The Human Action Podcast

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Human Action Part Five with Ryan McMaken

The Human Action Podcast

Tags Free MarketsSocialismAustrian Economics OverviewCalculation and Knowledge

04/17/2020Jeff DeistRyan McMaken

Ryan McMaken, an economist and editor of, joins the show to consider Part Five of Human Action: "Social Cooperation without a Market." This section of the book provides Mises's updated exposition of socialism, the impossible project of substituting 'One Will' for the subjective actions and preferences of everyone in society. Mises gives us the history behind support for socialism, and the enduring appeal of ascribing the best intentions and omniscience to the central state.

Can a socialist system really operate using the division of labor? Can mathematical equations lead us to equilibrium, the final and static price for any good or factor? Can the managerial state make the impossible possible? This is a rewarding discussion of socialism from Mises's brilliant and radical point of view.    

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Additional Resources

Human Action:

Bob Murphy's Study Guide to Human Action:

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

Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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