Posts Tagged 'net neutrality'

La Quadrature Du Net: Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Press release from La Quadrature Du net:

Paris, November 26th 2009 – La Quadrature is calling on European citizens to submit questions aimed at finding out where the next European Commission (2010-2014) stands on EU citizens’ fundamental freedoms on the Internet.

The Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, just agreed1 on a college of Commissioners designate. The Parliament will now conduct hearings2 before appointing the full college.

These hearings, which were introduced in 2001 (article 214 of the Nice Treaty), are an important feature of the emerging European democracy. They help the legislative branch evaluate the executive branch’s competence and commitment to serve human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights3. It is also an opportunity for the Members of the European Parliament – who directly represent European citizens – to ask the Commissioners designate to take position on issues that are relevant to their occupation.

Internet regulation is high on the next Commission’s legislative agenda. This is why it is so important for citizens and civil society groups to step in the debate and question the next Commissioners about their vision for the future of the Internet. Do they want to protect the democratic nature of the this new essential mean of communications, or are they going be oblivious to its progressive potentialities and give in to special-interests asking for more control?

La Quadrature calls on citizens to help drafting a list of questions to be asked to Commissioners designate. Submitted questions should address various topics related to citizens rights and freedoms on the Internet, such as:

  • The fight against filesharing;
  • Net neutrality;
  • Filtering of Internet content;
  • Copyright law;
  • Privacy;
  • Other issues that you might find relevant.

Questions should be addressed to the Commissioners for: Information Society and Media, Justice and Home Affairs, Competition, Internal Market or Trade.

The complete questionnaire will be transmitted to the Members of the European Parliament before the auditions.

Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Telecoms Package – The Dark Gloom Over Europe

The protection of the original amendment 138 – An Open warning to the European Council the European Parliament

The Conciliation Committee had an informal meeting today where they were presented with an alternative compromise (am. 138) from the legal council of the Parliament. This compromise is not good at all for European citizens who need fundamental freedoms and rights. Let me try to explain why.

This compromise is meant to replace the original amendment 138, which states that ”no restriction on fundamental rights and freedom” can be taken ”without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities”. This should be common practice as the internet is not something national, it’s something that is transnational. And if the European Union wants to unite Europe and work on developing democracy, enhancing the public’s interest for politics and strenghtening their freedoms and rights – then the original 138 is essential for European citizens.

No market is worth more than the backbone of democracy: the citizens. People constitute states and unions – politicians and bureacrats should work to develop democracy, not to to protect the already powerful.

The original amendment 138 has already been adopted twice by the Parliament by 88% of the votes. This sends a clear signal that democracy in a European framework is but a mockery and a charade as to what the politicians representing the people want.

Why can’t we change the original amendment 138 so it doesn’t collide with national counstitutional laws and at the same time safeguard citizens fundamental freedoms and rights? The political mindset is here an utterly black and white affair, which will lead to a bleak and gloomy future in terms of developing democracy.

The internet is something that transcends national legislations. The internet is something that transcends different unions. The internet is something that transcends markets and static political frameworks.

However, the internet is the possibility of a truly global connectedness and transnational communicational platform. The internet is the possibility for an ”other” democracy to the political concept called ”eDemocracy” and the internet is the very possibility to give a voice to each end-user all around the world.

The European defence for the internet starts here. Which mindset do you have? Are you willing to sacrifice fundamental freedoms and rights for the sake of a European market? Are you willing to sacrifice several important concepts such as ”Net neutrality”, ”mere conduit” as well as ”prior ruling by judicial authorities”? Are you willing to say no to amendment 138 because it might collide with national constitutional law?

There is the internet – and then there is the controlled and bundled packaged version which is not worthy being called ”the internet”.

There is democracy, freedoms and rights – and then there is a controlled and bundled packaged version of democracy and political policy making which is not worthy being called ”democracy”.

I encourage policy makers to look at the original amendment 138 one more time and adapt it so it doesn’t collide with national legislation, as well as safeguarding what you ought to safeguard in the first place: the freedom and rights of your voters.

Your choices and actions do not just affect national legislation and the telecom sector; they affect 500+ million people within the European Union, as well as the internet as something that transcends the very legal framework you are trapped inside. One has to realize that this is a world phenomenon, if we do not safeguard the internet in Europe, then we end up risking the future of something that really has a great democratic potential.

So which side are you on? Can you see past this simplistic division? Do you want to protect the interests of a certain few transnational (oh the irony in safeguarding these issues from a transnational point of view) conglomerates that aim to control the internet, and thus control the markets you are willing to make more dynamic? Or do you really want to improve the communication with your voters on a transnational level? Do not talk about eDemocracy if you are not willing to listen to citizens.

This will ultimately backfire on you and the citizens will over time develop democracy on their own.

