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Who Was Ludwig von Mises

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"it then dawned on me that all the improvements in the conditions of the working classes were the result of capitalism. social laws brought about the very opposite of what the legislation was intended to achieve"

 

 


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Sun, 12/16/2012 - 19:24 | Link to Comment smart girl
smart girl's picture

THANKS~ Most profound article I've ever seen and heard on ZeroHedge.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 15:31 | Link to Comment koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

BTW this is an outsanding ZH thread. One in which the commentary is exceptional today.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 13:13 | Link to Comment vened
vened's picture

<snip>

Several prominent libertarians have advocated open borders except for immigrants clearly intent on violating personal or property rights. As Krejsa notes, libertarians ignore the reality that the peoples crowding our shores often have powerful ethnic ties and that they are typically organized in well-funded, aggressive ethnic organizations. These ethnic organizations have a vital interest in a strong central government able to further their interests in a wide range of areas, from welfare benefits to foreign policy. In other words, they act far more as a corporate entity than as a set of isolated individuals. Further, the immigration policy advocated by Libertarians ignores the reality of racial and ethnic differences in a broad spectrum of traits critical to success in contemporary societies, particularly IQ, criminality, and impulsivity. Social utility forms no part of the thinking of Libertarianism.

In reading these articles, one is struck by the fact that libertarianism is in the end a metaphysics. That is, it simply posits a minimal set of rights (to ownership of one’s own body, ownership of private property, and the freedom to engage in contracts) and unflinchingly follows this proposition to its logical conclusion. The only purpose of government is to prohibit the “physical invasion” of another’s person or property. It is a utopian philosophy based on what ought to be rather than on a sober understanding of the way humans actually behave. Not surprisingly, as Simon Lote and Farnham O’Reilly point out, there have never been any pure libertarian societies. There are powerful reasons for that.

<snip>

Similarly, the libertarian idea that we should alter government as if the governed are an atomistic universe of individuals is oblivious to the fact that a great many people will continue to behave on the basis of their group identity, whether based on ethnicity or on a voluntary association like a corporation. They will continue to engage in networking (often with co-ethnics) and they will pursue policies aimed at advancing their self-interest as conditioned by group membership. If they have access to the media, they will craft media messages aimed at converting others to agree with their point of view—messages that need not accurately portray the likely outcomes of policy choices. Media-powerful groups may also craft messages that take advantage of people’s natural proclivities for their own profit without regard to the weaknesses of others—a form of the unleashing of Darwinian competition discussed in the following.

This minimal list of human interests is grounded in neither theology nor natural science. A focus of Trudie Pert’s essay is the conflict between libertarian philosophy and traditional Catholic collectivism with its group-protecting function based on the concept of natural law. From the standpoint of evolutionary biology, a society engineered according to libertarian ideology would unleash a Darwinian struggle of competition between individuals and groups. Since, as Vitman Tanka notes, there is nothing in libertarian ideology to prevent voluntary associations, people in a libertarian society would naturally band together to advance their interests. Such groups would see their own interests as best satisfied by a strong government that is on their side.

The libertarian utopia would thus be chronically unstable. Indeed, Krejsa quotes Peter Brimelow who notes that a libertarian society with completely open borders would result in enormous pressures for powerful state control — immigration as the “Viagra of the state”: “Immigrants, above all immigrants who are racially and culturally distinct from the host population, are walking advertisements for social workers and government programs and the regulation of political speech — that is to say, the repression of the entirely natural objections of the host population.”

A libertarian utopia would also unleash exploitation of the weak and disorganized by the strong and well-organized. Both Pert and Krejsa point out that a libertarian society would result in violations of normative moral intuitions. For example, parents could sell their children into slavery. Such behavior would indeed be evolutionarily maladaptive, because as slaves their reproductive opportunities would be at the whim of their master. But such an option might appeal to some parents who value other things more than their children as the result of genetically or environmentally induced psychiatric impairment, manipulative media influence, or drug-induced stupor in a society lacking social controls on drugs.

