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The Ludwig von Mises Institute

Advancing Austrian Economics, Liberty, and Peace

Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School

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Liberty and Property

by Ludwig von Mises

This article was originally delivered as a lecture at Princeton University, October 1958, at the 9th Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society. Hardcopy edition c) Auburn, Ala.: The Mises Institute, 1991. You can listen to Mises deliver this speech on Mises.org, courtesy of Audio Forum. Download the mp3 [44:22].

Sec 1: "At the end of the eighteenth century there prevailed two notions of liberty, each of them very different from what we have in mind today referring to liberty and freedom."

The Pottery Vendor by Francisco de Goya Sec 2: "The pre-capitalistic system of product was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest."

Sec 3: "What vitiates entirely the socialists' economic critique of capitalism is their failure to grasp the sovereignty of the consumers in the market economy."

Sec 4: "It was different in the esoteric discussions among the inner circles of the great conspiracy. There the initiated did not dissemble their intentions concerning liberty."

Sec 5: "Romantic philosophy labored under the illusion that in the early ages of history the individual was free and that the course of historical evolution deprived him of his primordial liberty."

Sec 6: "However, one does not exhaustively describe the sweeping changes that capitalism brought about in the conditions of the common man if one merely deals with the supremacy he enjoys on the market as a consumer."

Sec 7: "The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism. It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State."

This Mises e-book was prepared by Richard Perry