Monday, March 28, 2016

Mises on the Man Who Clings to Socialism

Ludwig von Mises
From Socialism by Ludwig von Mises:
It is a mistake to think that the lack of success of experiments in Socialism that have been made can help to overcome Socialism. Facts per se can neither prove nor refute anything. Everything is decided by the interpretation and explanation of the facts, by the ideas and the theories.
The man who clings to Socialism will continue to ascribe all the world's evil to private property and to expect salvation from Socialism. Socialists ascribe the failures of Russian Bolshevism to every circumstance except the inadequacy of the system. From the socialist point of view, Capitalism alone is responsible for all the misery the world has had to endure in recent years. Socialists see only what they want to see and are blind to anything that might contradict their theory.
Only ideas can overcome ideas and it is only the ideas of Capitalism and of Liberalism that can overcome Socialism. Only by a battle of ideas can a decision be reached.
Liberalism and Capitalism address themselves to the cool, well-balanced mind. They proceed by strict logic, eliminating any appeal to the emotions. Socialism, on the contrary, works on the emotions, tries to violate logical considerations by rousing a sense of personal interest and to stifle the voice of reason by awakening primitive instincts.

(via  Peter Boettke)

10 comments:

  1. We need to come to grips with the fact that our opponents are emotionally infantile and unwilling to even engage our analysis. It means that they are scared to death of us and the truth. It may mean that they are much more dangerous than we realize and will probably never change. How are the (non) reactions to our analysis of Krugman or the minimum wage folks different from the reactions of people who flatline at the mention of Obama installing Nazis in Ukraine, Hillary flattening Libya or Dubya flattening Iraq?

    Except for our tiny remnant, that manner of "thinking" seems to account for just about everyone.

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    1. Yes, von Mises' observation that: "Everything is decided by the interpretation and explanation of the facts, by the ideas and the theories." Is only relevant if addressed to a "...cool, well-balanced mind." And Mother Nature seems to be stingy when handing these out.

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  2. Very well said.

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  3. We've got a neighbor who, on one side of her bumper has a sticker: "I'm a CONSTITUTION voter", and on the other: "OBAMA 2012". I think she can only drive in circles.
    "A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest". - Paul Simon

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  4. Mises logically demolished socialism in 1922. The real ideological war within the libertarian movement needs to be between Mises and Rothbard. We can't move forward with Rothbardian ideas. It has to be Mises/Hazlitt/Paul.

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  5. That damned Rothbard. He seemed to use logic, but he was too emotional. Too, dare I say, happy?

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  6. Mises and Rothbard both used logic, yet they disagreed. That means one of them made a mistake. It was Murray.

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    1. A tempest in a teapot. For as long as man has recorded history the "...cool well-balanced mind..." has always been in limited supply. And yet somehow we have reached our current relatively wealthy level of living. Whether the small number of humans who understand Rothbard and Mises decide on one or the other is of little import. Progress will rise and fall but will continue as long as the laws of nature remain in effect. Rothbard and Mises were particularly astute observers but neither offered absolute answers to the human condition.

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