Omnipotent Government

Un libro in lingua di Von Mises Ludwig edito da Liberty Fund, 2011

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Ludwig von Mises was the leading exponent of the Austrian School of economics throughout most of the twentieth century. He has long been regarded as a most knowledgeable and respected economist, even though his teachings were generally outside the mainstream. He wrote twenty-five books and hundreds of articles on human action, free markets, and political economy.

In the preface to Omnipotent Government, Mises argues that however admirable the ends sought by governments, the policies used to achieve them can have disastrous effects on citizens. When government policies interfere with business and the free interchanges people have with one another, it leads to economic depression, unemployment, inflation, and rising prices.

Written in 1944, Omnipotent Government demonstrates that nationalism, or etatism, to use Mises's term, which he characterizes as "a blueprint for political and military action," results when governments interfere with the economy. And etatism thus determines the foreign policy of those nations. Trade walls, migration barriers, and foreign exchange control provide ample incentives for conflict and war. World War II was the inevitable result of Nazi Germany's interventionism, etatism, and antiûfree trade policies.

Although Mises's primary target is Nazism, there is a much broader application for his theories regarding the stifling effect totalitarian governments have on the development of technologies for improving the well-being of citizens. What he wrote in 1944 is still true today: "Mankind has not reached the stage of ultimate technological perfection. There is ample room for further progress and for further improvement of the standards of living. The creative and inventive spirit flourishes only where there is economic freedom."

Formerly a resident scholar, trustee, and longtime staff member of the Foundation for Economic Education, Bettina Bien Greaves has written and lectured extensively on topics of free market economics. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Human Events, Reason, and The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. A student of Mises, Greaves has become an expert on his work in particular and that of the Austrian School of economics in general. She has translated several Mises monographs, compiled an annotated bibliography of his work, and edited collections of papers by Mises and other members of the Austrian School.

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