Ludwig von Mises Canvas
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Ludwig von Mises had a rare talent. When too many social philosophers were championing rationalism over empiricism and vice versa, Mises employed both in full force. It’s how he devised an intricate theory of economics based on one guiding principle: people want things, and will do what they can to get them.
Once he had taken that credence to its logical conclusion, Mises became a staunch advocate for free-market capitalism and letting people use their lives, land and property however they see fit. To Mises, the government’s only legitimate purpose is to defend its citizens and their property. That is because he recognized socialism for one of its chief failings: government bureaucrats’ total inability – and nonexistent motivation – to estimate rational prices for goods.
Unless something drastically changes, we’ll one day regard Mises as the same sort of oracle Orwell was. For you see, many people want things they cannot deserve. And when they are extraordinarily evil, they’ll violate any individual right that obstructs their efforts to get them. As bureaucrats increasingly justify, legitimize and exercise creative new ways of siphoning wealth from the citizenry, they push the world ever nearer to the brink of a socialist sunset.
A Ukrainian immigrant born in the 19th century taught us the most fundamental truth of the market: every attempt to control it is an attempt to control people.