The initial goal here was to update the legal framework of the 5 directives of the telecoms package, but you have let us down. You have let us down in listening more to lobbyists roaming around in the corridors of the European Union and you have let us down in choosing to follow the lead of France and the UK in terms of trying to take control of the internet. The telecoms package got kidnapped and powerful corporations have inserted their policies into it. This is something very problematic.

In the compromise presented to the Conciliation Committee, the rights to a process could be restricted for ”prevention or detection of criminal offenses”. How has this improved anyting? Listen to your citizens! They are willing to compromise if you just communicate with them.

It is time for the Council to justify their position in an official communiqué to the European citizens. I want to know what you have against 138 and I also want to know why you do not want to adapt the original amendment so it doesn’t collide with national constitutional law.

As a citizen I favour the original amendment 138. It would give me protection against an industry and market that is turning against their consumers by filing lawsuits and trying to control the internet.

The bond between me and my ISP of choice already solves a lot of things connected with unlawful behaviour, this is not problematic. If I don’t get the service I want I do not take my ISP to court; I simply switch to another ISP. And if I would have done something that goes against the contract, then I can always choose another ISP and not risk being cut off from the internet.

Having restricted access and being cut off from the internet and any ISP is NOT OK. Good luck in enforcing measures to control a ”3-strikes” policy all over Europe. Implementing static and outdated legal frameworks will prove to be costly for the citizens of Europe and the governing power elite wanting these measures. European and citizens of the world will always get around your legal framework and policy making. Our voices will be heard.

The citizens of the world will over time raise their voices for the sake of Net neutrality, for the sake of a free and unrestricted fundamental right to internet access as well as the complicated and problematic relation between lobby organisations and our political unions.

I will not stop protecting the internet and its development. I will, as long as I am alive, inform about the dangers of restrictions, 3-strikes, data retention, data mining, surveillance etc. and actively, as a European citizen and world citizen, spend time in developing democracy, protect the freedom of speech, remixing concepts and making them more positive, trying to re-structure government, as well as informing about internet and society.

I am a European citizen who cares about the internet and my fellow citizens’ freedoms and rights.

/Daniel Risberg
Stockholm, Sweden.

Telekompaketet: EU-expert ifrågasätter juristernas tolkning av omstridd paragraf
Jurister underkänner omstridd paragraf i telekompaketet
Eva-Britt Svensson: Vi måste skydda yttrandefriheten
European parliament censors Amendment 138 verdict

We Must Protect Net Neutrality in Europe! – Open letter to the European Parliament

The following letter has been signed by both the Julia group as well as We Rebuild:

Paris, September 16th 2009 – We Must Protect Net Neutrality1 in Europe! Organizations from all around Europe share their concern of seeing Net Neutrality being sacrificed during the conciliation procedure of the directives of the EU Telecoms Package. They sent this letter to the Members of the European Parliament, urging them to take decisive action in order to guarantee a free, open and innovative Internet, and to safeguard the fundamental freedoms of European citizens.

We Must Protect Net Neutrality in Europe!
Open letter to the European Parliament

Net neutrality has been an indispensable catalyst of competition, innovation, and fundamental freedoms in the digital environment. A neutral Internet ensures that users face no conditions limiting access to applications and services. Likewise, it rules out any discrimination against the source, destination or actual content of the information transmitted over the network.

Thanks to this principle, our society collectively built the Internet as we know it today. Except in some authoritarian regimes, everyone around the globe has access to the same Internet, and even the smallest entrepreneurs are on equal footing with the leading global enterprises. Moreover, Net neutrality stimulates the virtuous circle of a development model based on the growth of a common communication network that enables new uses and tools, as opposed to one relying on investments in filtering and controlling. Only under such conditions is Internet continuously improving our societies, enhancing freedom — including the freedom of expression and communication — and allowing for more efficient and creative markets.

However, Net neutrality is now under the threat of telecom operators and content industries that see business opportunities in discriminating, filtering or prioritizing information flowing through the network. All around Europe, these kind of discriminatory practices, detrimental to both consumers and innovation, are emerging. No court or regulator seems to have adequate tools to counter these behaviors and preserve the general interest. Some provisions introduced in the Telecoms Package could even encourage such practices.

We who have signed this open letter urge the European Parliament to protect the freedom to receive and distribute content, and to use services and applications without interference from private actors. We call on the Members of the Parliament to take decisive action during the ongoing negotiation of the Telecoms Package in order to guarantee a free, open and innovative Internet, and to safeguard the fundamental freedoms of European citizens.

We encourage European non-governmental organisations to sign this open letter to the members of the European Parliament. If you want to sign this open letter then go here and sign up. Your response and support would be much appreciated.

