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Ludwig von Mises: "Only stilted pedants can conceive the idea that there are absolute norms to tell what is beautiful and what is not. They try to derive from the works of the past a code of rules with which, as they fancy, the writers and artists of the future should comply. But the genius does not cooperate with the pundit." - Theory and History

Quotable MisesThis database of quotations from Mises was prepared for The Quotable Mises edited by Mark Thornton, available from the Mises Institute store for $20. Send corrections to the editor. Here is a source page on the editions of the books referenced.

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Top> Browse by source: Nation, State, and Economy
Ludwig von MisesThe public firm can nowhere maintain itself in free competition with the private firm; it is possible today only where it has a monopoly that excludes competition. Even that alone is evidence of its lesser economic productivity.Nation, State, and Economy p. 186Bureaucracy
Ludwig von MisesIn regard to economic policy, socialism and communism are identical.Nation, State, and Economy p. 178nCommunism
Ludwig von MisesIn relation to the immense sacrifices that the state demands of the individual through the blood tax, it seems rather incidental whether it compensates the soldier more or less abundantly for the loss of time that he suffers from his military-service obligation.Nation, State, and Economy p. 165Conscription
Ludwig von MisesEvery conservative policy, however, is fated from the start to fail; after all, its essence is to stop something unstoppable, to resist a development that cannot be impeded.Nation, State, and Economy p. 119Conservatism
Ludwig von MisesEvery reactionary lacks intellectual independence.Nation, State, and Economy p. 119Conservatism
Ludwig von MisesAfter all, culture is wealth. Without well-being, without wealth, there never has been culture.Nation, State, and Economy p. 74Culture
Ludwig von MisesThey strive for welfare and for wealth not because they see the highest value in them but because they know that all higher and inner culture presupposes outward welfare.Nation, State, and Economy p. 215Culture
Ludwig von MisesPeople can today seek salvation only in democracy, in the right of self-determination both of individuals and of nations.Nation, State, and Economy p. 131Democracy
Ludwig von MisesEconomic history is the development of the division of labor.Nation, State, and Economy p. 134Division of Labor
Ludwig von MisesThe only true national autonomy is the freedom of the individual against the state and society.Nation, State, and Economy p. 96Freedom
Ludwig von MisesIt is characteristic of very great persons to move forward to highest accomplishment out of an inner drive; others require an external impulse to overcome deep-rooted inertia and to develop their own selves.Nation, State, and Economy p. 213Genius
Ludwig von MisesHistory should teach us to recognize causes and to understand driving forces; and when we understand everything, we will forgive everything.Nation, State, and Economy p. 2History
Ludwig von MisesNeither as judges allotting praise and blame nor as avengers seeking out the guilty should we face the past. We seek truth, not guilt; we want to know how things came about to understand them, not to issue condemnations.Nation, State, and Economy p. 1History
Ludwig von MisesIt is not the task of history to gratify the need of the masses for heroes and scapegoats.Nation, State, and Economy p. 1History
Ludwig von MisesIt is not the task of history to project the hatred and disagreements of the present back into the past and to draw from battles fought long ago weapons for the disputes of ones own time.Nation, State, and Economy p. 2History
Ludwig von MisesNeither fame nor honor nor wealth nor happiness was to be found on this path.Nation, State, and Economy p. 75Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesThe welfare of a people lies not in casting other peoples down but in peaceful collaboration.Nation, State, and Economy p. 75Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesThe imperialistic people's state scarcely differs from the old principle state in its interpretation of sovereignty and its boundaries. Like the latter, it knows no other limits to the expansion of its rule than those drawn by the opposition of an equally strong power.Nation, State, and Economy p. 79Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesNothing is more stupid than efforts to justify today's imperialism, with all of its brutalities, by reference to atrocities of generations long since gone.Nation, State, and Economy p. 76Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesFor fully developed imperialism, the individual no longer has value. He is valuable to it only as a member of the whole, as a soldier of an army.Nation, State, and Economy p. 78Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesMarxian socialism, as a fundamentally revolutionary movement, is inwardly inclined toward imperialism. No one will dispute that, least of all the Marxists themselves, who straightforwardly proclaim the cult of revolution.Nation, State, and Economy p. 206Imperialism
Ludwig von MisesOne can say without exaggeration that inflation is an indispensable intellectual means of militarism. Without it, the repercussions of war on welfare would become obvious much more quickly and penetratingly; war-weariness would set in much earlier.Nation, State, and Economy p. 163Inflation
Ludwig von MisesAll attempts to create a substantive international law through whose application disputes among nations could be decided have miscarried.Nation, State, and Economy p. 90International Law
Ludwig von MisesThe world community of labor is based on the reciprocal advantage of all participants. Whoever wants to maintain and extend it must renounce all resentment in advance.Nation, State, and Economy p. 220International Trade
Ludwig von MisesIt is a matter of indifference whether one produces foodstuffs and raw materials at home oneself or, if it seems more economic, obtains them from abroad in exchange for other products that one has produced.Nation, State, and Economy p. 84International Trade
Ludwig von MisesCommunity of language binds and difference of language separates persons and peoples.Nation, State, and Economy p. 13Language
Ludwig von MisesWhoever wants to speak with his fellow men and to understand what they say must use their language. Everyone must therefore strive to understand and speak the language of his environment. For that reason individuals and minorities adopt the language of the majority.Nation, State, and Economy pp. 2728Language
Ludwig von MisesLiberalism, which demands full freedom of the economy, seeks to dissolve the difficulties that the diversity of political arrangements pits against the development of trade by separating the economy from the state. It strives for the greatest possible unification of law, in the last analysis for world unity of law. But it does not believe that to reach this goal, great empires or even a world empire must be created.Nation, State, and Economy pp. 3738Law
Ludwig von MisesWhat counts is not the letter of the law but the substantive content of the legal norm.Nation, State, and Economy p. 173Law
Ludwig von MisesNot through war and victory but only through work can a nation create the preconditions for the well-being of its members.Nation, State, and Economy p. 87Material Well-Being