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Ludwig von Mises: "Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law . . . economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics." - Austrian Economics: An Anthology

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 subject: Capital
Ludwig von MisesNow nobody ever contended that one could produce without working. But neither is it possible to produce without capital goods, the previously produced factors of further production.Planning for Freedom p. 111Capital
Ludwig von MisesWhat the workers must learn is that the only reason why wage rates are higher in the United States is that the per head quota of capital invested is higher.Planning for Freedom p. 92Capital
Ludwig von MisesIn a given economic situation, the opportunities for production, which may actually be carried out, are limited by the supply of capital goods available.On the Manipulation of Money and Credit p. 125Capital
Ludwig von MisesAll capital goods sooner or later enter into final products and cease to exist through use, consumption, wear and tear.Human Action p. 514; p. 517Capital
Ludwig von MisesProfit-seeking business is compelled to employ the most efficient methods of production. What checks a businessmans endeavors to improve the equipment of his firm is only lack of capital.Human Action p. 769; p. 775Capital
Ludwig von MisesAll the effusions of the contemporary welfare school are, like those of the socialist authors, based on the implicit assumption that there is an abundant supply of capital goods. Then, of course, it seems easy to find a remedy for all ills, to give to everybody according to his needs and to make everyone perfectly happy.Human Action p. 844; p. 848Capital
Ludwig von MisesWhen pushed hard by economists, some welfare propagandists and socialists admit that impairment of the average standard of living can only be avoided by the maintenance of capital already accumulated and that economic improvement depends on accumulation of additional capital.Human Action p. 844; p. 848Capital
Ludwig von MisesHistory does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government. As far as governments invested in the construction of roads, railroads, and other useful public works, the capital needed was provided by the savings of individual citizens and borrowed by the government.Human Action p. 847; p. 851Capital
Ludwig von MisesCapital does not reproduce itself.Socialism p. 177Capital
Ludwig von MisesThe characteristic mark of economic history under capitalism is unceasing economic progress, a steady increase in the quantity of capital goods available, and a continuous trend toward an improvement in the general standard of living.Human Action p. 562; p. 565Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe characteristic feature of capitalism that distinguishes it from pre-capitalist methods of production was its new principle of marketing. Capitalism is not simply mass production, but mass production to satisfy the needs of the masses.Liberty and Property p. 9Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesCapitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few generations ago were only within the reach of a small elite.The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality p. 49Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe early industrialists were for the most part men who had their origin in the same social strata from which their workers came. They lived very modestly, spent only a fraction of their earnings for their households and put the rest back into the business.Human Action p. 617; p. 622Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesMany pioneers of these industrial changes, it is true, became rich. But they acquired their wealth by supplying the public with motor cars, airplanes, radio sets, refrigerators, moving and talking pictures, and variety of less spectacular but no less useful innovations. These new products were certainly not an achievement of offices and bureaucrats.Omnipotent Government pp. ixxCapitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe development of capitalism consists in everyone having the right to serve the consumer better and/or more cheaply.Economic Policy p. 5Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThere is no western, capitalistic country in which the conditions of the masses have not improved in an unprecedented way.Economic Policy p. 13Capitalism
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 MisesIt is inherent in the nature of the capitalistic economy that, in the final analysis, the employment of the factors of production is aimed only toward serving the wishes of consumers.On the Manipulation of Money and Credit p. 176Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe capitalistic social order, therefore, is an economic democracy in the strictest sense of the word. In the last analysis, all decisions are dependent on the will of the people as consumers. Thus, whenever there is a conflict between the consumers views and those of the business managers, market pressures assure that the views of the consumers win out eventually.On the Manipulation of Money and Credit p. 178Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesGrumblers may blame Western civilization for its materialism and may assert that it gratified nobody but a small class of rugged exploiters. But their laments cannot wipe out the facts. Millions of mothers have been made happier by the drop in infant mortality. Famines have disappeared and epidemics have been curbed.Theory and History p. 334Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe capitalist system of production is an economic democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. The consumers are the sovereign people. The capitalists, the entrepreneurs, and the farmers are the peoples mandatories.Bureaucracy pp. 2122Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesCapitalism gave the world what it needed, a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people.Human Action pp. 860-61; p. 864Capitalism
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 market economy needs no apologists and propagandists. It can apply to itself the words of Sir Christopher Wrens epitaph in St. Pauls: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. [If you seek his monument, look around.]Human Action p. 850; p. 854Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesAll the talk about the so-called unspeakable horror of early capitalism can be refuted by a single statistic: precisely in these years in which British capitalism developed, precisely in the age called the Industrial Revolution in England, in the years from 1760 to 1830, precisely in those years the population of England doubled.Economic Policy p. 7Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesThe market economycapitalismis a social system of consumers supremacy.Money, Method, and the Market Process p. 233Capitalism
Ludwig von MisesCapitalism needs neither propaganda nor apostles. Its achievements speak for themselves. Capitalism delivers the goods.Money, Method, and the Market Process p. 242Capitalism
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 MisesCapitalism and socialism are two distinct patterns of social organization. Private control of the means of production and public control are contradictory notions and not merely contrary notions. There is no such thing as a mixed economy, a system that would stand midway between capitalism and socialism.The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality pp. 6465Capitalism vs. Socialism