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Hoppe’s Dangerous Books


The Following article has been written by 
Joakim Fagerström and Joakim Kämpe – Mises.se

A few months ago we were invited to speak at the European Students For Liberty regional conference in Stockholm. Our institute has previously written articles for ESFL and we have also delivered a webinar for them, on May 1st on the topic The Myth of the Socialist Paradise Sweden. It was a great event with about 200 attendees and it was, to our knowledge, greatly appreciated. Thus, we were truly looking forward to speaking at a one of their conferences that was going to be held in our hometown.

The topic of the speech was ”How to achieve freedom”. In the speech we were going to bring up Mises and use him as a role model in the struggle for freedom, and how you had to be uncompromising in your struggle and never water down your message in order to better suit the masses. What mattered was devotion to truth and to your principles. After all, Mises in his memoirs concludes that if there was one thing that he regretted it was that he compromised too much (Memoirs, p. 60).

As a part of our attendance at the event we were planning on selling books from many of the great authors and legends like Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Henry Hazlitt, Stephan Kinsella, Linda and Morris Tannehill and many more. Since these books are hard to get and a bit more expensive in Sweden we always try to sell them at good prices. We were granted the permission to have a table to sell the books from during the day. At this point everything was ok.

However, a few days before the event we announced at the ESFL event page that we were going to sell these books during the day and about ten minutes later we got a message from the organizers asking us to immediately remove the ”Hoppe comment”. After some clarification it was understood that what they wanted us to do was to remove the announcements about the books. The reason was that we were not allowed to sell Professor Hoppe’s books at the event. This was quite surprising, since according to their website, ESFL prides itself on embracing ”the diversity of justifications for liberty and encourages debate and discourse on the differing philosophies that underlie liberty”, and in being a big-tent movement. The explanation was that a person responsible for the event didn’t like Professor Hoppe, and that Hoppe’s ideas were deemed to be too controversial. In other words, an organization that claims that they are all for liberty doesn’t want to sell books written by one of the leading libertarian thinkers of our time because his ideas are deemed controversial.

 

For many people Professor Hoppe’s books have been and will always be too dangerous to allow. Once you read them you understand the great fiction of the state, and it becomes obvious to what extent you truly believe in property, freedom and society. Of course we fully understand that European Students For Liberty have every right to exclude whatever and whoever they want from their events. It is their property and their event and they can choose to exclude and discriminate in any way they see fit. Ironically, this is a point that Hoppe has made and been widely criticized for, and it is likely one of the main reasons why his ideas are deemed as being too controversial and uncomfortable, and why ESFL wants nothing to do with him.

It is however somewhat hypocritical to say that they want to include everyone in the freedom movement, from minarchists to anarchists, and that they are open to all ideas regarding freedom, but at the same time they are afraid of Hoppe’s ideas. Thus they have shown through their demonstrated preference that they don’t live up to the very ideal and vision they themselves have set up for the organisation.

To water down the message of liberty and shy away from controversies, with no regard to the truth, in order to gain a wider audience is not a behaviour that we think is conducive to the overall goal and can never be a good long-term strategy. It is coincidentally also one which both Mises and Hoppe would advise us against pursuing.

Obviously, since we hold Professor Hoppe in such a high esteem (he is even featured on our crest) and because he is an important reason as to why we started the Swedish Mises Institute we chose to not participate. Following the lead of Mises, and coincidentally even more so of Hoppe, we do not compromise and we are not willing to water down our message in order to better appease the masses. Instead we choose to stand fast in our uncompromising intellectual radicalism. Of course without our participation the event was more homogenous, with statists and bankers.

 

Also, an interesting detail that seems to have gone by completely unnoticed, is that ESFL at the event handed out a book with the name ”Marknader och demokrati” (”Markets and democracy” in English only available in Swedish) for free, by Björn Wahlroos. What they weren’t aware of is that in the book he references Professor Hoppe’s book Democracy The God That Failed, and even quotes Hoppe regarding the connection between democracy and a higher time preference.