Moreover, in the libertarian Eden, regulations on marriage and sexual behavior would disappear so that wealthy men would be able to have dozens of wives and concubines while many men would not have access to marriage. Sexual competition among males would therefore skyrocket.

<snip>

http://www.toqonline.com/blog/libertarianism-and-white-racial-nationalism/

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 15:35 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You are so intent on making your argument, you stumble as soon as you get out the gate. How do ethnic groups make use of a strong central government, when a libertarian economic system would never have one? You act as if the resident population would not be an ethnic group. Nor capable of counterbalancing the other ethnic group. If this is the best argument you can devise, you might want to snip something coherent instead.

As for no libertarian societies existing, that argument is as powerful as no constitutional republics existing during the age of monarchy. There wasn't any air travel before the Wright brothers either. You need a new set of intellectual- ones with real intellect.

As for the rest of your snippet, libertarians do not want to "alter" government, they wish to minimize it or eliminate it alltogether. If you fail to understand the term or are to ignorant of the subject to realize that many of these ideas have been co-opted and distorted, you might want to re-visit the whole idea. I recommend Murray Rothbard- he coined the term.

Libertarianism is no utopia, not does it EVER purport to be one. Any libertarian worth their salt would never use the term. However, it is preferable to the debt slavery and political tyranny that presently exists, thus the call for less central government and greater liberty. You may like fascism, you may think it is better than libertarianism or even the change that accompanies social, economic and political change, but this nation was founded on a revolution that pitted neighbor against neighbor. Most American casualties in the war were from other Americans. 

There are costs involved with the removal of tyranny.

Finally, what has this to do with Mises? Mises was not a libertarian, they didn't exist for him. He was a proponent of some governance, if for no other reason than security. Throwing up  on the thread, regurgitating ideas you have no understanding of in hopes of creating a viable critique is trollish to the extreme. 

Austrian economics is only associated with libertarianism in that many of the same ideas are conpatable. However, to assume they are part and parcel the same school of thought is imbecilic. 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 17:12 | Link to Comment vened
vened's picture

Sean7k quote:"Finally, what has this to do with Mises? Mises was not a libertarian, they didn't exist for him."

This is a lie:

"Western civilization is based upon the libertarian principle, and all its achievements are the result of the actions of free men." -- Ludwig von Mises in Economic Freedom and Interventionism (1990)

http://www.libertarianism.com/pop_celebrity/127

Sean7k  quote: "However, to assume they are part and parcel the same school of thought is imbecilic"

This is ad hominem [based on a lie].

So you are a fallacous liar.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 20:21 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Escuse me, where in this quote does it say Mises is a libertarian? Mises achievements in economics occurred from 1919 until the late 1960's. Libertarianism was a project of Rothbard's. The book you quote is not written by Mises- it is an anthology of his writings- thus you have selected a quote without any context . Mises died in 1973. Libertarian principle could have just as much to do with liberty as libertarianism- something that manifested after he died.

You make no connection between Austrian economics and Libertarianism as a related field of thought. You are the liar. 

Further, you fail to lodge a single argument regarding my destruction of your"snippets". 

Like I said, imbecilic.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 15:27 | Link to Comment koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

"traditional Catholic collectivism..."

Should that have been catholic (lower case c) or I am missing something here?

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 14:02 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

wouldn't women be able to have multiple husbands as well?

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:34 | Link to Comment Lord Peter Pipsqueak
Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

Von Mises had the genius to see how economics interacted with human nature,and to predict that if someone got offered a free lunch,somebody somewhere was paying,but now we have central banks printing money to sustain and maintain the worst excesses of human behaviour that perpetuates the re-election of politicians who promise free lunches to more and more claimants.

Now welfare claimants are trending towards the majority of the electorate in many western countries,there is no way back.The system will go bust eventually,as Von Mises predicts.

