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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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AuthorQuoteSourcePageSubject
Ludwig von MisesEconomics is not about goods and services; it is about human choice and action.Human Action p. 491; p. 494Economics
Ludwig von MisesEconomics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of mans human existence.Human Action p. 874; p. 878Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe economist must never be a specialist. In dealing with any problem he must always fix his glance upon the whole system.Austrian Economics: An Anthology p. 157Economics
Ludwig von MisesDespots 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 p. 155Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe unpopularity of economics is the result of its analysis of the effects of privileges. It is impossible to invalidate the economists demonstration that all privileges hurt the interests of the rest of the nation or at least a great part of it.Austrian Economics: An Anthology p. 58Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe social function of economic science consists precisely in developing sound economic theories and in exploding the fallacies of vicious reasoning. In the pursuit of this task the economist incurs the deadly enmity of all mountebanks and charlatans whose shortcuts to an earthly paradise he debunks.Economic Freedom and Interventionism pp. 51-52Economics
Ludwig von MisesAll those not familiar with economics (i.e., the immense majority) do not see any reason why they should not coerce other people by means of force to do what these people are not prepared to do of their own accord.Austrian Economics: An Anthology p. 75Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe main achievement of economics is that it has provided a theory of peaceful human cooperation. This is why the harbingers of violent conflict have branded it as a dismal science and why this age of wars, civil wars, and destruction has no use for it.Economic Freedom and Interventionism p. 235Economics
Ludwig von MisesNo very deep knowledge of economics is usually needed for grasping the immediate effects of a measure; but the task of economics is to foretell the remoter effects, and so to allow us to avoid such acts as attempt to remedy a present ill by sowing the seeds of a much greater ill for the future.The Theory of Money and Credit p. 23Economics
Ludwig von MisesThis dilettantish inability to comprehend the essential issues of the conduct of production affairs is not only manifested in the writings of Marx and Engels. It permeates no less the contributions of contemporary pseudo-economics.Planning for Freedom p. 147Economics
Ludwig von MisesBut for a few dozen individuals all over the globe are cognizant of economics, and no statesman or politician cares about it.A Critique of Interventionism p. 106Economics
Ludwig von MisesRulers do not like to admit that their power is restricted by any laws other than those of physics and biology. They never ascribe their failures and frustrations to the violation of economic law.Human Action p. 756; p. 762Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe development of a profession of economists is an offshoot of interventionism. The professional economist is the specialist who is instrumental in designing various measures of government interference with business. He is an expert in the field of economic legislation, which today invariably aims at hindering the operation of the market economy.Human Action p. 865; p. 869Economics
Ludwig von MisesAs conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake.Human Action p. 875; p. 878Economics
Ludwig von MisesWhether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with societys fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.Human Action p. 875; p. 879Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe study of economics has been again and again led astray by the vain idea that economics must proceed according to the pattern of other sciences.The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science p. 3Economics
Ludwig von MisesEconomics is not specifically about business; it deals with all market phenomena and with all their aspects, not only with the activities of a businessman.The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science p. 77Economics
Ludwig von MisesEverything that we say about action is independent of the motives that cause it and of the goals toward which it strives in the individual case.Epistemological Problems of Economics p. 34Economics
Ludwig von MisesOnly by letting fall morsels of statistics is it possible for the economic theorist to maintain his prestige.The Theory of Money and Credit p. 216Economics
Ludwig von MisesIn all ages the pioneer in scientific thought has been a solitary thinker. But never has the position of the scientist been more solitary than in the field of modern economics.Epistemological Problems of Economics p. 202Economics
Ludwig von MisesThe body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built.Human Action p. 885Economics