In the end, it was a simple cost-benefit analysis on our part. Yes, it is true, we could have gained some followers in the short-run if we compromised and watered down our message, but we would have done so at the expense of denying who we are and what we stand for.

To conclude, and to paraphrase Shakespeare, there appears to be something rotten in the ESFL. While we are sure this article mostly will fall on deaf ears, we at least hope that someone within the ESFL realizes that something is not right and acts to change this. ESFL could be a strong and true force for libertarianism in the world, and it is likely an organization that will be with us for some time. However, to exclude ideas and authors because they are deemed to be too controversial or uncomfortable will in the end be the undoing of the organization and the overall goal. Only an adherence to non-compromising intellectual radicalism will help us achieve our goal. An adherence to pragmatism and gradualism will not. Because, it is just like the libertarian abolitionist of slavery William Lloyd Garrison put it: ”Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

October 23, 2012

Joakim Fagerstrom [send him mail] is the President of www.mises.se. Joakim Kämpe [send him mail] is the Editor of www.mises.se. The Original article can be found at LewRockwell.com.

Allra första livstidsstudien visar att utfordring av genmanipulerat majs orsakar massiva tumörer, skador på organ och tidig död

Story at-a-glance:

A two-year long French feeding study designed to evaluate the long-term health effects of a genetically engineered corn found that rats fed Monsanto’s maize developed massive breast tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems. The major onslaught of diseases set in during the 13th month

Female rats that ate genetically engineered corn died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly, while the male GE-fed rats had tumors that occurred up to a year-and-a-half earlier than rats not fed GE corn

According to results from a 10-year long feeding study on rats, mice, pigs and salmon, genetically engineered feed causes obesity, along with significant changes in the digestive system and major organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, genitals and more

The EPA admits there’s “mounting evidence” that Monsanto’s insecticide-fighting YieldGard corn is losing its effectiveness in the Midwest. Last year, rootworms resistant to the toxin in the genetically designed corn infested fields in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska

Genetically engineered foods are responsible for development of resistant weeds and pests; increased pathogenic virulence; degradation of soil quality; reduced nutrient content in food; exponential rise in infertility and birth defects; and reduced crop yields, and more

Sources and References:

Dr. Joseph M. Mercola is a licensed physician and surgeon.

This post is a summary of the following article from Mercola.com and is an initiative to spread information. Individual scrutiny and deep critical thinking is highly advised.

Undantagstillståndet och datalagringsdirektivet

Det är högst sannolikt att den svenska riksdagen och regeringen kommer att driva igenom det så kallade datalagringsdirektivet och skylla på att EU kräver detta av Sverige som nation. För det första så är detta inte fallet, Sverige har ett val mellan att sjösätta detta direktiv eller att avvisa det.

Grönt ljus för datalagringen enligt politikernarött ljus för datalagring om medborgare får bestämma, anser jag.

Om inte detta är ett hot mot integriteten så är det definitivt ett hån mot alla laglydiga. Irland hävdade bestämt att datalagringen handlar om en polisiär och juridisk fråga men idag eller när fan det var, spelar ingen roll, avslog EG-domstolen den irländska begäran. Det kändes inte muntert när jag fick reda på det.

Datalagringen berör vår kommunikation som har och göra med telefoni, sms, e-post, sända samt ta emot samtal och positionsbestämningar varifrån vissa samtal eller sms skickades. Direktivet tvingar alltså internet- och mobilleverantörer att lagra denna information av abonnemangs-data, vilket företagen idag inte vill göra på grund av deras inställning till kunderna. Lagringstiden av all information tycks vara väldigt godtycklig och osäker då det kan röra sig om ett par månaders tid eller upp emot tjugo år! Varför?

