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The Ludwig von Mises Institute

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Ludwig von Mises: "Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law . . . economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics." - Austrian Economics: An Anthology


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 MisesIt is always the individual who thinks. Society does not think any more than it eats or drinks. The evolution of human reasoning from the naive thinking of primitive man to the more subtle thinking of modern science took place within society. However, thinking itself is always an achievement of individuals.Human Action p. 177; p. 177Society
Ludwig von MisesSociety is essentially the mutual exchange of services.Liberty and Property pp. 1819Society
Ludwig von MisesSociety is division of labor and combination of labor.Human Action p. 143; p. 143Society
Ludwig von MisesWe may call consciousness of kind, sense of community, or sense of belonging together the acknowledgement of the fact that all other human beings are potential collaborators in the struggle for survival because they are capable of recognizing the mutual benefits of cooperation.Human Action p. 144; p. 144Society
Ludwig von MisesCivilization is an achievement of the bourgeois spirit, not of the spirit of conquest. Those barbarian peoples who did not substitute working for plundering disappeared from the historical scene.Human Action p. 645; p. 650Society
Ludwig von MisesSociety is the product of thought and will.Socialism p. 258Society
Ludwig von MisesMan is inconceivable as an isolated being, for humanity exists only as a social phenomenon and mankind transcended the stage of animality only in so far as co-operation evolved the social relationships between the individuals.Socialism p. 259Society
Ludwig von MisesWithin the frame of social cooperation there can emerge between members of society feelings of sympathy and friendship and a sense of belonging together. These feelings are the source of mans most delightful and most sublime experiences. They are the most precious adornment of life; they lift the animal species man to the heights of a really human existence. However, they are not, as some have asserted, the agents that have brought about social relations. They are fruits of social cooperation.Human Action p. 144; p. 144Society
Ludwig von MisesEvery step by which an individual substitutes concerted action for isolated action results in an immediate and recognizable improvement in his conditions. The advantages derived from peaceful cooperation and division of labor are universal.Human Action p. 146; p. 146Society