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Ludwig von Mises: "Human action is purposeful behavior." - Human Action


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 MisesAll rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.Socialism p. 97Action
Ludwig von MisesThe much abused shopkeepers have abolished slavery and serfdom, made woman the companion of man with equal rights, proclaimed equality before the law and freedom of thought and opinion, declared war on war, abolished torture, and mitigated the cruelty of punishment. What cultural force can boast of similar achievements?Socialism p. 398Bourgeoisie
Ludwig von MisesCapital does not reproduce itself.Socialism p. 177Capital
Ludwig von MisesThe word Capitalism expresses, for our age, the sum of all evil. Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.Socialism p. 15Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesIn the capitalist society there is a place and bread for all. Its ability to expand provides sustenance for every worker. Permanent unemployment is not a feature of free capitalism.Socialism p. 286Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe desire for an increase of wealth can be satisfied through exchange, which is the only method possible in a capitalist economy, or by violence and petition as in a militarist society, where the strong acquire by force, the weak by petitioning.Socialism p. 335Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesFor it is an essential difference between capitalist and socialist production that under capitalism men provide for themselves, while under Socialism they are provided for.Socialism p. 405Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesLiberalism and capitalism address themselves to the cool, well-balanced mind. They proceed by strict logic, eliminating any appeal to the emotions. Socialism, on the contrary, works on the emotions, tries to violate logical considerations by rousing a sense of personal interest and to stifle the voice of reason by awakening primitive instincts.Socialism p. 460Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThe great mass of people are incapable of realizing that in economic life nothing is permanent except change. They regard the existing state of affairs as eternal; as it has been so shall it always be.Socialism p. 188Change
Ludwig von MisesSince the third century Christianity has always served simultaneously those who supported the social order and those who wished to overthrow it. . . . It is the same today: Christianity fights both for and against Socialism.Socialism p. 378Christianity
Ludwig von MisesChristian Socialism is none the less Socialism.Socialism p. 382Christianity
Ludwig von MisesChristianity has acquiesced in slavery and polygamy, has practically canonized war, has, in the name of the Lord, burnt heretics and devastated countries.Socialism pp. 397-98Christianity
Ludwig von MisesExperience shows that nothing is operated with less economy and with more waste of labor and material of every kind than public services and undertakings. Private enterprise on the other hand naturally induces the owner to work with the greatest economy in his own interest.Socialism p. 160Civil Service
Ludwig von MisesThe interventionist policy provides thousands and thousands of people with safe, placid, and not too strenuous jobs at the expense of the rest of society.Socialism p. 457Civil Service
Ludwig von MisesCivilization is a product of leisure and the peace of mind that only the division of labour can make possible.Socialism p. 271Civilization
Ludwig von MisesFor society is nothing but collaboration.Socialism p. 281Civilization
Ludwig von MisesCivilization is a work of peaceful co-operation.Socialism p. 291Civilization
Ludwig von MisesSeveral generations of economic policy which was nearly liberal have enormously increased the wealth of the world.Socialism p. 13Classical Liberalism
Ludwig von MisesFor Liberalism has never pretended to be more than a philosophy of earthly life. What it teaches is concerned only with earthly action and desistance from action. It has never claimed to exhaust the Last or Greatest Secret of Man.Socialism p. 37Classical Liberalism
Ludwig von MisesLiberalism champions private property in the means of production because it expects a higher standard of living from such an economic organization, not because it wishes to help the owners.Socialism p. 46Classical Liberalism
Ludwig von MisesThat Liberalism aims at the protection of property and that it rejects war are two expressions of one and the same principle.Socialism p. 59Classical Liberalism
Ludwig von MisesThe only task of the strictly Liberal state is to secure life and property against attacks both from external and internal foes.Socialism p. 133Classical Liberalism
Ludwig von MisesAll attempts to coerce the living will of human beings into the service of something they do not want must fail.Socialism p. 263Coercion
Ludwig von MisesIt is merely a metaphor to call competition competitive war, or simply, war. The function of battle is destruction; of competition, construction.Socialism p. 285Competition
Ludwig von MisesClass consciousness, created by the ideology of the class conflict, is the essence of the struggle, and not vice versa. The idea created the class, not the class the idea.Socialism p. 306Conflict
Ludwig von MisesThere is really no essential difference between the unlimited power of the democratic state and the unlimited power of the autocrat.Socialism pp. 64-65Constitutional Government
Ludwig von MisesTrue, the entrepreneur is free to give full rein to his whims, to dismiss workers off hand, to cling stubbornly to antiquated processes, deliberately to choose unsuitable methods of production and to allow himself to be guided by motives which conflict with the demands of consumers. But when and in so far as he does this he must pay for it.Socialism p. 401Discrimination
Ludwig von MisesEvery expansion of the personal division of labor brings advantages to all who take part in it.Socialism p. 261Division of Labor
Ludwig von MisesThe greater productivity of work under the division of labor is a unifying influence. It leads men to regard each other as comrades in a joint struggle for welfare, rather than as competitors in a struggle for existence. It makes friends out of enemies, peace out of war, society out of individuals.Socialism p. 261Division of Labor
Ludwig von MisesOriginally confined to the narrowest circles of people, to immediate neighbors, the division of labor gradually becomes more general until eventually it includes all mankind.Socialism p. 279Division of Labor
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