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Ludwig von Mises: "If one wants to study the reasons for Europes backwardness, it would be necessary to examine the manifold laws and regulations that prevented in Europe the establishment of an equivalent of the American drug store and crippled the evolution of chain stores, department stores, super markets and kindred outfits." - Planning for Freedom

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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Top> Browse by subject: Government
Ludwig von MisesThere is really no essential difference between the unlimited power of the democratic state and the unlimited power of the autocrat.Socialism pp. 64-65Constitutional Government
Ludwig von MisesAll that good government can do to improve the material well-being of the masses is to establish and to preserve an institutional setting in which there are no obstacles to the progressive accumulation of new capital and its utilization for the improvement of technical methods of production.Planning for Freedom p. 6Good Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernment ought to protect the individuals within the country against the violent and fraudulent attacks of gangsters, and it should defend the country against foreign enemies.Economic Policy p. 37Good Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernments become liberal only when forced to by the citizens.Omnipotent Government p. 58Good Government
Ludwig von MisesWhoever wants lastingly to establish good government must start by trying to persuade his fellow citizens and offering them sound ideologies. . . . There is no hope left for a civilization when the masses favor harmful policies.Omnipotent Government p. 120Good Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernment is essentially the negation of liberty.Liberty and Property p. 19Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernment is not, as some people like to say, a necessary evil; it is not an evil, but a means, the only means available to make peaceful human coexistence possible. But it is the opposite of liberty. It is beating, imprisoning, hanging. Whatever a government does it is ultimately supported by the actions of armed constables. If the government operates a school or a hospital, the funds required are collected by taxes, i.e., by payments exacted from the citizens.Liberty and Property p. 19Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernment means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty.Human Action p. 283; p. 285Government
Ludwig von MisesHistory provides an abundance of striking examples to show that, in the long run, even the most ruthless policy of repression does not suffice to maintain a government in power.Liberalism p. 45Government
Ludwig von MisesIt is an illusion to expect that despotism will always side with the good causes.Theory and History p. 372Government
Ludwig von MisesIt is in the nature of the men handling the apparatus of compulsion and coercion to overrate its power to work, and to strive at subduing all spheres of human life to its immediate influence.Omnipotent Government p. 58Government
Ludwig von MisesThe government pretends to be endowed with the mystical power to accord favors out of an inexhaustible horn of plenty. It is both omniscient and omnipotent. It can by a magic wand create happiness and abundance.Bureaucracy p. 84Government
Ludwig von MisesThe government and its chiefs do not have the powers of the mythical Santa Claus. They cannot spend except by taking out of the pockets of some people for the benefit of others.Planning for Freedom p. 187Government
Ludwig von MisesA liberal government is a contradictio in adjecto. Governments must be forced into adopting liberalism by the power of the unanimous opinion of the people; that they could voluntarily become liberal is not to be expected.Liberalism p. 68Government
Ludwig von MisesPolitically there is nothing more advantageous for a government than an attack on property rights, for it is always an easy matter to incite the masses against the owners of land and capital. .Liberalism p. 69Government
Ludwig von MisesIn spite of all persecutions, however, the institution of private property has survived. Neither the animosity of all governments, nor the hostile campaign waged against it by writers and moralists and by churches and religions, nor the resentment of the masses...has availed to abolish it.Liberalism p. 69Government
Ludwig von MisesDaily experience proves clearly to everybody but the most bigoted fanatics of socialism that governmental management is inefficient and wasteful.Economic Freedom and Interventionism p. 62Government
Ludwig von MisesThere is no remedy for the inefficiency of public management.Economic Freedom and Interventionism p. 63Government
Ludwig von MisesGovernment is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of what is called economic freedom.Human Action p. 283Government
Ludwig von MisesOnce the principle is admitted that it is duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.Human Action pp. 728-29 p. 733Government