All the central banks are doing is delaying the inevitable.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 11:36 | Link to Comment gould's fisker
gould&#039;s fisker's picture

,

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 09:31 | Link to Comment Eugend66
Eugend66's picture

Most excellent post!! Thank you. Tyler(s) thanks send your way too.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 08:44 | Link to Comment tradewithdave
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How does von Mises regression theorem stand up under a triple entry accounting model (ala Bitcoin) where the block chain is effectively a public record of all transactions and a full reversal of gresham's law as a result of near frictionless electronic money (think Starbucks mobile phone glyph)? 

http://tradewithdave.com/?p=12929

http://tradewithdave.com/?p=12962

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:00 | Link to Comment Thisson
Thisson's picture

Bitcoin's source code is public.  There is no barrier to entry to any other group of people deciding to start another iteration of bitcoin ("Bitcoin 2") to compete with the original bitcoin ("Bitcoin 1").  For all of the same reasons that Bitcoin1 is accepted, Bitcoin2 would be accepted.  And so on for any other subsequent iteration.  Do you not see the inherent problem with the bitcoin system in light of this reasoning? 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 11:47 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

How does bitcoin stand up to no legal tender laws? 

People should be allowed to determine what money is in a free marketplace. Electronic fiat currency seems no better than the real thing. 

As for Gresham's law- do you really contend that bitcoin doesn't fluctuate in value? When these fluctuations occur, will not bitcoin  be transferred into other value instruments to take advantage? How is this not the actualization of Gresham's observations?

Please sell your bitcoins to someone stupid enough to buy them.

 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:31 | Link to Comment liszt
liszt's picture

The problem is not to ask a complex question, but to ask the question that matters. Erudition is the easiest thing to do. Meanwhile your question doesn't matter anything.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:24 | Link to Comment ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Cool words...Really and a perfectly decent question.

How would bitcoin stand up in a world in which the 'grid' was down and the interweb went absent? How then is bitcoin any different from other Fiat? Besides being more dispersed, I suggest that it remains an illusion..VS REAL money.

Just sayin'

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 11:01 | Link to Comment tradewithdave
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Can you take down a genuine P2P grid, say a mesh envisioned by the likes of Jaromil or modeled like netsukuku? I don't know. With camp stoves to power IPhones it makes for an interesting thesis for those who view the grid as control. Probably most practical applications would be in an active conflict zone or refugee area rather than at the local mall, unless it's the Staten Island mall...

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:04 | Link to Comment Thisson
Thisson's picture

With due respect, you're really putting forward some moronic ideas in this thread.  Yes, dark networks and independent networks can survive a shutdown of the grid, but for all practical purposes, the currency is still worthless in such a scenario.  That being said, if legal tender laws are revoked, the market is free to choose whatever currency it wants, and if a group of idiots wants to use Bitcoin, they can do so.  I suspect that were the market able to choose freely, Bitcoin would still be shunned in favor of gold and silver.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:37 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
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hmmm, so how would someone be able to buy something online using gold & silver?   seems to me like that's adding a lot of friction to a system that is already dependent upon relatively frictionless transactions to operate.

p.s. with all due respect, for someone who is in defense of free markets & free choice, you add quite a number of personal value judgements as qualifiers.   (nudge, nudge)

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 19:53 | Link to Comment JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

You've cut to the chase, tipster...

the collapse of usury banking will be accompanied by the return of the caravan...dark shapes in the night under starry skies moving with the leisurely pace of traders whose life is the road...towards the next caravanserai, the next marketown, free of the cargocult petro-addiction and the tyranny of wage economy.

time cycles...horses, camels, maybe tri-axle diesels running offa recycled vegoil, it don't matter much, we will return that far country at the river's end...again.

Saludos!

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:33 | Link to Comment tradewithdave
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Would it be offensive to suggest that the expectation of a return to a genuine free market is moronic?

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 11:14 | Link to Comment ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

The 'expert' consensus favors the conclusion that no, the web cannot be entirely disabled within any normal/ordinary/likely scenario. What obviously HAS already occurred however is that the medium has been corrupted and efforts to control this 'weapon' are a front and center meme.

Everything good becomes consumed in a futile quest to destroy it.

