Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Continuing Relevance of Ludwig von Mises’s 'Human Action’

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the Future of Freedom Foundation website on, “The Continuing Relevance of Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action’”

On September 14, 1949, Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, published his magnum opus, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics. And today, nearly 70 years after its original appearance it stands as one of the great twentieth century classics in economic theory and policy.

Friedrich A. Hayek once said that Mises’s great work was more like the grand writings of the Enlightenment thinkers than the narrow, specialized modern economist. He blended together on one canvas the sweep of the broad and universal truths about man, the human condition and civilization with a detailed knowledge and analysis of the burning issues of the day.

And time has not dated the insights of Mises’s analysis on those issues of the day, since we still face the same challenges and threats against individual liberty, private property, free enterprise, and the (classical) liberal ideal of constitutionally limited government from collectivists and statists of many different stripes.

Whether it be Mises’s critique of socialist central planning or the interventionist-welfare state, or monetary mismanagement by central banks that create the booms and busts of the business cycle, his words on these matters are more timely than ever.

This is why anyone wanting to understand the nature of markets, competition, the price system, entrepreneurship, and savings, investment and capital formation as the foundations of freedom and prosperity can still do no better than to turn to the pages of Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action as a guidebook to the social, political and economic problems of our time.


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