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Ludwig von Mises: "Only 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

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: Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe goal of the domestic policy of liberalism is the same as that of its foreign policy: peace. It aims at peaceful cooperation just as much between nations as within each nation.Liberalism p. 105Peace
Ludwig von MisesWhoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism.Nation, State, and Economy p. 77War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesModern society, based as it is on the division of labor, can be preserved only under conditions of lasting peace.Liberalism p. 44War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe market economy involves peaceful cooperation. It bursts asunder when the citizens turn into warriors and, instead of exchanging commodities and services, fight one another.Human Action p. 817; p. 821War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesModern war is not a war of royal armies. It is a war of the peoples, a total war. It is a war of states which do not leave to their subjects any private sphere; they consider the whole population a part of the armed forces. Whoever does not fight must work for the support and equipment of the army. Army and people are one and the same. The citizens passionately participate in the war. For it is their state, their God, who fights.Omnipotent Government p. 104War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesWhat the incompatibility of war and capitalism really means is that war and high civilization are incompatible.Human Action p. 824; p. 828War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesSociety has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things. Only economic action has created the wealth around us; labor, not the profession of arms, brings happiness. Peace builds, war destroys.Socialism p. 59War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesAll the materials needed for the conduct of a war must be provided by restriction of civilian consumption, by using up a part of the capital available and by working harder. The whole burden of warring falls upon the living generation.Human Action p. 228; p. 227War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesAt the breakfast table of every citizen sits in wartime an invisible guest, as it were, a G.I. who shares the meal. In the citizens garage stays not only the family car but besidesinvisiblya tank or a plane. The important fact is that this G.I. needs more in food, clothing, and other things than he used to consume as a civilian and that military equipment wears out much quicker than civilian equipment. The costs of a modern war are enormous.Defense, Controls, and Inflation p. 331War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesMen are fighting one another because they are convinced that the extermination and liquidation of adversaries is the only means of promoting their own well-being.Human Action p. 175; p. 176War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe existence of the armaments industries is a consequence of the warlike spirit, not its cause.Human Action p. 297; p. 300War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesVictorious war is an evil even for the victor...peace is always better than war.Liberalism p. 24War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesWars, foreign and domestic (revolutions, civil wars), are more likely to be avoided the closer the division of labor binds men.A Critique of Interventionism p. 115War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe pacifistic line of argument goes too far if it simply denies that a people can gain by war.Nation, State, and Economy pp. 15253War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesWar is the alternative to freedom of foreign investment as realized by the international capital market.Human Action p. 499; p. 502War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe statement that one mans boon is the other mans damage is valid with regard to robbery, war, and booty. The robbers plunder is the damage of the despoiled victim. But war and commerce are two different things.Human Action p. 662; p. 666War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. The wars of our age are not at variance with popular economic doctrines; they are, on the contrary, the inescapable result of consistent application of these doctrines.Human Action p. 683; p. 687War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesWhat has transformed the limited war between royal armies into total war, the clash between peoples, is not technicalities of military art, but the substitution of the welfare state for the laissez-faire state.Human Action p. 820; p. 824War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesUnder laissez faire peaceful coexistence of a multitude of sovereign nations is possible. Under government control of business it is impossible.Human Action p. 820; p. 824War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesIn the long run war and the preservation of the market economy are incompatible. Capitalism is essentially a scheme for peaceful nations.Human Action p. 824; p. 828War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe emergence of the international division of labor requires the total abolition of war.Human Action p. 827; p. 831War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesModern war is merciless, it does not spare pregnant women or infants; it is indiscriminate killing and destroying. It does not respect the rights of neutrals. Millions are killed, enslaved, or expelled from the dwelling places in which their ancestors lived for centuries. Nobody can foretell what will happen in the next chapter of this endless struggle. This has little to do with the atomic bomb. The root of the evil is not the construction of new, more dreadful weapons. It is the spirit of conquest. It is probable that scientists will discover some methods of defense against the atomic bomb. But this will not alter things, it will merely prolong for a short time the process of the complete destruction of civilization.Human Action p. 828; p. 832War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesTo defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.Human Action p. 828; p. 832War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesOwnership turns the fighting man into the economic man. Only the exclusion of private property can maintain the military character of the State. Only the warrior, who has no other occupation apart from war than preparation for war, is always ready for war. Men occupied in affairs may wage wars of defense but not long wars of conquest.Socialism pp. 220-21War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesWithin a world of free trade and democracy there are no incentives for war and conquest.Omnipotent Government p. 3War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesOnly in the case of primitive peoples does war lead to the selection of the stronger and more gifted, and that among civilized peoples it leads to a deterioration of the race by unfavorable selection.Socialism p. 290War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesThe only means to lasting peace is to remove the root causes of war.Omnipotent Government p. 6War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesBut what is needed for a satisfactory solution of the burning problem of international relations is neither a new office with more committees, secretaries, commissioners, reports, and regulations, nor a new body of armed executioners, but the radical overthrow of mentalities and domestic policies which must result in conflict.Omnipotent Government p. 6War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesFull freedom of movement of persons and goods, the most comprehensive protection of the property and freedom of each individual, removal of all state compulsion in the school system, in short, the most exact and complete application of the ideas of 1789, are the prerequisites of peaceful conditions.Nation, State, and Economy p. 96War and Peace
Ludwig von MisesIf you want to abolish war, you must eliminate its causes. What is needed is to restrict government activities to the preservation of life, health, and private property, and thereby to safeguard the working of the market. Sovereignty must not be used for inflicting harm on anyone, whether citizen or foreigner.Omnipotent Government p. 138War and Peace