Mises emigrated from Austria
to the United States
Since the mid-20th century, libertarian movements have been strongly influenced by Mises's writings. Mises' student Friedrich Hayek
viewed Mises as one of the major figures in the revival of classical liberalism in the post-war era. Hayek's work "The Transmission of the Ideals of Freedom" (1951) pays high tribute to the influence of Mises in the 20th century libertarian movement.
Mises's Private Seminar was a leading group of economists.
Many of its alumni, including Friedrich Hayek
and Oskar Morgenstern
, emigrated from Austria to the United States and Great Britain. Mises has been described as having approximately seventy close students in Austria.
Ludwig von Mises was born to Jewish
parents in the city of Lemberg, Galicia
). The family of his father, Arthur Edler von Mises, had been elevated to the Austrian nobility in the 19th century (Edler
indicates a noble landless family) and they had been involved in financing and constructing railroads. His mother Adele (née Landau) was a niece of Dr. Joachim Landau, a Liberal Party deputy to the Austrian Parliament.:3–9
Arthur von Mises was stationed in Lemberg as a construction engineer with the Czernowitz railway company.
By the age of 12, Mises spoke fluent German, Polish and French, read Latin and could understand Ukrainian.
Mises had a younger brother, Richard von Mises
, who became a mathematician and a member of the Vienna Circle
, and a probability theorist.
When Ludwig and Richard were still children, their family moved back to Vienna.
Life in Europe
In the years from 1904 to 1914, Mises attended lectures given by Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
He graduated in February 1906 (Juris Doctor
) and started a career as a civil servant in Austria's financial administration.
After a few months, he left to take a trainee position in a Vienna law firm. During that time, Mises began lecturing on economics and in early 1909 joined the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry. During World War I
, Mises served as a front officer in the Austro-Hungarian
artillery and as an economic adviser to the War Department.
While in Switzerland, Mises married Margit Herzfeld Serény, a former actress and widow of Ferdinand Serény. She was the mother of Gitta Sereny
Work in the United States
In 1940, Mises and his wife fled the German advance in Europe and emigrated to New York City in the United States.:xi
He had come to the United States under a grant by the Rockefeller Foundation
. Like many other classical liberal scholars who fled to the United States, he received support by the William Volker Fund
to obtain a position in American universities.
Mises became a visiting professor at New York University
and held this position from 1945 until his retirement in 1969, though he was not salaried by the university.
Businessman and libertarian
commentator Lawrence Fertig
, a member of the New York University Board of Trustees, funded Mises and his work.
At one time, Mises praised the work of writer Ayn Rand
and she generally looked on his work with favor, but the two had a volatile relationship, with strong disagreements for example over the moral basis of capitalism.
Contributions and influence in economics
Mises wrote and lectured extensively on behalf of classical liberalism
In his magnum opus Human Action
, Mises adopted praxeology
as a general conceptual foundation of the social sciences and set forth his methodological approach to economics.
Mises was for economic non-interventionism
and was an anti-imperialist
He referred to the Great War
as such a watershed event in human history and wrote that "war has become more fearful and destructive than ever before because it is now waged with all the means of the highly developed technique that the free economy has created. Bourgeois civilization has built railroads and electric power plants, has invented explosives and airplanes, in order to create wealth. Imperialism has placed the tools of peace in the service of destruction. With modern means it would be easy to wipe out humanity at one blow."
In 1920, Mises introduced in an article his Economic Calculation Problem
as a critique of socialisms which are based on planned economies
and renunciations of the price mechanism
In his first article "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth
", Mises describes the nature of the price system under capitalism and describes how individual subjective values
are translated into the objective information necessary for rational
allocation of resources in society.
Mises argued that the pricing systems in socialist economies were necessarily deficient because if a public entity owned all the means of production
, no rational prices could be obtained for capital goods
as they were merely internal transfers of goods and not "objects of exchange", unlike final goods. Therefore, they were unpriced and hence the system would be necessarily irrational, as the central planners would not know how to allocate the available resources efficiently.
He wrote that "rational economic activity is impossible in a socialist commonwealth
Mises developed his critique of socialism more completely in his 1922 book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
, arguing that the market price system is an expression of praxeology
and can not be replicated by any form of bureaucracy.
At his New York University seminar and at informal meetings at his apartment, Mises attracted college and high school students who had heard of his European reputation. They listened while he gave carefully prepared lectures from notes.
Among those who attended his informal seminar over the course of two decades in New York were Israel Kirzner
, Hans Sennholz
, Ralph Raico
, Leonard Liggio
, George Reisman
and Murray Rothbard
Mises's work also influenced other Americans, including Benjamin Anderson
, Leonard Read
, Henry Hazlitt
, Max Eastman
, legal scholar Sylvester J. Petro and novelist Ayn Rand
Debates about Mises's arguments
Scholar Scott Scheall called economist Terence Hutchison
"the most persistent critic of Mises's apriorism",:233
starting in Hutchison's 1938 book The Significance and Basic Postulates of Economic Theory
and in later publications such as his 1981 book The Politics and Philosophy of Economics: Marxians, Keynesians, and Austrians
Scheall noted that Friedrich Hayek
, later in his life (after Mises died), also expressed reservations about Mises's apriorism
, such as in a 1978 interview where Hayek said that he "never could accept the ... almost eighteenth-century rationalism in his [Mises's] argument".:233–234
In a 1978 interview, Hayek said about Mises's book Socialism
At first we all felt he was frightfully exaggerating and even offensive in tone. You see, he hurt all our deepest feelings, but gradually he won us around, although for a long time I had to – I just learned he was usually right in his conclusions, but I was not completely satisfied with his argument.
