Born in 1881 into an affluent, accomplished Jewish family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ludwig von Mises was multilingual and highly educated, with a focus on law and economics at the University of Vienna.
His family was recognized for their significant contributions and his brother Richard became a notable mathematician.
Mises worked in government and the private sector, becoming a significant economic adviser and academic.
During his career he wrote extensively on economics and socialism, arguing against planned economies and for free markets.
He fled to the U.S. during WWII, teaching at New York University until 1969.
Let’s go through the top quotes by Ludwig von Mises.
Best Ludwig von Mises Quotes
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Liberty is meaningless if it is only the liberty to agree with those in power. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
There prevails on a free labor market a tendency toward full employment. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The real bosses, in the capitalist system of market economy, are the consumers. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Historical knowledge is indispensable for those who want to build a better world. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The market is a democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Liberty is always freedom from the government. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Under capitalism everybody is the architect of his own fortune. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
No one can escape the influence of a prevailing ideology. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, and make it worthless by applying ink. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The alcoholic and the drug addict harm only themselves by their behavior; the person who violates the rules of morality governing man’s life in society harms not only himself, but everyone. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Famous Ludwig von Mises Quotes
It is merely a metaphor to call competition competitive war, or simply, war. The function of battle is destruction; of competition, construction. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Socialist society is a society of officials. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The mark of the creative mind is that it defies a part of what it has learned. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The foundation of any and every civilization, including our own, is private ownership of the means of production. Whoever wishes to criticize modern civilization, therefore, begins with private property. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The mixing of politics and business not only is detrimental to politics, as is frequently observed, but even much more so to business. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
In the capitalist society there is a place and bread for all. Its ability to expand provides sustenance for every worker. Permanent unemployment is not a feature of free capitalism. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague. Inflation is a policy. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
What makes small business develop into big business is not spending, but saving and capital accumulation. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Top Ludwig von Mises Quotes
The fact is that, under a capitalistic system, the ultimate bosses are the consumers. The sovereign is not the state, it is the people. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Every socialist is a disguised dictator. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Capitalism needs neither propaganda nor apostles. Its achievements speak for themselves. Capitalism delivers the goods. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The capitalist system, in spite of all obstacles put in its way by governments and politicians, has raised the standard of living of the masses in an unprecedented way. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
He who only wishes and hopes does not interfere actively with the course of events and with the shaping of his own destiny. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
In the market economy the worker sells his services as other people sell their commodities. The employer is not the employee’s lord. He is simply the buyer of services which he must purchase at their market price. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Some experts have declared that it is necessary to tax the people until it hurts. I disagree with these sadists. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
German Marxian’s coined the dictum: If socialism is against human nature, then human nature must be changed. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
No private enterprise will ever fall prey to bureaucratic methods of management if it is operated with the sole aim of making profit. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Popular Ludwig von Mises Quotes
The planner is a potential dictator who wants to deprive all other people of the power to plan and act according to their own plans. He aims at one thing only: the exclusive absolute preeminence of his own plan. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The advocates of public control cannot do without inflation. They need it in order to finance their policy of reckless spending and of lavishly subsidizing and bribing the voters. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Many who are self-taught far excel the doctors, masters, and bachelors of the most renowned universities. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by governments. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Great Ludwig von Mises Quotes
Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Progressive taxation of income and profits means that precisely those parts of the income which people would have saved and invested are taxed away. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The 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. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Freedom really means the freedom to make mistakes. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The governments alone are responsible for the spread of the superstitious awe with which the common man looks upon every bit of paper upon which the treasury or agencies which it controls have printed the magical words legal tender. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
What is a loophole? If the law does not punish a definite action or does not tax a definite thing, this is not a loophole. It is simply the law. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Rulers do not like to admit that their power is restricted by any laws other than those of physics and biology. They never ascribe their failures and frustrations to the violation of economic law. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Freedom is indivisible. As soon as one starts to restrict it, one enters upon a decline on which it is difficult to stop. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Insightful Ludwig von Mises Quotes
There is no such thing as a just and fair method of exercising the tremendous power that interventionism puts into the hands of the legislature and the executive. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
An entrepreneur cannot be trained. A man becomes an entrepreneur by seizing an opportunity and filling the gap. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgment, foresight, and energy. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The program of classical liberalism, condensed into a single word, would have to read: property. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
In public administration there is no connection between revenue and expenditure. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. The wars of our age are not at variance with popular economic doctrines; they are, on the contrary, the inescapable result of a consistent application of these doctrines. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Powerful Ludwig von Mises Quotes
Western civilization is based upon the libertarian principle, and all its achievements are the results of the action of free men. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
We owe the origin and development of human society and, consequently, of culture and civilization, to the fact that work performed under the division of labor is more productive than when performed in isolation. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The history of mankind is the history of ideas. For it is ideas, theories, and doctrines that guide human action, determine the ultimate ends men aim at, and the choice of the means employed for the attainment of these ends. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
What generates war is the economic philosophy of nationalism: embargoes, trade and foreign exchange controls, monetary devaluation, etc. The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The proof of a theory is in its reasoning, not in its sponsorship. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion. Political freedom is the corollary of economic freedom. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Wise Ludwig von Mises Quotes
Thoughts and ideas are not phantoms. They are real things. Although intangible and immaterial, they are factors in bringing about changes in the realm of tangible and material things. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Tyranny is the political corollary of socialism, as representative government is the political corollary of the market economy. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Inflation is the fiscal complement of statism and arbitrary government. It is a cog in the complex of policies and institutions which gradually lead toward totalitarianism . ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Civilization is a work of peaceful cooperation. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The Welfare State is merely a method for transforming the market economy step by step into socialism. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The philosophy commonly called individualism is a philosophy of social cooperation and the progressive intensification of the social nexus. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The meaning of economic freedom is this: that the individual is in a position to choose the way in which he wants to integrate himself into the totality of society. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
Economic knowledge necessarily leads to liberalism. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
If you increase the quantity of money, you bring about the lowering of the purchasing power of the monetary unit. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
The word “Capitalism” expresses, for our age, the sum of all evil. Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas. ~ Ludwig von Mises.
So these were the 78 top Ludwig von Mises quotes and sayings.