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Ludwig von Mises: "Monetary calculation and cost accounting constitute the most important intellectual tool of the capitalist entrepreneur, and it was no one less than Goethe who pronounced the system of double-entry bookkeeping one of the finest inventions of the human mind." - Liberalism


Quotable MisesThis database of quotations from Mises was prepared for The Quotable Mises edited by Mark Thornton, available from the Mises Institute store for $20. Send corrections to the editor. Here is a source page on the editions of the books referenced.

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AuthorQuoteSourcePageSubject
Ludwig von MisesThe enjoyment of art and literature presupposes a certain disposition and susceptibility on the part of the public. Taste is inborn to only a few. Others must cultivate their aptitude for enjoyment.Theory and History p. 63Arts
Ludwig von MisesUnder capitalism, material success depends on the appreciation of a mans achievements on the part of the sovereign consumers. In this regard there is no difference between the services rendered by a manufacturer and those rendered by a producer, an actor or a playwright.The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality p. 31Arts
Ludwig von MisesThere has never been an era in which the many were prepared to do justice to contemporary art. Reverence to the great authors and artists has always been limited to small groups.The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality p. 79Arts
Ludwig von MisesWhat characterizes capitalism is not the bad taste of the crowds, but the fact that these crowds, made prosperous by capitalism, became consumers of literatureof course, of trashy literature. The book market is flooded by a downpour of trivial fiction for the semibarbarians. But this does not prevent great authors from creating imperishable works.The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality p. 79Arts
Ludwig von MisesOnly stilted pedants can conceive the idea that there are absolute norms to tell what is beautiful and what is not. They try to derive from the works of the past a code of rules with which, as they fancy, the writers and artists of the future should comply. But the genius does not cooperate with the pundit.Theory and History p. 63Arts
Ludwig von MisesArt is nothing more than a faltering and inadequate attempt to express what has been thus experienced and to give some form to its content. The work of art captures not the experience, but only what its creator has been able to express of the experience.Epistemological Problems of Economics p. 45Arts
Ludwig von MisesThe most primitive work of art also can express the strongest experience, and it speaks to us, if only we let it.Epistemological Problems of Economics p. 46Arts
Ludwig von MisesA work of art is an attempt to experience the universe as a whole. One cannot analyze or dissect it into parts and comment on it without destroying its intrinsic character.Epistemological Problems of Economics p. 136Arts
Ludwig von MisesThere can be no freedom in art and literature where the government determines who shall create them.Omnipotent Government p. 52Arts
Ludwig von MisesIt is a hopeless task to interpret a symphony, a painting, or a novel. The interpreter at best tries to tell us something about his reaction to the work…. There are no words to describe the ineffable.Theory and History p. 276Arts
Ludwig von MisesWhom should the government entrust with the task of deciding whether a newcomer is really a great painter or not? It would have to rely on the judgment of the critics, and the professors of the history of art who are always looking back into the past yet who very rarely have shown the talent to discovery new genius.Economic Policy p. 31Arts