The story I remember best happened at the initial Mont Pelerin meeting when he got up and said, "You're all a bunch of socialists." We were discussing the distribution of income, and whether you should have progressive income taxes
. Some of the people there were expressing the view that there could be a justification for it. Another occasion which is equally telling: Fritz Machlup was a student of Mises's, one of his most faithful disciples. At one of the Mont Pelerin meetings, Machlup gave a talk in which I think he questioned the idea of a gold standard
; he came out in favor of floating exchange rates
. Mises was so mad he wouldn't speak to Machlup for three years. Some people had to come around and bring them together again. It's hard to understand; you can get some understanding of it by taking into account how people like Mises were persecuted in their lives.
Economist Murray Rothbard
, who studied under Mises, agreed he was uncompromising, but disputes reports of his abrasiveness. In his words, Mises was "unbelievably sweet, constantly finding research projects for students to do, unfailingly courteous, and never bitter" about the discrimination he received at the hands of the economic establishment of his time.
After Mises died, his widow Margit quoted a passage that he had written about Benjamin Anderson
. She said it best described Mises's own personality:
His most eminent qualities were his inflexible honesty, his unhesitating sincerity. He never yielded. He always freely enunciated what he considered to be true. If he had been prepared to suppress or only to soften his criticisms of popular, but irresponsible, policies, the most influential positions and offices would have been offered him. But he never compromised.
Debates about fascism
Mises, in his 1927 book Liberalism
It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.
Mises biographer Jörg Guido Hülsmann
says that critics who suggest that Mises supported fascism are "absurd" as he notes that the full quote describes fascism as dangerous. He notes that Mises thought it was a "fatal error" to think that it was more than an "emergency makeshift" against the looming threat of communism and socialism as exemplified by the Bolsheviks
in Russia and the surging communists of Germany
does mention briefly in Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism
that Mises had been a card-carrying member of the Fatherland Front (Austria) fascist party and, as Hülsmann uses the word "probably", it's not exactly clear whether membership was mandatory for public officials
and civil servants
- ^ Regarding personal names: Edler was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as a noble (one). Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The feminine form is Edle.
- ^ "Profiles: Ludwig von Mises". Mises Institutes. 28 July 2014.
- ^ Hayek, Friedrich A. (2012). "The Transmission of the Ideals of Economic Freedom". Econ Journal Watch. 9 (2): 163–69.
- ^ Mises, Ludwig von (2013). Notes and Recollections. http://lf-oll.s3.amazonaws.com/titles/2603/Mises_Recollections_LFeBK.pdf: Liberty Fund. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-86597-853-9.
- ^ Beller, Steven (1989). Vienna and the Jews, 1867–1938: A Cultural History. Cambridge University Press.
- ^ a b c d Hülsmann, Jörg Guido (2007). Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Ludwig von Mises Institute. ISBN 978-1-933550-18-3.
- ^ Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, "The Cultural Background of Ludwig von Mises", The Ludwig von Mises Institute, p. 1
- ^ "Richard von Mises". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- ^ Von Mises, Ludwig; Goddard, Arthur (1979). Liberalism: A Socio-Economic Exposition (2 ed.). ISBN 978-0-8362-5106-7.
- ^ a b "Biography of Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) ('Chronology')". Mises.org. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- ^ Mises, Ludwig von, The Historical Setting of the Austrian School of Economics, Arlington House, 1969, reprinted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1984, p. 10, Rothbard, Murray, The Essential Ludwig von Mises, 2nd printing, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1983, p. 30.
- ^ Mises in Wartime, Mises Institute
- ^ "The Free Market: Meaning of the Mises Papers, The". Mises.org. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
- ^ a b Mises, Margit von, My Years with Ludwig von Mises, Arlington House Publishers, 1976; 2nd enlarged ed., Cedar Falls, IA: Center for Futures Education, 1984. ISBN 978-0915513000. OCLC 11668538
- ^ Kitch, Edmund W. (April 1983). "The Fire of Truth: A Remembrance of Law and Economics at Chicago, 1932–1970". Journal of Law and Economics. 26 (1): 163–234. doi:10.1086/467030. S2CID 153525815.
- ^ Moss, Laurence S. "Introduction". The Economics of Ludwig von Mises: Toward a Critical Reappraisal. Sheed and Ward, 1976.
- ^ North, Gary. "Mises on Money". LewRockwell.com. 21 January 2002 
- ^ Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard Nikolaus, Graf von (1953). An idea conquers the world. London: Hutchinson. p. 247.
- ^ Kurien Society of Science and Art websiteArchived 2020-10-30 at the Wayback Machine, Listing of recipients of the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art; Google Translated page, accessed June 5, 2013.