Varför stödjer båda blocken just nu denna typ av direktiv? Hur kommer det sig att det inte finns ett omfattande politiskt motstånd inom riksdagen mot vad som håller på att hända i Sverige? Direktivet kritiseras inom EU, i näringslivet, av människorättsorganisationer och helt vanliga medborgare.

Jag tycker att datalagring är väldigt obehagligt.

Måste vi lagra sådana oerhörda mängder information för brottsbekämpning? Vi har redan ett överbelastat rättsväsende och polis, men ser politikerna konsekvenserna av sitt handlande?

Det politiska undantagstillståndet är ett faktum – Jag anar att Girgio Agambens begrepp lämpar sig bra för vidare diskussion om svensk lagstiftning.

Undantagstillståndet, översatt till svenska av Sven-Olov Wallenstein, handlar om hur nöden och lagen kolliderar, och exemplifieras med västerlandets historia till och med USA:s roll och agerande efter 11 septemberattackerna. Under Romarriket fanns undantag till lagen, necessitas legem non habet, det som begås i nöd är undantaget från lagen. I modern tid, menar Agamben, har frasen kommit att betyda att makthavare kan upphäva lagen om de finner sig vara i nöd. Detta undantagstillstånd har kommit att permanenteras, säger Agamben, och blivit den huvudsakliga metoden som makthavare använder för att styra. I praktiken råder det därmed inte någon skillnad mellan rätt och politik. Han menar att det i detta är uppenbart att de mänskliga rättigheterna grundas på de medborgerliga rättigheterna och inte tvärt om. När demokratier kan utlysa undantagstillstånd, har gränsen mellan demokrati och diktatur utplånats. Agamben menar också att länders själva styrelsesätt förändrats, och övergått mer och mer till en administration i stället för att regera med lag och rätt.” Referens

Varför tar jag då upp Agamben? Jo, jag läste ett inlägg från Christian Engström som skrev följande:

Att förslaget strider mot grundlagen bekymrar ju knappast den övervakningskåta alliansregeringen. Det där i regeringsformens andra kapitel om att vi medborgare ska vara skyddade mot undersökning av brev eller annan förtrolig försändelse och mot hemlig avlyssning eller upptagning av telefonsamtal eller annat förtroligt meddelande, är det ju knappast någon som tar på allvar längre.”

Kan det stämma? Vad händer då? Jo, ”staten” i sitt konstituerande av undantagstillståndet, driver likväl igenom direktiv och förordningar som egentligen inte borde kunna drivas igenom. Politiken sker i en sorts politisk gråzon där själva direktivet som drivs igenom svarar mot lagen men där dess konsekvenser inför lagen såsom sammansättning krossas i de metajuridiska eller de metapolitiska kugghjulen.

Räkna med att jag kommer att läsa mer från Agamben och sätta mig in i hans begreppslighet. Det ska tilläggas att jag har förtroende för svenskt rättsväsende överlag, men strömningar inom EU, media eller riksdag ska t.ex. inte i förväg kunna påverka rättegångar. Jag frågar mig själv, hur mycket kan politiker och stora företag påverka rättspraxis och rättegångar utan att det berör rättegången ”i sig”. Finns det något som ett isolerat rättsväsende? Jag tror inte att det är fallet. Det ska bli väldigt intressant att se hur rättegången mot The Pirate Bay kommer att utveckla sig…

Undantagstillståndet av Giorgio Agamben kan ni få tag på från axlbooks. Sven-Olov Wallenstein står för översättningen.

Motstånd.

Nicklas Lundblad recenserar boken Piraterna

Jag fick just reda på att Nicklas Lundblad har recenserat Anders Rydells och Sam Sundbergs bok Piraterna – De svenska fildelarna som plundrade Hollywood. Recensionen hittar ni här.

