Ludwig von Mises were alive today, he could say: "I told you so."
For in 1920, he wrote a long article on socialism, followed by a
book two years later, that crafted socialism's tombstone.
all the debates over socialism, he alone cut to the heart of the
matter. Socialism doesn't qualify as an economic system because
it seeks to abolish economics, he said. Without private property
in the means of production, there can be no economic calculation
and no price system. There can only be chaos.
prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery,"
he said, must fight socialism and defend, without compromise, capitalism:
"private ownership in the means of production."
syndicated columnist Warren T. Brookes recently pointed out, "the
real godfather of communism's European crackup" is Ludwig von Mises,
whose "penetrating mind gave intellectual birth to Hayek, Friedman,
and Buchanan, and rebirth to Adam Smith."
von Mises was completely shut out of the socialist/fascist- minded
Austrian and German universities in the 1920s and 1930s," Brookes
notes, "and was never offered any American post after exile by Nazism.
Why? He wrote a book titled Socialism" and "showed with precise
logic why socialism could never work." And "he coined the phrase
'statolatry' for the new Western irreligion."
Wall Street Journal's editorial page noted that "At the recent
Comecon meeting, the strongest opposition to the communist status
quo came from the Czechs and in particular, their new finance
minister Vaclav Klaus. 'The world is run by human action,' Klaus
told Comecon, 'not by human design.' Some readers will note that
Mr. Klaus was paraphrasing the famed Austrian economist Ludwig von
Mises, whose 1949 book Human Action, is among his classic
works on free-market economics. Mises, of course, was also a relentless
critic of economic planning. We can't help but note the many Western
intellectuals now proposing to teach the East Europeans how to live
and work. It appears that the Czech finance minister has that well
as Yuri N. Maltsev, late of the U.S. S. R., points out elsewhere
in this issue, dissident Soviet economists look to Mises and his
followers, not to Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith, and other
fellow travelers of socialism. And from similar testimonies, we
know the same is true in Eastern Europe.
economics may undergo a second spring because of these emigre economists,
who like Mises battle socialism and all other forms of statism
this country, we have never been subjected to full-blown socialism,
but statolatry has still taken a dreadful toll: a spastic economy,
a perverted culture, a swelling underclass, a declining standard
of living, and a monstrous government.
the freedom revolution leapt from country to country in Eastern
Europe, some leftists claimed as they whistled past their own
graveyard that the people were repudiating Stalinism, not Marxism.
That's baloney, of course. People who have lived under Marxism make
Joe McCarthy look like a pinko. Look for committees to investigate
un-Bulgarian, un-Rumanian, and other activities.
leftists still cling to a mythical "third way" between communism
and capitalism. But social democracy is inherently unstable. It
pretends that some sectors of the economy such as medicine can be socialized, while others are left private, with no detriment
to the economy. Such systems, as Mises pointed out, must trend towards
freedom or totalitarianism, while wrecking economic havoc all the
Sweden welfare-queen of the social democracies is learning
this lesson. Public opinion polls show that 78% of the people want
much more privatization of state child care and socialized medicine.
They're sick of having bureaucrats raise their kids and care for
America, events seem to move at an Eastern-European pace, but in
the opposite direction. While statism is being dismantled abroad,
it is being constructed here at home.
A: President Bush and the Democrats want to make the Environmental
Protection Agency a cabinet department.
EPA a quintessential big business welfare agency was founded
by Richard Nixon through an unconstitutional executive order. Ever
since then, it has achieved bureaucratic success by handing out
special-interest construction contracts while catering to the most
anti-capitalist, indeed anti-human, forces in our society. The EPA
should be dismantled, not exalted. We have yet to learn that the
environmental vision is just as impossible as the socialist one,
and just as dangerous in the attempt.
B: Sen. Joe Biden (D-Plagiarism) and unnamed "White House staff,"
not to speak of Drug Shah William Bennett, want to create a cabinet
department of drugs, as if more government will win the unwinnable.
C: The bipartisan S&L bailout will surpass $350 billion, which
is a moral outrage. Why should this industry be funded on the backs
of the American taxpayer?
we are to have a bailout, along with picking the executives and
directors clean, why not sell government assets for the rest? The
feds own 40% of U.S. land. How about auctioning some of it? Taxpayers
aren't responsible for the S&L fiasco, and they shouldn't pay for
D: The Bush administration attacks Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's
(D-Phony British Accents) Social Security tax cut of $600 per American
family as intended to raise other taxes.
motives may very well be bad (unlike the other senators, presumably),
but so what? Any tax cut, any time, is a good idea. If anyone in
D.C. had any guts, he'd be calling for a reevaluation of the entire
Ponzi SS scheme.
if tax cuts can be smoke-screens for tax increases, what does one
say about the 1981 Reagan cuts that were followed by five Reagan
increases, including the monstrous SS increases?)
E: The Bush administration has just put an entire country Panama on welfare. The cost, we're told, is "only $1 billion,"
but don't believe it. We have only begun to pay the costs of Operation
the way the Bush administration talks here at home, we might think
it's encouraging a Panamanian capital-gains tax cut, privatization,
less government, and more free-enterprise. Instead, the administration
is bilking us for Panamanian welfare checks and a gigantic public
works program, plus subsidies to U.S. big business through the egregious
Export-Import Bank, founded by FDR as part of the New Deal.
all looks pretty discouraging, but it could be the final gasp of
the securitate. I believe the global revulsion against big government
will finally reach the country where it all started 200 years ago:
as the Great Depression set us back decades because the ideological
scam-meisters succeeded in pinning the result of central bank inflation
on capitalism the freedom revolution will advance us decades.
ideological history, a paradigm seems entrenched, until tossed out
overnight through a thought revolution. Now the paradigm has shifted
towards our side. Our job is to overthrow the idol of statolatry,
and install in its place respect for the free market, for individual
liberty, for private property, and for sound money. Ludwig von Mises
told us so.