- ^ Rothbard, Murray, Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1988, p. 61.
- ^ Austrian Student Scholars Conference Announcement, Grove City College website, 2013, accessed June 8, 2013.
- ^ "About – Collections – Mossey Library". lib.hillsdale.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- ^ Jennifer Burns (2009). Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Oxford University Press. pp. 106, 141. ISBN 978-0199740895.
- ^ For example, Murray Rothbard, a leading Austrian school economist, has written that, by the 1920s, "Mises was clearly the outstanding bearer of the great Austrian tradition." Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1988, p. 25.
- ^ "Why Intervention Persists". 2005-03-16.
- ^ "The Anti-Imperialism of Mises". 2013-06-24.
- ^ "Ludwig von Mises on World War I | Ludwig von Mises". 2017-04-06.
- ^ a b c d Von Mises, Ludwig (1990). Economic calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth(PDF). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
- ^ Rothbard, Murray, Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1988, p. 67.
- ^ Vaughn, Karen I (1998). Austrian Economics in America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521637657. pp. 66–67.
- ^ Reisman, George, Capitalism: a Treatise on Economics, "Introduction," Jameson Books, 1996; and Mises, Margit von, My Years with Ludwig von Mises, 2nd enlarged edit., Center for Future Education, 1984, pp. 136–37.
- ^ On Mises's influence, see Rothbard, Murray, The Essential Ludwig von Mises, 2nd printing, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1983; on Eastman's conversion "from Marx to Mises," see Diggins, John P., Up From Communism Harper & Row, 1975, pp. 201–33; on Mises's students and seminar attendees, see Mises, Margit von, My Years with Ludwig von Mises, Arlington House, 1976, 2nd enlarged edit., Center for Future Education, 1984.
- ^ Caldwell, Bruce (2004). Hayek's Challenge. The University of Chicago Press. pp. 125–26. ISBN 978-0-226-09191-4.
- ^ "Liberalism in Caricature", The Economist
- ^ Quoted in Sam Tanenhaus, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography, (Random House, New York, 1997), p. 500. ISBN 978-0-375-75145-5.
- ^ a b c Scheall, Scott (July 2017). "What is extreme about Mises's extreme apriorism?". Journal of Economic Methodology. 24 (3): 226–249. doi:10.1080/1350178X.2017.1356439. S2CID 151703666.
- ^ UCLA Oral History (Interview with Friedrich Hayek), American Libraries/Internet Archive, 1978. Retrieved on 4 April 2009 (Blog.Mises.orgArchived 2009-06-27 at the Wayback Machine), source with quotes
- ^ "Best of Both Worlds (Interview with Milton Friedman)". Reason. June 1995.
- ^ Murray Rothbard, "The Future of Austrian Economics" on YouTube, 1990 talk at Mises University at Stanford, at MisesMedia Youtube channel.
- ^ Kirzner, Israel M. (2001). Ludwig von Mises: The Man and his Economics. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books. p. 31. ISBN 978-1882926688. OCLC 47734733.
- ^ Ralph Raico, "Mises on Fascism, Democracy, and Other Questions, Journal of Libertarian Studies (1996) 12:1 pp. 1–27
- ^ Richard Seymour, [The Meaning of Cameron], (Zero Books, John Hunt, London, 2010), p. 32, ISBN 1846944562
- ^ Ludwig von Mises, "Liberalism", Chapter 10, The Argument of Fascism, 1927.
- ^ Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism (2007) p. 677
- ^ “...we must greet enthusiastically the recent publishing of six essays written by Ludwig von Mises in the 1920s. Arlington House Publishers and translator Professor Hans Sennholz are to be congratulated for making these essays available to a whole new generation of economists and policymakers who could still profit, apparently, from their insightful analysis.”
Armentano, D. “Review of A Critique of Interventionism, by Ludwig von Mises”. Reason, May 1978
- Butler, Eamonn, Ludwig von Mises – A Primer, Institute of Economic Affairs (2010).
- Ebeling, Richard M. Political Economy, Public Policy, and Monetary Economics: Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Tradition, (London/New York: Routledge, 2010) 354 pages, ISBN 978-0-415-77951-7.
- Ebeling, Richard M. "Ludwig von Mises: The Political Economist of Liberty, Part I", (The Freeman, May 2006).
- Ebeling, Richard M. "Ludwig von Mises: The Political Economist of Liberty, Part II", (The Freeman, June 2006).
- Ebeling, Richard M. "Ludwig von Mises and the Vienna of His Time, Part I", (The Freeman, March 2005).
- Ebeling, Richard M. "Ludwig von Mises and the Vienna of His Time, Part II", (The Freeman, April 2005).
- Ebeling, Richard M. "Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom", (The Freeman, June 2004).
- Gordon, David (2011-02-23) Mises's Epistemology, Ludwig von Mises Institute.
- Jones, Daniel Stedman. Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (2012), pp. 49–51.
- Rothbard, Murray N. "Mises, Ludwig Edler von," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987, v. 3, pp. 479–80.
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Last edited on 5 May 2021, at 09:00
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