Amusing actually on a long enough timeline and with proper consideration.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:16 | Link to Comment d edwards
d edwards's picture

who gives a shit?

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 07:06 | Link to Comment orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Von Mises - Consumer centric.

 

Keynes - Government centric.

 

It's easy say that Keynes is wrong, but we rarely live in absolutes.  The ultimate answer is probably a hybrid of both - in a competing way.  Not going to happen before we collapse.

 

Similar to Church and State (government) - separate and competing.  It took the US to outsmart the rest of the world to come up with this.  Let's see if an encore performance is forthcoming.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 08:53 | Link to Comment tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Do you mean this type of church and state competition?  The one where the state tells the church what they cannot say and if they don't cooperate they tax them.  Is that the "separate and competing" model where the church lacks coercion?  I don't expect an encore, but I do expect closing night will come abruptly and with little warning (ala Citizens United v FEC).  

http://tradewithdave.com/?p=13568

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 04:04 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

The problem with any system -whether capitalist or socialist- is human nature. Humans are still driven by primal instincts. The moment a company, an institution or a person gets a powerful position, it will do anything to maintain it or even to become a monopolist. It is about the cojones which drives the world. Everybody wants to be the silverback, even if that person, institution, company, country, etc. is not the right one. In the monkey world, the top ape at the moment is probably the right one. In the human world that is not the case cause there is the danger that sociopaths and psychopaths will dominate. History is full of them. Pluralism in politics, society and economy is one way to avoid the dominance or monopoly of the wrong monkey.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:22 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Austrian economics is not something you can understand after viewing a video. Mises studied man and economics for most of his whole life. He was as aware of history as you purport to be, if not more. 

Austrians are VERY aware of human nature, it is a foundation stone of the theorems it is comprised of. They are equally aware of the concept and power of the market. Especially one that works FREE of the persuasion of government or other powers. 

Tyrants have fallen throughout history- often because of the market. Monopolies have crumbled, corporations have bankrupted, banks have closed- all from the power of the market. 

As a people, we have only to embrace this power, residual in consumerism and free choice. If we reject the will of the elites that would legislate us into slavery, if we use voluntary actions to create social order, there is every reason to find success in human development. 

You speak as if the state has protected you from monopolies and tyrants- how can you be so blind to reality? Are the words of politicians and corporatists so compelling that you forget to reason? 

You have obviously failed to question the current state and what it has taught you. 

Mises searched for answers that sought how and why human action functioned as it does. It is not a system, rather, it is a description of the means and ends of human action in the furtherence of selfish objectives. Rules are fluid, yet constrained by the market providing it is allowed to work freely. 

This in no way assumes a total free market exists, but postulates based on observable events where  markets are allowed to function unimpeded.

Your response is a fait accompli for the tyrants that rule us through the control of money and law. You attempt to confuse history with destiny. You might as well brag about the weight and heft of your chains.

Mises wanted to help markets function in a manner that would improve everyone's lives: capitalist, laborer and entrepreneur , by removing the roadblocks placed in the path of prosperity by those that would retain all wealth for themselves through manipulation and political abuse. 

 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:43 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

Are you sure you are responding to me? I was merely talking about human nature and how it is flawed in respect to governing systems -whether political, economic or social systems. It is because normal people rely too much and trust too much those who are running these systems. People therefore need to become active.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 11:14 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

This is an article about Ludwig Von Mises. Mises had very particular ideas about human action- He wrote a whole book about it. You're comment displays a complete ignorance of Mise's ideas about human nature and thus, are out of place in this discussion.They can only create confusion.

Your ideas depend on a view of human action that is common, but accepted because it is all the State has allowed you to believe. Human nature is not flawed because of governing systems, it is not "flawed" at all. It merely is. Starting at this point, Mises explored the ramifications of this and postulated a theory of markets based on these actions.

It is easy to criticise the human condition and its' follies. It is much more difficult to examine our shared charcteristics and make predictions and recommendations. You write as if you actually understand human beings in their totality, you have rendered judgement and then are surprised when someone doesn't agree with you. How could someone question such obvious truths? 

