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I Took Advantage of the Mises Institute Sale — And So Should You!


Tags Austrian Economics Overview

09/12/2011Alexander S. Peak

On September 29, 1881, the greatest economist of the 20th century, Ludwig von Mises, was born. Well, it is 130 years later, and to celebrate, the Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI) is having a month-long sale.

Right now, everything in the LvMI store is 15 percent off. Being a bibliophile, I jumped at the opportunity and bought for myself 20 books by Ludwig von Mises himself (plus one of Dr. Robert Murphy's study guides).

For those curious, here is the full list of what I just bought:

Some of these books I already owned (albeit with different covers). Others are new to my collection. In any event, I will cherish each one.

One thing you will immediately notice, if you decide to check out the above-listed books in the LvMI store, is that most of them have absolutely beautiful covers. Yet, these beautiful covers are just icing on the amazing cake. With a bit of perspective, we shall see why this is so amazing.

Being only 26 years old, I am still one of the young guys in the libertarian movement. I am part of a generation that has grown up with the Internet, with a wealth of information available at our fingertips. Whenever I think what it would have been like to be a libertarian just a generation or two ago, I have to marvel.

It is not that a wealth of libertarian literature did not exist decades ago, just as it does today. Rather, the difference for previous generations is that the wealth of libertarian literature was often much more difficult to find — sometimes virtually impossible. Then, even if the earlier libertarian could find that special book she or he so dearly wanted, she or he might not be able to afford it.

Today, not only can I access a breathtaking deal of this literature for free in the form of PDFs (often thanks, again, to LvMI), but I can also purchase inexpensive editions to add to my personal library. That these volumes can be made available, at such low costs, and with such beautiful covers, is something I deeply appreciate. Again, I can only imagine what the previous generations had to go through.

Let us look just at Human Action to emphasize this point. Currently, one can purchase a copy of Human Action from the Foundation for Economic Education for $34.95. Or, one can pick up a four-volume copy thereof from Liberty Fund for $42.00. And while this is all good, one can, at any time, pick up a copy from LvMI for only $10! Even if you are like me and prefer hardcover books to paperbacks, the LvMI hardcover edition of Human Action is only $20.

Moreover, on top of all of that, LvMI is having this 15 percent sale — all month!

Why is LvMI doing this? Mr. Jeffrey Tucker has described it as an "educational drive." LvMI offers these wonderful prices (as well as tons of free PDFs) because it cares about ideas, and wants to see those ideas made available to as many people as possible. It is for this same reason that I have written this article. I, too, want to see these ideas disseminated — not just Mises's, but also Rothbard's, and Hazlitt's, and Paul's, and the Tannehills'.

The Austrian School of economics offers many important concepts, from Menger's subjective theory of value, to Böhm-Bawerk's elaboration of time-preference theory, to the Hayekian triangle that models the stages of production. Likewise, the broader libertarian tradition offers other important concepts, from Locke's homesteading principle, to Rothbard's title-transfer theory of contract, not to mention the all-important nonaggression axiom.

These ideas have enriched my still-short life so much, I have no reason not to want to see them disseminated to as many people as possible. I wish I had the time and resources to personally deliver a copy of Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson to every household in America — nay, the world. Alas, I do not.

In summation, this is why I hope you will exploit this opportunity and take advantage of this sale. I do not have the ability to make all these wonderful tomes available to the masses, but LvMI somehow does. For this, we all have reason to celebrate this month.

Happy birthday, Ludwig!

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