Sydsvenskans upphovsrättsspecial och rättegången mot The Pirate Bay

Jag måste tipsa om Sydsvenskans upphovsrättsspecial och framförallt Rasmus Fleischers och Fritz-Anton Fritzons korta artiklar där de från olika perspektiv tar sig an upphovsrättens vara. Passa också på att läsa uppföljningarna på deras respektive bloggar: Attack mot attacktalet och Replik till en upphovsrättstroende.

Nivån är riktigt hög och det finns en hel del intressanta anmärkningar och idéer att tänka vidare på, men jag känner att de inte fick tillräckligt med utrymme i artiklarna. Men debatten förstärks mer och mer nu med tanke på att rättegången mot The Pirate Bay närmar sig med stormsteg.

Idag börjar en omfattande bojkott av mediaindustrierna, rättegången mot The Pirate Bay inleds den 16:e februari, IT-eliten och mediaeliten står på tå just nu och besökte nyligen Media Evolution som gästades av Chris Anderson vars bok Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business lanseras i dagarna. Dessutom inser fler människor att det som sker nu är större än fildelning och handlar om yttrandefriheten och tryckfriheten. Fler och fler priser delas ut och tjänster skänks bort till människor som engagerar sig i företeelserna ovan.

Just nu händer det riktigt mycket och inte nog med det, ni måste även se till att köpa eller ladda ned Anders Rydells och Sam Sundbergs Piraterna – De svenska fildelarna som plundrade Hollywood! Den boken och Tony Ernsts bok Sex miljoner sätt att jaga en älg på kompletterar verkligen varandra bra även om båda två tar upp gemensamma fakta.

Här är schemat till rättegången mot The Pirate Bay. Jag har kopierat texten från Christian Engström och ni kan läsa mer om rättegången här

”Huvudförhandlingsplan (kl. 09.00 – 12.00, 13.00 – senast 16.00)

Dag 1 – 16 februari 2009
Yrkanden och inställningar — åklagarens sakframställan och skriftliga bevisning.

Dag 2 – 17 feb
Forts. från dag 1.

Dag 3 – 18 feb
Målsägandenas sakframställningar (gärna genom i förväg ingivna skriftliga sakframställningar)
09.00 Sony BMG Music m.fl., Yellow Birds m.fl. och Warner Bros m.fl.
13.00 Åtalades sakframställningar

Dag 4 – 19 feb
Forts. åtalades sakframställningar
13.00 förhör Fredrik Neij
14.00 förhör Gottfrid Swartholm Warg
15.00 förhör Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi

Dag 5 – 20 feb
09.00 förhör Carl Lundström
13.00 ev. forts. förhör med den tilltalade

Dag 6 – 23 feb
Reserv

Dag 7 – 24 feb
09.00 vt-förhör Magnus Mårtensson
10.00 vt-förhör Anders Nilsson
11.00 vt-förhör Richard Carlswärd
13.00 vt-förhör Jim Keyzer (?)
15.30 vt-förhör John Stéenmark

Dag 8 – 25 feb
09.00 vt-förhör Tobias Andersson
10.00 vt-förhör John Kennedy (engelsk tolk)
11.00 vt-förhör Bertil Sandgren
11.30 vt-förhör Rasmus Ramstad
13.00 vt-förhör Pär Ekengren
14.30 vt-förhör Ludwig Werner
15.00 vt-förhör Per Sundin

Dag 9 – 26 feb
09.00 vt-förhör Kristoffer Schollin (alternativt att det får tas en annan dag om det blir det enda “tilltalade-förhöret”)

Dag 10 – 27 feb
09.00 vt-förhör Jim Keyzer (?)
Åtalen mot Fredrik Neij resp Gottfrid Warg
14.30 Personalia

Dag 11 – 2 mars
09.00 Åklgaren slutför
13.00 Sony BMG slutför
14.00 Yellow Birds
15.00 Warner Bros

Dag 12 – 3 mars
09.00 Fredrik Neij slutför
10.30 Gottfrid Swartholm Warg
13.00 Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi
14.30 Carl Lundström

Dag 13 – 4 mars
Reserv

Som framgår av schemat kan det säkert bli ändringar, men det här tycks vara planen.”

