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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 subject: Socialism
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
Ludwig von MisesCapitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individuals life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management.Bureaucracy p. 10Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesIf one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.Planning for Freedom p. 44Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesTyranny is the political corollary of socialism, as representative government is the political corollary of the market economy.Planning for Freedom p. 218Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesA society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.Human Action p. 676; p. 680Capitalism vs. Socialism
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 salesman thanks the customer for patronizing his shop and asks him to come again. But the socialists say: Be grateful to Hitler, render thanks to Stalin; be nice and submissive, then the great man will be kind to you later too.Omnipotent Government p. 53Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThere is simply no other choice than this: either to abstain from interference in the free play of the market, or to delegate the entire management of production and distribution to the government. Either capitalism or socialism: there exists no middle way.Liberalism p. 79Capitalism vs. Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThere are many socialists who have never come to grips in any way with the problems of economics, and who have made no attempt at all to form for themselves any clear conception of the conditions which determine the character of human society.Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth p. 1Socialism
Ludwig von MisesOne may anticipate the nature of the future socialist society. There will be hundreds and thousands of factories in operation. Very few of these will be producing wares ready for use; in the majority of cases what will be manufactured will be unfinished goods and production goods. (1920)Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth pp. 2223Socialism
Ludwig von MisesIn the socialist commonwealth every economic change becomes an undertaking whose success can be neither appraised in advance nor later retrospectively determined. There is only groping in the dark. Socialism is the abolition of rational economy.Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth p. 26Socialism
Ludwig von MisesUnder socialism production is entirely directed by the orders of the central board of production management. The whole nation is an industrial army . . . and each citizen is bound to obey his superiors orders.Planning for Freedom p. 72Socialism
Ludwig von MisesIn the bureaucratic machine of socialism the way toward promotion is not achievement but the favor of the superiors.Bureaucracy p. 100Socialism
Ludwig von MisesSocialism and democracy are irreconcilable.A Critique of Interventionism p. 79Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThe critics of the capitalistic order always seem to believe that the socialistic system of their dreams will do precisely what they think correct.A Critique of Interventionism pp. 15657Socialism
Ludwig von MisesA man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.Human Action p. 676; p. 680Socialism
Ludwig von MisesEvery socialist is a disguised dictator.Human Action p. 689; p. 693Socialism
Ludwig von MisesEconomics deals merely with the socialist plans, not with the psychological factors that impel people to espouse the religion of statolatry.Human Action p. 689; p. 693Socialism
Ludwig von MisesMen must choose between the market economy and socialism. They cannot evade deciding between these alternatives by adopting a middle-of-the-road position, whatever name they may give to it.Human Action p. 857; p. 861Socialism
Ludwig von MisesIn abolishing economic calculation the general adoption of socialism would result in complete chaos and the disintegration of social cooperation under the division of labor.Human Action p. 857; p. 861Socialism
Ludwig von MisesSocialism promises not only welfarewealth for allbut universal happiness in love as well. This part of its program has been the source of much of its popularity.Socialism p. 74Socialism
Ludwig von MisesSocialism is the renunciation of rational economy.Socialism p. 105Socialism
Ludwig von MisesEverything brought forward in favor of Socialism during the last hundred years, in thousands of writings and speeches, all the blood which has been spilt by the supporters of Socialism, cannot make socialism workable.Socialism p. 117Socialism
Ludwig von MisesSocialist society is a society of officials. The way of living prevailing in it, and the mode of thinking of its members, are determined by this fact.Socialism p. 165Socialism
Ludwig von MisesSocialism knows no freedom of choice in occupation. Everyone has to do what he is told to do and to go where he is sent.Socialism p. 165Socialism
Ludwig von MisesThe nationalization of intellectual life, which must be attempted under Socialism, must make all intellectual progress impossible.Socialism p. 167Socialism
Ludwig von MisesNo censor, no emperor, no pope, has ever possessed the power to suppress intellectual freedom which would be possessed by a socialist community.Socialism p. 169Socialism