Talk:Ludwig von Mises
I think that this one is often credited to Sir John Templeton -
"This time, it's different" are the four most expensive words in the English Language.
Daytona2 14:30, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
- These should be provided with sources before being moved back into the article.
- As society is only possible if everyone, while living his own life, at the same time helps others to live; if every individual is simultaneously means and end; if each individual's well-being is simultaneously the condition necessary to the well-being of others, it is evident that the contrast between I and thou, means and end, automatically is overcome.
- The philosophy called individualism is a philosophy of social cooperation and the progressive intensification of the social nexus.
- 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.
- No wonder that all who have had something new to offer humanity have had nothing good to say of the state or its laws.
- This, then, is freedom in the external life of man — that he is independent of the arbitrary power of his fellows.
- ...[A]s soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in any questions touching on the individual's mode of life, we end by regulating and restricting the latter down to the smallest detail.
- All varieties of interference with the market phenomena not only fail to achieve the ends aimed at by their authors and supporters, but bring about a state of affairs which - from the point of view of their authors' and advocates valuations - is less desirable than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter.
- He who disdains the fall in infant mortality and the gradual disappearance of famines and plagues may cast the first stone upon the materialism of the economists.
- Every specific tax, as well as the nation's whole tax system, becomes self-defeating above a certain height of the rates.
- Profits are the driving force of the market economy. The greater the profits, the better the needs of the consumers are supplied.
- [Socialists] promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.
- 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."
- As the science of economics...exploded the fallacies of every brand of utopianism, it was outlawed and stigmatized as unscientific."
- It is not conclusive proof of a doctrine's correctness that its adversaries use the police, the hangman, and violent mobs to fight it. But it is a proof of the fact that those taking recourse to violent oppression are in their subconsciousness convinced of the untenability of their own doctrines."
- The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state. The history of the West, from the age of the Greek polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders."
- The first condition for the establishment of perpetual peace is the general adoption of the principles of laissez-faire capitalism."
- What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter, the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and ideas for old ones."
- The first thing a genius needs is to breath free air.
- The aim of all struggles for liberty is to keep in bounds the armed defenders of peace, the governors and their constables. The political concept of the individual's freedom means: freedom from arbitrary action on the part of the police power.
- People do not cooperate under the division of labor because they love or should love one another. They cooperate because this best serves their own interests. Neither love nor charity nor any other sympathetic sentiments but rightly understood selfishness is what originally impelled man to adjust himself to the requirements of society, to respect the rights and freedoms of his fellow men and to substitute peaceful collaboration for enmity and conflict.
- Society is joint action and cooperation in which each participant sees the other partner's success as a means for the attainment of his own.
- Business is a means- the only means- to increase the quantity of goods available for preserving life and rendering it more agreeable.
- The essence of democracy is not that everyone makes and administers laws but that lawgivers and rulers should be dependent on the people's will in such a way that they may be peaceably changed if conflict occurs.
- Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow...
- The rich adopt novelties and become accustomed to their use. This sets a fashion which others imitate. Once the richer classes have adopted a certain way of living, producers have an incentive to improve the methods of manufacture so that soon it is possible for the poorer classes to follow suit. Thus luxury furthers progress. Innovation "is the whim of an elite before it becomes a need of the public. The luxury today is the necessity of tomorrow." Luxury is the roadmaker of progress: it develops latent needs and makes people discontented. In so far as they think consistently, moralists who condemn luxury must recommend the comparatively desireless existence of the wild life roaming in the woods as the ultimate ideal of civilized life.
- It is solely bigness in business which makes it possible to supply the masses with all those products the present-day American common man does not want to do without. Luxury goods for the few can be produced in small shops. Luxury goods for the many require big business.
- For the sake of domestic peace, liberalism aims at democratic government. Democracy is therefore not a revolutionary institution. On the contrary it is the very means of preventing revolution and civil wars. It provides a method for the peaceful adjustment of government to the will of the majority.
- Action based on reason, action therefore which is only to be understood by reason, knows only one end, the greatest pleasure of the acting individual.
- Reason is the main resource of man in his struggle for survival.
- The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.
- What pays under capitalism is satisfying the common man, the customer. The more people you satisfy, the better for you.
- The uncouth hordes of common men are not fit to recognize duly the merits of those who eclipse their own wretchedness.
- A nation's policy form an integral whole. Foreign policy and domestic policy are closely linked together; they are but one system; they condition each other.
- Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.
- Government is the only institution that can take a perfectly good piece of paper, print some noble words on it, and make it perfectly worthless.
- "This time, it's different" are the four most expensive words in the English Language.
- Scientific criticism has no nobler task than to shatter false beliefs.
- Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought.
- There is in the universe something for the description and analysis of which the natural sciences cannot contribute anything. There are events beyond the range of those events that the procedures of the natural sciences are fit to observe and describe. There is human action.
- The methods of the natural sciences cannot be applied to human behavior because this behavior...lacks the peculiarity that characterizes events in the field of the natural sciences, viz., regularity.
- Scientific research sooner or later, but inevitably, encounters something ultimately given that it cannot trace back to something else of which it would appear as the regular or necessary derivative. Scientific progress consists in pushing further back this ultimately given.
- Facts per se can neither prove nor refute anything. Everything is decided by the interpretation and explanation of the facts, by the ideas and the theories.
- 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.
- It is the worst of all superstitions to assume that the epistemological characteristics of one branch of knowledge must necessarily be applicable to any other branch.
- Reason's biological function is to preserve and promote life and to postpone its extinction as long as possible. Thinking and acting are not contrary to nature; they are, rather, the foremost features of man's nature. The most appropriate description of man as differentiated from nonhuman beings is: a being purposively struggling against the forces adverse to his life.
- The class of those who have the ability to think their own thoughts is separated by an unbridgeable gulf from the class of those who cannot.
- It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.
- Liberalism: A Socio-Economic Exposition