Nicklas Lundblad angående slaget om fildelningen

Nicklas Lundblad har skrivit en artikel för SVD som är essentiell läsning för alla er som följer debatten kring upphovsrätt, immaterialrätt och yttrandefriheten. Värt att notera är hur Lundblad kommer åt den retorik som finns inom leden hos förespråkarna för hårdare straff, övervakning och den vinststinna underhållningsindustrin. Bra där Lundblad!

Slaget är större än fildelning. Den hårdare debatten angående övervakning och sociogram (FRA), skärpta straff, nypoliser och upprätthållande av marknader modell äldre (IPRED), kontroll av data- och telelagring (ACTA, Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) samt Sveriges ställning till EU håller på att förskjuta en rad olika samhällsfenomen som bevisligen inte enbart är negativa för de som tjänar pengar på kultur.

Kampen sträcker sig enda in i maktens korridorer och fler och fler människor förstår att det här gäller vår demokrati, vår integritet, vårt sätt att handla och tänka. Staten och media trycker ned individer som lämnas retoriskt hjälplösa. Riksdagspolitikerna hör oss inte, ungdomsförbunden undrar vad som händer inom deras annars så ”liberala” moderpartier och dagens socialdemokrater är de tamaste i mannaminne.

Det har gått riktigt snabbt. Från det att kassettbanden kom till att Internet övergick till att vara mer än en fluga, har det kulturella begreppet fullkomligt blommat ut och berör så många fler fenomen och områden idag än för sig 10 år sedan. Medan politikerna och låtsaspolitikerna kastar sand på oss medborgare för många av oss har bättre koll begreppsutvecklingen, så inser vi att striden inte bara gäller musikfiler utan all möjlig information; allt från patent, kunskap, gener och materiella objekt. Politiken och juridiken har inte hängt med utvecklingen.

Rätten till forskning, produkter eller till och med idéer kan komma att skyddas genom immaterialrätt. Vad som kanske kommer att hända är att väldigt få konglomerat helt enkelt köper upp det mesta. Detta är ju inte alls någon garanti för att företagen fortsätter att forska om vissa gener, idéer eller grödor bara för att de sitter på rätten till sakerna. Hårdare regler inom immaterialrätten kommer att leda till att tänkbara fördelar med denna rätt helt blir fördunklade till förmån för problematiska fenomen som enskilda företag tjänar stora pengar på.

Avtal, direktiv, regleringar, lagar och förordningar haglar som spön i backen – och de håller på att tillintetgöra bra aspekter av immaterialrätten. I framtiden kommer den politiska striden hårdna och gälla information och kunskap. Stater kommer att hägna in kunskap och således strypa kunskap- och informationsflödet till folket. Det kommer att bli hårdare kontroll på vad pöbeln får komma åt och inte. Det här borde ju åtminstone få några ovetandes lattedrickare att rycka till. Visst, ni kanske inte berörs än eller bryr er nu, men det kan gå snabbt och då kanske det är försent att ändra sig. Alla ska ha rätt till en sin egen åsikt angående frågorna ovan och ha rätt att agera därefter, men att helt begrava sig i vardagen kan leda till en obehaglig kallsup när vi väl dyker upp i framtiden.

Angående min genomgång av Lundblads två böcker som publicerades av Timbro så kommer jag att fortsätta att skriva om dom i år. Det är väldigt intressant att se hur saker och ting, framförallt retoriken, har förändrats sedan 2000. Om någon av er som läser den här bloggen har läst dom så får ni gärna lämna ett par kommentarer.


