Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
This was the motto of Ludwig von Mises, a great economist and political scientist. It comes from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book VI and it translates as, “Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it”. And so we should.
Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economists and political scientists of the twentieth century. He revolutionised the understanding of money, inflation and recessions; comprehensively refuted the arguments for socialism; and provided a devastating critique of the methodologies of mainstream economics. His contributions to the Austrian School laid the intellectual groundwork for thinkers such as F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Israel Kirzner.
In Ludwig von Mises – A Primer, Eamonn Butler provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of Mises’ outstanding achievements. At a time of economic crisis, this monograph makes it clear that Mises’ work is highly relevant today. Indeed, while mainstream economics has been found wanting, the latest recession appears to have been entirely consistent with his analysis. Furthermore, the poor performance of state health and education services can be explained by Mises’ Austrian theories. Nevertheless, Mises remains neglected by the economics profession, policymakers and academics. This readable primer explains why his work should be at the core of economic thinking.
Misesian economic thinking provides a better set of explanations for recent events than the current mainstream Keynesianism or Monetarism. It predicted the crash based on sound theory. That theory uses accurate understandings of the nature of society and social cooperation, time and capital (that is, the means of production). The book explains, but this video is a good start and more fun (Hayek developed the economics of Mises to win his Nobel Prize):
I am deeply grateful to the IEA for giving me the opportunity to contribute the foreword to this book. Eamonn Butler has made a superb job of it and I very much hope it has the impact it deserves.