You make assumptions and act as if they are truths. This is the value of rigour in education, real seekers- like Mises- are never that intellectually lazy.

 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 12:36 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

I am sorry that my humble contribution does not suite your majesty's enlightened taste but who are you anyway to judge if someone can make a posting here? "Human nature merely is". Human nature is very well suited for the Serengeti, not for a world filled with nuclear weapons and weapons of financial destruction. "Human nature merely is" will lead the world to its doom. Evolution is about adaptation or die and human nature is not evolving very much. Your "human nature merely is" is a sign on intellectual lazyness cause it assumes that we do not need to change human behaviour in order to stay in line with technological advancement. "Human nature merely is" is what nazis and eugencs used to justify their killing sprees.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 15:06 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The poverty of your post is revealed in your inability to recognize the difference between making provision for what cannot be changed (human nature) and what can- modifying social behavior through community action. 

Human nature is on the Serengeti as well as the streets of New York. It doesn't change because of nuclear weapons, it is human nature that allowed for their creation. If you cannot make this distinction, you don't understand the question.

It is too bad if you're offended by being called out for a juvenile post, but if you don't like it- then make a better argument.  

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 16:25 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

Ku ku. You are making all kinds of assumptions about me dude. That was most obvious in your first reply. Human nature can be changed through education but in our societies more value is placed on competition than on cooperation. Instinct takes place in the limbic part of the brain which can be influenced by the frontal lobe of the brain which mostly only occurs after growing up and via education. The fact that humans don't kill eachother massively on a daily basis over petty things is a proof that with the evolution of the human brain to rationalize emotions in combination with education, human nature became more under control and changeable.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 20:28 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Please provide a single example of changing human nature through education. If humans had killed each other all the time, there would be no humans. Your proof is ridiculous, it has no test. Heresay is not a proof. Please explain how the brain has evolved within the last 5000 years. 

At this point, I think my assumptions are pretty sound. 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:37 | Link to Comment liszt
liszt's picture

Markets are not democracy. Democracy is the most important thing !

And the ONLY way for democraty to control society is by means of STATE ! Or anarchy, but that's illusion because anarchy is a weakness to any coming tyran.

As said Chomsky, State is the only thing we have. The fallacy with freedom is that freedom isn't equal to democraty, it's mainly the power of the strong, hence facism. The bare freedom is that, also the economic freedom = trusts, monopoles, cartels, etc.

 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 14:08 | Link to Comment ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Pure gibberish and extremely poor thinking.

Nothing personal, just telling the truth.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:55 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

One, markets are the closest thing we have to one person, one vote. Your economic choices are absolute. Two, why is democracy the most important thing? Democracy is mob rule, majority tyranny and a governing system worse than monarchy. 

Democracy cannot control society, if you wish to make that point, please provide an example. 

You are really going to equate freedom and fascism? You don't even understand Chomsky. 

You cannot have trusts, monopolies nor cartels without state sanction. 

Please, get an education.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 05:03 | Link to Comment Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

I agree, but forgive me for explaining why.

OK it is not our fault, as a species, to be born without fur and especially helpless for at least our first 16 years of life ... during which time all sorts of accidents can and do happen, so as to twist our very natures; so that some of us become socio/psychopaths.

Consider little Georgie Bush.  His father was too busy being head of the CIA and then POTUS to take any interest.

His mother would not spoil her "beautiful mind" by being an actual mother ... so little Georgie took pleasure in blowing up frogs.  Later he took pleasure in blowing up Iraq.

This pattern is repeated in all economic classes, but whilst the poor end up in prison, the rich end up ruling the world ... like Alexander the (un)Great psychopath did over 2,000 years ago.

The reason that they get away with it - even some of the lower classes - is that they have NO conscience and they are very convincing liars.

Yep history is full of them and there is no reason to imagine that this will ever change.

It appears that our species is a failing, self-destructing life-form.