DOOM4

En blogg om filosofi, ekonomi, språk, musik, konst och litteratur.
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Ludwig von Mises On the So-Called Liberals of Today

“The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought, of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial – that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written in constitutions.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow (1979)

Murray N. Rothbard on Economic Ignorance

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

–Murray N. Rothbard

Ludwig von Mises on the Process of the Hyperinflationary Breakdown of A Currency

"The emancipation of commerce from a money which is proving more and more useless in this way begins with the expulsion of the money from hoards. People begin at first to hoard other money instead so as to have marketable goods at their disposal for unforeseen future needs - perhaps precious-metal money and foreign notes, and sometimes also domestic notes of other kinds which have a higher value because they cannot be increased by the State '(e.g.the Romanoff rouble in Russia or the 'blue' money of communist Hungary); then ingots, precious stones, and pearls; even pictures, other objects of art, and postage stamps. A further step is the adoption of foreign currency or metallic money (i.e. for all practical purposes, gold) in credit transactions. Finally, when the domestic currency ceases to be used in retail trade, wages as well have to be paid in some other way than in pieces of paper which are then no longer good for anything.

The collapse of an inflation policy carried to its extreme - as in the United States in 1781 and in France in 1796 does not destroy the monetary system, but only the credit money or fiat money of the State that has overestimated the effectiveness of its own policy. The collapse emancipates commerce from etatism and establishes metallic money again."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit

Ludwig von Mises On Hyperinflation

"The characteristic mark of the phenomenon is that the increase in the quantity of money causes a fall in the demand for money. The tendency toward a fall in purchasing power as generated by the increased supply of money is intensified by the general propensity to restrict cash holdings which it brings about. Eventually a point is reached where the prices at which people would be prepared to part with "real" goods discount to such an extent the expected progress in the fall of purchasing power that nobody has a sufficient amount of cash at hand to pay them. The monetary system breaks down; all transactions in the money concerned cease; a panic makes its purchasing power vanish altogether. People return either to barter or to the use of another kind of money."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises On the Policy of Devaluation

"If the government does not care how far foreign exchange rates may rise, it can for some time continue to cling to credit expansion. But one day the crack-up boom will annihilate its monetary system. On the other hand, if the authority wants to avoid the necessity of devaluing again and again at an accelerated pace, it must arrange its domestic credit policy in such a way as not to outrun in credit expansion the other countries against which it wants to keep its domestic currency at par."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Austrian Economics

"What distinguishes the Austrian School and will lend it everlasting fame is its doctrine of economic action, in contrast to one of economic equilibrium or nonaction."

–Ludwig von Mises, Notes and Recollections

Ludwig von Mises on Austrian Economics

"The main and only concern of the Austrian economists was to contribute to the advancement of economics. They never tried to win the support of anybody by other means than by the convincing power developed in their books and articles."

–Ludwig von Mises, Austrian Economics: An Anthology

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"True, governments can reduce the rate of interest in the short run. They can issue additional paper money. They can open the way to credit expansion by the banks. They can thus create an artificial boom and the appearance of prosperity. But such a boom is bound to collapse soon or late and to bring about a depression."

–Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The wavelike movement effecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The cyclical fluctuations of business are not an occurrence originating in the sphere of the unhampered market, but a product of government interference with business conditions designed to lower the rate of interest below the height at which the free market would have fixed it."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The ultimate cause, therefore, of the phenomenon of wave after wave of economic ups and downs is ideological in character. The cycles will not disappear so long as people believe that the rate of interest may be reduced, not through the accumulation of capital, but by banking policy."

–Ludwig von Mises, On the Manipulation of Money and Credit

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The boom produces impoverishment. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Credit Expansion

"Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Human action is purposeful behavior."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. . . . It is conscious behavior. It is choosing. It is volition; it is a display of the will."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Action is an attempt to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory one. We call such a willfully induced alteration an exchange."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Mans striving after an improvement of the conditions of his existence impels him to action. Action requires planning and the decision which of various plans is the most advantageous."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises On ”I and We”

