Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism is the most important critical examination of socialism ever written.
Socialism is most famous for Mises’s penetrating economic calculation argument. The book contains much more however. Mises not only shows the impossibility of socialism: he defends capitalism against the main arguments socialists and other critics have raised against it. A centrally planned system cannot substitute some other form of economic calculation for market prices, because no such alternative exists. Capitalism is true economic democracy.
Socialism addresses the contemporary issues of economic inequality and argues that wealth can exist for long periods only to the extent that wealthy producers succeed in satisfying the consumers. Mises shows that there is no tendency to monopoly in a free market system.
Mises analyzes reform measures, such as social security and labor legislation, which in fact serve to impede the efforts of the capitalist system to serve the masses.
Socialism is a veritable encyclopedia of vital topics in the social sciences, all analyzed with Mises’s unique combination of historical erudition and penetrating insight.
German original 1922. English, 1951, Yale university Press. Indianapolis: LibertyPress/LibertyClassics, 1981. Full text from Yale University edition.