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The Economics of the Middle-of-the-Road Policy

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Tags Big GovernmentInterventionismPolitical Theory

04/25/1962Ludwig von Mises

Private enterprise systems improve human cooperation and further peace and prosperity. Economic systems with which governments intervene are called liberal, or middle of the road economics. They declare they are not socialist. They say they wish to preserve market systems. But, is that possible? No. Nothing will be left of the free market. Capitalism and socialism cannot coexist. Step by step, interventionism erodes capitalism into some form of socialism. The clear distinction between production and government must be reestablished and left untouched.

The inaugural lecture in the American School of Economics lecture series. Presented at New York University on 25 April 1962.

Special thanks to Richard Ebeling for making the original reel-to-reel recording available.

Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian school of economic thought, a prodigious originator in economic theory, and a prolific author. Mises's writings and lectures encompassed economic theory, history, epistemology, government, and political philosophy. His contributions to economic theory include important clarifications on the quantity theory of money, the theory of the trade cycle, the integration of monetary theory with economic theory in general, and a demonstration that socialism must fail because it cannot solve the problem of economic calculation. Mises was the first scholar to recognize that economics is part of a larger science in human action, a science that he called praxeology.