"The We cannot act otherwise than each of them acting on his own behalf. They can either all act together in accord; or one of them may act for them all. In the latter case the cooperation of the others consists in their bringing about the situation which makes one man's action effective for them too. Only in this sense does the officer of a social entity act for the whole; the individual members of the collective body either cause or allow a single man's action to concern them too."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises On The Individual and Changing Features of Human Action

"Common man does not speculate about the great problems. With regard to them he relies upon other people's authority, he behaves as "every decent fellow must behave," he is like a sheep in the herd. It is precisely this intellectual inertia that characterizes a man as a common man. Yet the common man does choose. He chooses to adopt traditional patterns or patterns adopted by other people because he is convinced that this procedure is best fitted to achieve his own welfare. And he is ready to change his ideology and consequently his mode of action whenever he becomes convinced that this would better serve his own interests."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Murray N. Rothbard On the Professional Intellectual Classes

"In all societies, public opinion is determined by the intellectual classes, the opinion moulders of society. For most people neither originate nor disseminate ideas and concepts; on the contrary, they tend to adopt those ideas promulgated by the professional intellectual classes, the professional dealers in ideas."

–Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty

Ludwig von Mises on Cause and Effect

"Cognizance of the relation between a cause and its effect is the first step toward mans orientation in the world and is the intellectual condition of any successful activity."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises on Economic Calculation

"Monetary calculation and cost accounting constitute the most important intellectual tool of the capitalist entrepreneur, and it was no one less than Goethe who pronounced the system of double-entry bookkeeping one of the finest inventions of the human mind."

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

Ludwig von Mises on Economics as Abstract Reasoning

“Economics, like logic and mathematics, is a display of abstract reasoning. Economics can never be experimental and empirical. The economist does not need an expensive apparatus for the conduct of his studies. What he needs is the power to think clearly and to discern in the wilderness of events what is essential from what is merely accidental.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Individual Rational Action

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

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism.

Ludwig von Mises on Entrepreneurship

"The consumers suffer when the laws of the country prevent the most efficient entrepreneurs from expanding the sphere of their activities. What made some enterprises develop into big business was precisely their success in filling best the demand of the masses."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos

Ludwig von Mises on the Gold Standard

“If our civilization will not in the next years or decades completely collapse, the gold standard will be restored.”

–Ludwig von Mises, (1965)

Murray N. Rothbard On the Gold Standard

“Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium.”

–Murray N. Rothbard

Detlev Schlichter on the Gold Standard

"But I don’t believe the best solution would be to go back to a government-run gold standard. We should not trust politicians and bureaucrats with money, certainly never again with entirely unconstrained fiat money, but probably not even with a monetary system that comes with the strait jacket of an official gold standard. I would argue instead for the complete separation of money and state, and for an entirely private monetary system. Let the market decide what should be money and how much there should be of it. I do strongly believe that gold would again play an important role in such a system. After all, gold and silver have been chosen forms of money for thousands of years, in all cultures and societies. That is what the trading public always went for when it was free to choose."

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Detlev Schlichter on Paper Money

"Wall Street, the media, academia, and, of course the Fed, are strongly on the side of fiat money."

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Detlev Schlichter on the Media and Academia

"Media and academia are mainly pro-state, pro-politics, anti-gold"

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"There was no reason whatever to abandon the principle of free enterprise in the field of banking."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"It is extremely difficult for our contemporaries to conceive of the conditions of free banking because they take government interference with banking for granted and as necessary."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"What is needed to prevent any further credit expansion is to place the banking business under the general rules of commercial and civil laws compelling every individual and firm to fulfill all obligations in full compliance with the terms of the contract."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Corrupt Politicians, Professors and Union Bosses

"Those politicians, professors and union bosses who curse big business are fighting for a lower standard of living."

–Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"Profit-seeking business is compelled to employ the most efficient methods of production. What checks a businessmans endeavors to improve the equipment of his firm is only lack of capital."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"When pushed hard by economists, some welfare propagandists and socialists admit that impairment of the average standard of living can only be avoided by the maintenance of capital already accumulated and that economic improvement depends on accumulation of additional capital."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"History does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government. As far as governments invested in the construction of roads, railroads, and other useful public works, the capital needed was provided by the savings of individual citizens and borrowed by the government."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"The characteristic mark of economic history under capitalism is unceasing economic progress, a steady increase in the quantity of capital goods available, and a continuous trend toward an improvement in the general standard of living."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few generations ago were only within the reach of a small elite."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality

Ludwig von Mises on Laissez Faire

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"The ultimate basis of an all around bureaucratic system is violence."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Bureaucratic management is management of affairs which cannot be checked by economic calculation."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy and Economic Calculation

"A bureaucrat differs from a nonbureaucrat precisely because he is working in a field in which it is impossible to appraise the result of a mans effort in terms of money."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Nobody can be at the same time a correct bureaucrat and an innovator."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Seen from the point of view of the particular group interests of the bureaucrats, every measure that makes the governments payroll swell is progress."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"The bureaucrat is not free to aim at improvement. He is bound to obey rules and regulations established by a superior body. He has no right to embark upon innovations if his superiors do not approve of them. His duty and his virtue is to be obedient."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures."

–Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy and Government Interventions

"The trend toward bureaucratic rigidity is not inherent in the evolution of business. It is an outcome of government meddling with business."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Government’s War on the Creative Genius

“A genius is precisely a man who defies all schools and rules, who deviates from the traditional roads of routine and opens up new paths through land inaccessible before….But, on the other hand, the government can bring about conditions which paralyze the efforts of a creative spirit and prevent him from rendering useful services to the community.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Why Classical Liberalism Rejects War

“The liberal critique of the argument in favor of war is fundamentally different from that of the humanitarians. It starts from the premise that not war, but peace, is the father of all things. What alone enables mankind to advance and distinguishes man from the animals is social cooperation. It is labor alone that is productive: it creates wealth and therewith lays the outward foundations for the inward flowering of man. War only destroys; it cannot create. War, carnage, destruction, and devastation we have in common with the predatory beasts of the jungle; constructive labor is our distinctively human characteristic.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

Ludwig von Mises on Sound Money

“It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights. The demand for constitutional guarantees and for bills of rights was a reaction against arbitrary rule and the nonobservance of old customs by kings. The postulate of sound money was first brought up as a response to the princely practice of debasing the coinage.”

–Ludwig von Mises. The Theory of Money and Credit

Murray N. Rothbard on Recovering from Economic Depressions

“It should be clear that any governmental interference with the depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse from almost everyone’s point of view. Since the depression process is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process impedes the advent of recovery. The depression readjustments must work themselves out before recovery can be complete. The more these readjustments are delayed, the longer the depression will have to last, and the longer complete recovery is postponed.”

–Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market

Hans-Hermann Hoppe on Socialized Health Care

“With the socialization of the health care system through institutions such as Medicaid and Medicare and the regulation of the insurance industry (by restricting an insurer’s right of refusal: to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable, and discriminate freely, according to actuarial methods, between different group risks) a monstrous machinery of wealth and income redistribution at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups in favor of irresponsible actors and high-risk groups has been put in motion.”

–Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"What distinguishes man from animals is the insight into the advantages that can be derived from cooperation under the division of labor."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"Civilization is a work of peaceful co-operation."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"The foundation of any and every civilization, including our own, is private ownership of the means of production. Whoever wishes to criticize modern civilization, therefore, begins with private property."

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism

Ludwig von Mises on the Market Economy

"In the unhampered market economy there are no privileges, no protection of vested interests, no barriers preventing anybody from striving after any prize."

–Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"Liberalism champions private property in the means of production because it expects a higher standard of living from such an economic organization, not because it wishes to help the owners."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"That Liberalism aims at the protection of property and that it rejects war are two expressions of one and the same principle."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism


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