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Ludwig von Mises: "Man is not, like the animals, an obsequious puppet of instincts and sensual impulses. Man has the power to suppress instinctive desires, he has a will of his own, he chooses between incompatible ends." - The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science


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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AuthorQuoteSourcePageSubject
Ludwig von MisesThe consumers suffer when the laws of the country prevent the most efficient entrepreneurs from expanding the sphere of their activities. What made some enterprises develop into big business was precisely their success in filling best the demand of the masses.Planned Chaos p. 22AntiTrust Laws
Ludwig von MisesNot offices and bureaucrats, but big business deserves credit for the fact that most of the families in the United States own a motorcar and a radio set.Planned Chaos p. 15Big Business
Ludwig von MisesCredit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump.Planned Chaos p. 21Business Cycles
Ludwig von MisesIn spite of the anticapitalistic policies of all governments and of almost all political parties, the capitalist mode of production is still fulfilling its social function in supplying the consumers with more, better and cheaper goods.Planned Chaos p. 15Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe issue is always the same: the government or the market. There is no third solution.Planned Chaos p. 28Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThe market is a democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote.Planned Chaos pp. 25-26Free Market
Ludwig von MisesThe market economy safeguards peaceful economic cooperation because it does not use force upon the economic plans of the citizens. If one masterplan is to be substituted for the plans of each citizen, endless fighting must emerge.Planned Chaos p. 30Free Market
Ludwig von MisesThe intellectual leaders of the peoples have produced and propagated the fallacies which are on the point of destroying liberty and Western civilization.Planned Chaos p. 90Intellectuals
Ludwig von MisesThe increase in per capita consumption [material well-being] in America as compared with the conditions a quarter of a century ago is not an achievement of laws and executive orders. It is an accomplishment of businessmen who enlarged the size of their factories or built new ones.Planned Chaos p. 15Material Well-Being
Ludwig von MisesThe mass slaughters perpetrated in the Nazi horror camps are too horrible to be adequately described by words. But they were the logical and consistent application of doctrines and policies parading as applied science and approved by some men who in a sector of the natural sciences have displayed acumen and technical skill in laboratory research.Planned Chaos p. 79Nazism
Ludwig von MisesFreedom and liberty always mean freedom from police interference.Planned Chaos p. 64Police Power
Ludwig von MisesThe characteristic mark of this age of dictators, wars and revolutions is its anticapitalistic bias. Most governments and political parties are eager to restrict the sphere of private initiative and free enterprise.Planned Chaos p. 15Politics
Ludwig von MisesIf history could prove and teach us anything, it would be that private ownership of the means of production is a necessary requisite of civilization and material well-being. . . . Only nations committed to the principle of private property have risen above penury and produced science, art and literature.Planned Chaos p. 81Private Property
Ludwig von MisesIt belongs to the very essence of a society based on private ownership of the means of production that every man may work and dispose of his earnings where he thinks best.Planned Chaos p. 81Private Property
Ludwig von MisesThe truth is that most people lack the intellectual ability and courage to resist a popular movement, however pernicious and ill-considered.Planned Chaos p. 88Public Opinion
Ludwig von MisesThe masses favor socialism because they trust the socialist propaganda of the intellectuals. The intellectuals, not the populace, are molding public opinion.Planned Chaos p. 90Public Opinion
Ludwig von MisesIt is the social function of the laws to curb the arbitrariness of the police. The rule of law restricts the arbitrariness of the officers as much as possible. It strictly limits their discretion and thus assigns to the citizens a sphere in which they are free to act without being frustrated by government interference.Planned Chaos pp. 6364Rule of Law
Ludwig von MisesIt is the rule of law alone which hinders the rulers from turning themselves into the worst gangsters.Planned Chaos p. 64Rule of Law
Ludwig von MisesNot the Russian armies, but the communist ideologies threaten the West.Planned Chaos p. 50Russia
Ludwig von MisesThe real significance of the Lenin revolution is to be seen in the fact that it was the bursting forth of the principle of unrestricted violence and oppression. It was the negation of all the political ideals that had for three thousand years guided the evolution of Western civilization.Planned Chaos p. 63Russian Revolution
Ludwig von MisesScience is competent to establish what is. It can never dictate what ought to be.Planned Chaos p. 30Science
Ludwig von MisesThe planner is a potential dictator who wants to deprive all other people of the power to plan and act according to their own plans. He aims at one thing only: the exclusive absolute preeminence of his own plan.Planned Chaos p. 29Social Planning
Ludwig von MisesNot mythical material productive forces, but reason and ideas determine the course of human affairs. What is needed to stop the trend toward socialism and despotism is common-sense and moral courage.Planned Chaos p. 90Socialism
Ludwig von MisesHe who proclaims the godliness of the State and the infallibility of its priests, the bureaucrats, is considered as an impartial student of the social sciences.Planned Chaos p. 16State
Ludwig von MisesGovernment spending cannot create additional jobs. If the government provides the funds required by taxing the citizens or by borrowing from the public, it abolishes on the one hand as many jobs as it creates on the other.Planned Chaos pp. 2021Unemployment
Ludwig von MisesNo social cooperation under the division of labor is possible when some people or unions of people are granted the right to prevent by violence and the threat of violence other people from working.Planned Chaos p. 27Unions