Ludwig von
Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

Austrian-American Economist, Historian, Philosopher, Author and Classical Liberal

Author Quotes

Society is joint action and cooperation in which each participant sees the other partner's success as a means for the attainment of his own.

Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

The class of those who have the ability to think their own thoughts is separated by an unbridgeable gulf from the class of those who cannot.

Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought.

It is the worst of all superstitions to assume that the epistemological characteristics of one branch of knowledge must necessarily be applicable to any other branch.

As society is only possible if everyone, while living his own life, at the same time helps others to live; if every individual is simultaneously means and end; if each individual's well-being is simultaneously the condition necessary to the well-being of others, it is evident that the contrast between I and thou, means and end, automatically is overcome.

The history of mankind is the history of ideas. For it is ideas, theories, and doctrines that guide human action, determine the ultimate ends men aim at, and the choice of the means employed for the attainment of these ends.

Economics is not about goods and services; it is about human choice and action.

The supremacy of public opinion determines not only the singular role that economics occupies in the complex of thought and knowledge. It determines the whole process of human history.

The great mass of people are incapable of realizing that in economic life nothing is permanent except change. They regard the existing state of affairs as eternal; as it has been so shall it always be.

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 toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs 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.

Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them.

The modern American high school, reformed according to the principles of John Dewey, has failed lamentably, as all competent experts agree, in the teaching of mathematics, physics, languages, and history.

There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.

In all countries where inflation has been rapid, it has been observed that the decrease in the value of the money has occurred faster than the increase in its quantity.

No increase in the welfare of the members of a society can result from the availability of an additional quantity of money.

The quantity of money available in the whole economy is always sufficient to secure for everybody all that money does and can do.

If you increase the quantity of money, you bring about the lowering of the purchasing power of the monetary unit.

Depression is the aftermath of credit expansion.

If it were really possible to substitute credit expansion (cheap money) for the accumulation of capital goods by saving, there would not be any poverty in the world.

All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts

People must learn that the accumulation of wealth by the successful
conduct of business is the corollary of the improvement of their own standard of living and vice versa. They must realize that bigness in business is not an evil, but both the cause and effect of the fact that they themselves enjoy all those amenities whose enjoyment is called the “American way of life.

It is irrelevant to the entrepreneur, as the servant of the consumers, whether the wishes and wants of the consumers are wise or unwise, moral or immoral. He produces what the consumers want. In this sense he is amoral. He manufactures whiskey and guns just as he produces food and clothing. It is not his task to teach reason to the sovereign consumers. Should one entrepreneur, for ethical reasons of his own, refuse to manufacture whiskey, other entrepreneurs would do so as long as whiskey is wanted and bought. It is not because we have distilleries that people drink whiskey; it is because people like to drink whiskey that we have distilleries. One may deplore this. But it is not up to the entrepreneurs to improve mankind morally. And they are not to be blamed if those whose duty this is have failed to do so.

Only stilted pedants can conceive the idea that there are absolute norms to tell what is beautiful and what is not. They try to derive from the works of the past a code of rules with which, as they fancy, the writers and artists of the future should comply. But the genius does not cooperate with the pundit.

Author Picture
First Name
Ludwig von
Last Name
Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises
Birth Date
Death Date

Austrian-American Economist, Historian, Philosopher, Author and Classical Liberal