Possibly whatever runs the Universe has a better experiment going on elsewhere than in this galaxy and, if so, "Beam me up Scotty."  I certainly do not belong in this world, which seems hell-bent on WW3, at the behest of uber-psychopath Zionists, most Jews and all those in charge of the Washington Empire as it plummets away to oblivion.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 06:14 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

The reason why they also get away with it is because most people are generally good and make the asumption that those who rule them -either politically or economically/financially- are also good. I am sure there are good ones but a lot of them are not. Some begin with good intentions but once they get to a position of power, they want to keep it or at least not give some of it to the other monkeys.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 05:11 | Link to Comment tickhound
tickhound's picture

Realize that "by any system" you're only speaking on two derivatives of the same one... monetarism.  Money and profit had a dramatic influence on, what many argue, is the human "condition."  The human nature you describe, could be just symptoms of the condition created by a realized need for monetary accumulation.

Examples of this "re-conditioning" can be found throughout history... to include many native american cultures.  Satisfaction in a less complex culture may have been to one's ability to provide for the entire tribe, while being wise enough to waste little, and worship the animal and herd that provided such.  While reward under monetarism, which defines profit differently, may be to provide nothing for anyone other than a few, being wise enough to waste whatever was unprofitable monetarily, and preserve little from the source of that profit.

It can be argued that babies are not born seeking profit, seeking money, seeking hoard, seeking wealth... these are conditions learned.  Humans aren't born with an understanding of poor or rich.  These are monetary conditions.  These are learned.  Humans are born with few real needs... food, shelter, love from the parent.

If one is to argue something such as nature vs nurture, one should separate it from the premise of money.  Wealth accumulation is a learned behavior, not a natural human instinct.  A mother's love for a child is instinctive, while a mother's love for money is not.  This is a learned behavior. 

An isolated culture that suddenly found itself with the understanding of current day technological innovation, may handle the technology much differently than we might expect.  Would a tribe, for example, used to killing and providing only what it needed to survive and maintain its culture, suddenly kill every buffalo by the push of a button simply because it could?

To me, that would depend on the culture itself.  

The argument, however, is nearly speculative now, as monetarism has encompassed the globe.  But this system has its limits... as we are now beginning to understand.  And, because of this, the arguments of what is "instinct" and what is "learned or conditioned" are beginning to re-surface. 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 09:20 | Link to Comment Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

My four-year-old grandson recently asked, "Why do people need money?" 

 

The question is there already.  But he can't yet understand any attempt to answer--convenience, control--in any depth.  My understanding is only marginally better than his.  The questions often seem to retain the capacity to ultimately outrun even the most promising answers.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 09:41 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

"My understanding is only marginally better than his. "

That is a jackpot statement, and the answer sought after is screaming at you.

Ignorance, oppression and control.   Look at your own complacent conditioning, lack of clarity and passive enslavement of the child due to the same lack of clarity, sheep.

Nature doesn't need "money" -- money needs man. Why?

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 06:10 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

Good point. Most human behaviour is taught and learned and every parent and society makes mistakes. Both capitalism and socialism (at least the economic part of it) are material systems: the underlying principle is that everything else (superstructure) can only be realised on top of an economic system. How that economic system is setup differences greatly between the two systems. But socialism presumes that everybody is the same but people are different. Although humans are conditioned by the system they grow up in, people are different in regards to intelligence, character, health etc. And some people are just born bad. Some lack empathy, some are sociopaths, selfish (we all are to a certain extent), psychopaths, megalomaniac, etc. And unfortionately, these people make it far in politics and business. Attirbutes such as empathy, compassion, etc are seen as weaknesses. That is the human tragedy.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 01:44 | Link to Comment dunce
dunce's picture

Decent people have no desire to tell other people how to live their lives but that is the function of government so the only people normally that seek political office are not decent people. We need government in a modern society but only a limited government. Our constitution was designed to give us that but our courts and our power seeking scum have undermineed most of our protections and the last 4 years have been the worst and the fastrest descent.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 10:43 | Link to Comment liszt
liszt's picture

Sure, then drive at 120 mph on main street.