The Julia group is a non profit organisation from Sweden working for a free and open internet and We Rebuild is a decentralized cluster of net activists who have joined forces to collaborate on issues concerning access to a free internet without intrusive surveillance.

We Must Protect Net Neutrality in Europe! – Open Letter to the European Parliament
Call For Participation During the Conciliation of the Telecoms Package
Jeremie Zimmermann: Telecoms Package Innovation-Hostile

Nets and Conversations – August 19th, Stockholm, Sweden

The Julia Group (”Juliagruppen”) has presented the panel participants for the forthcoming seminar Nets and Conversations (”Nät och Samtal”) on Aug 19th at 13:00-19:00 CET, in Stockholm, Sweden. The seminar will be held at the National Museum of Science and Technology and it is a public seminar where participants are going to discuss, share thoughts and to picture a future about an open internet with its various challenges.

This seminar – unlike other recent seminars with similar subject matter – will aim at emphazising a user-driven, open and decentralized development and to create a community for the advancement of such an expansion. The Julia Group would appreciate if this initiative could spawn further conversations between different fields in research and academia, as this will be needed not only to advance the expansion of the ‘swedish’ net infrastructure, but also to develop ideas and tools in order for us to re-establish Sweden as one of the most advanced in terms of net activism and net political solutions to a wider audience.

Participants come from industry, academia and grass-roots initiatives and everyone will get a chance to get to know each other after the panel sessions. This intimate setting will hopefully enable people to dig deep into the different possible futures of the net.

The Julia Group is a newly formed coalition of people from research, journalism and industry previously engaged with the EU telecoms package who are now arranging a seminar series on different aspects of the future of the net. The aim is to examine and develop new political strategies and posibilities for working towards a future where openess and transparency is still a central and vital part of the internets project. With the seminars the hope is to establish a community of people working with these issues.

I recommend that you read material concerning law, regulation, anonymity, internet infrastructure, the European Union, net neutrality, HADOPI as well as the telecoms package etc. prior to the seminar.

Here are the details for the seminar:

13.00 – 14.45 – Infrastructure
Is there a future for an open and free internet? What type of obstacles, technical and political possibilities do we face during the forthcoming 5-10 years? Is net neutrality important in Sweden and in Europe? Is there a cause for concern within the IT-sphere? If yes, then how should we face and challenge this concern?

Panel participants:

Nicklas Lundblad (Swedish IT-committee),

Jonas Bosson (FFII)

Jan-Erik Fiske

Jussi Karlgren (Masudabreven)

15.00 Talk: Jeremie Zimmermann, La Quadrature du Net
Jeremie Zimmerman needs no lengthy introduction. As co-founder and spokesperson for the french initiative La Quadrature Du Net – which is an activist group that works with information and net political questions – Zimmerman will give a key note speech that connects the two fields with each other, thus introducing both the net political questions for a wider audience and hopefully give a few pointers about where we are heading in terms of an open internet with its different unregulated innovative solutions and possibilities. If you want to see a possible unification of European net activism and politics, then this is one of the key figures we ought to listen to.

15.15 – 17.00 – Net activism
Recently we have seen how the internet has spawned a realisation of democratic ideals, however, how do the newly formed net based grassroot initiatives work and what are links are there to legislators, politicians and the media? How important is anonymity and what net political tools do we want to develop during the forthcoming years? How do we develop net activism?

Panel participants:

Emma Marie Andersson (Net activist and blogger),

Joakim Jardenberg (,

Johanna Nylander (Journalist and blogger, now at,

Erik Josefsson (Hired by the Green group in the European Parliament, working for the Swedish Pirate Party).

17.00 – 19.00 – Conversations

As this initiative aims to be a positive and forward thinking seminar where we all meet, discuss and envision a future with an open internet, we need to rethink our positions and how we can re-envision a fruitful and forward thinking path for the future. After the seminar, there will be at least two hours of discussion and a chance to meet new people, network and to gain new and valuable perspectives on how we all use the internet, as well as talk about where we are headed. Be sure to prepare those in-depth questions, to think about what concerns you, your profession or related to how you use or are affected by the internet.

The Julia Group hopes that this seminar will create a positive conversation and interconnect different views and spheres in the mutual interest for the future of the internet. Information is also available in swedish at the National Museum of Science and Technology or Juliagruppen.


When the huge impact of internet technologies on our society becomes clear to both politicians and businesses at the same time as an economy in crisis is looking for new areas of growth, the question about the future infrastructure of the net is once again at stake.

At the same time, internet users all over Europe have gained a new interest in the democratic process through issues such as immaterial property, digital civil rights and the role of digital technologies in shaping our networked society. These issues cut across traditional lines of conflict and create new methods, alliances, actors and publics. The internet is both the thing at stake and the platform used in this new political space.

The seminar will be broadcasted live @



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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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