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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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Nation, State, and Economy


Ludwig von Mises

Preface

The pages that I herewith submit to the public do not presume to be more than observations about the crisis in world history that we are living through and contributions to understanding the political conditions of our time. I know that any attempt to offer more would be premature and therefore mistaken. Even if we were in a position to see interrelations clearly and to recognize where developments are heading, it would be impossible for us to confront the great events of our day objectively and not let our view be blurred by wishes and hopes. Standing in the middle of battle, one strives in vain to keep cool and calm. It exceeds human capacity to treat the vital questions of one's time sine ira et studio [without anger and partiality]. I should not be blamed for not being an exception to this rule.

It may perhaps seem that the topics treated in the individual parts of this book hang together only superficially. Yet I believe that they are closely connected by the purpose that this study serves. Of course, reflections of this kind, which must always remain fragmentary, cannot deal with the completeness and unity of the whole. My task can only be to direct the reader's attention to points that public discussion does not usually take sufficiently into account.

Vienna, beginning of July 1919

Professor Dr. L. Mises

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