You need to put all corporate and all hedge fund in jail, because they aren't democratic, yet mighty powerful.

 

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 00:42 | Link to Comment Seer
Seer's picture

"this guy is a economic God."

No gods no masters.

"The political garbage is just to get the intellectually lazy public to buy into their thievery."

Politics circles power, like sharks circling blood.

"The reason statism will forever be popular throughout time is there are always emotionally handicapped people who would prefer to kill someone than work an honest days labor."

ANY government represents a center of power.  ALL those who are inclined to command others (so as to enable themselves to avoid work) WILL attain the reins to this power.

I like what von Mises says, but there's a HUGE gap in applying such to the REAL, shark-infested world.

Key to any "solution" are these things/questions:

1) How would one restructure things?  Can it be done without leveling the playing field?  If there is no alteration of the existing wealth distribution then you end up with the people who have set things up (gamed things) still being with the upper hand.

2) The problem of growth (perpetual growth on a finite planet)?

3) The protection of property rights, sanctioning lethal force for an entity means that that entity can also kill you.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 00:38 | Link to Comment jimmyjames
jimmyjames's picture

Von Mises was a master of mass psychology-

Sentiment--the most powerful of all market forces-it's what gives Bernanke nightmares-

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 00:34 | Link to Comment michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

The consumers are merciless. The corruption of the regulatory bodies does not shake his blind confidence in the infallibility and perfection of the state; it merely fills him with moral aversion to entrepreneurs and capitalists. No one should expect that any logical argument or any experience could ever shake the almost religious fervor of those who believe in salvation through spending and credit expansion. The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.

Sat, 12/15/2012 - 23:17 | Link to Comment JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

 

The mask slips:

4:18 from the clip, and the mouth of an editor of the "National Review"

"it's a real enigma why people are so adverse to real free market capitalism even now....I don't know that Jay Gould or Rockefeller ever killed anyone..."

Free market capitalism is an oxymoron. "Capitalism" is to entrepeneurs what the parasite is to it's host.

Any system based upon "buying, selling and producing in an open market" is antithetical to the psychology of the capitalist, who uniformly seeks to monopolize whatever market they participate in, or at the very least to achieve such level of it's domination as to render competitors at a disadvantage in securing access to supply or to markets.

As we are witness to in the present times, the collusion of corporate capitalism with state power results in the crushing of market forces and the substitution in their place of a command economy...which no matter how dressed up as a 'free market' economy is nothing more than an inversion of the same.

Monopoly capitalism is a shell game: it's practitioners no more than thugs in bespoke suits...the Goulds and Rockefellers practice the game at a level which does not require of them to kill people...they have minions for that...rather, they kill the lifeblood of economies by strangling the natural balance of supply and demand, buyer and seller, producer and consumer. 

Any material which purports to deliver a defence of Mises, or of free markets by means of comments so fatuous as that quoted above is at best, useless, and more likely, counterproductive to that intent. Shills for the moneypower like the gentleman from the National Review bring to mine a quotation from one of Mises own students -

"Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding"....Friedrich August von Hayek.

 It's time to call these people's bluff.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 01:11 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Capitalism, which is a method of organizing a business and it;s finances gets along just fine with free markets. Most business men would like to have some kind of pricing advantage; but it's usually not available; this is true with or without capitalism.

Sun, 12/16/2012 - 00:59 | Link to Comment gould's fisker
gould&#039;s fisker's picture

Joyful-if you're going to use a quote at least make sure it supports your bullshit point--the actual quote by Hayek attacks intellectuals for their support of marxism and socialism, just like today's college professors if they know anything about economics, which is probably where you got your ignorant spiel:

The world is full of] intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding – As smart as the intellectual elite believe themselves to be, they are not smart enough to recognize their own limits. In short, intellectual elites believe that there are few if any limits on the capabilities of the intellect, especially the capabilities of the intellects of those humans who share their belief in the limitlessness of the human intellect.

http://www.pappasontaxes.com/index.php/2010/07/01/13-timely-friederich-hayek-quotes/

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