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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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AuthorQuoteSourcePageSubject
Ludwig von MisesThe ordered organization of coercion we call the State.Socialism p. 280State
Ludwig von MisesThe essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.Human Action p. 715; p. 719State
Ludwig von MisesThe whole of mankinds progress has had to be achieved against the resistance and opposition of the state and its power of coercion.Liberalism p. 58State
Ludwig von MisesA new type of superstition has got hold of peoples minds, the worship of the state. People demand the exercise of the methods of coercion and compulsion, of violence and threat. Woe to anybody who does not bend his knee to the fashionable idols!Omnipotent Government p. 11State
Ludwig von MisesThe worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments.Omnipotent Government p. 47State
Ludwig von MisesHe who proclaims the godliness of the State and the infallibility of its priests, the bureaucrats, is considered as an impartial student of the social sciences.Planned Chaos p. 16State
Ludwig von MisesIt is characteristic of current political thinking to welcome every suggestion which aims at enlarging the influence of government.On the Manipulation of Money and Credit p. 107State
Ludwig von MisesHow fine the world would be if the State were free to cure all ills! It is one step only from such a mentality to the perfect totalitarianism of Stalin and Hitler.Bureaucracy pp. 7576State
Ludwig von MisesNo reform can render perfectly satisfactory the operation of an institution the essential activity of which consists in inflicting pain.The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science p. 100State
Ludwig von MisesLouis XIV was very frank and sincere when he said: I am the State. The modern etatist is modest. He says: I am the servant of the State; but, he implies, the State is God.Bureaucracy pp. 7475State
Ludwig von MisesAprs nous le dluge (After us, the deluge) is an old maxim of government.Socialism p. 179State
Ludwig von MisesThere is no reason to idolize the police power and ascribe to its omnipotence and omniscience. There are things which it can certainly not accomplish. It cannot conjure away the scarcity of the factors of production, it cannot make people more prosperous, it cannot raise the productivity of labor. All it can achieve is to prevent gangsters from frustrating the efforts of those people who are intent upon promoting material well-being.Human Action p. 827; p. 831State
Ludwig von MisesIt is not God. It is simply compulsion and coercion; it is the police power.Omnipotent Government p. 47State
Ludwig von MisesThe state is a human institution, not a superhuman being. He who says state means coercion and compulsion. He who says: There should be a law concerning this matter, means: The armed men of the government should force people to do what they do not want to do, or not to do what they like. He who says: This law should be better enforced, means: the police should force people to obey this law. He who says: The state is God, deifies arms and prisons.Omnipotent Government p. 47State
Ludwig von MisesNot every apparatus of compulsion and coercion is called a state. Only one which is powerful enough to maintain its existence, for some time at least, by its own force is commonly called a state. A gang of robbers, which because of the comparative weakness of its forces has no prospect of successfully resisting for any length of time the forces of another organization, is not entitled to be called a state. The state will either smash or tolerate a gang. In the first case the gang is not a state because its independence lasts for a short time only; in the second case it is not a state because it does not stand on its own might.Omnipotent Government p. 46State
Ludwig von MisesThe apparatus of compulsion and coercion is always operated by mortal men.Omnipotent Government p. 47State
Ludwig von MisesWe see that as soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in any questions touching of the individuals mode of life, we end by regulating and restricting the latter down to the smallest detail. The personal freedom of the individual is abrogated. He becomes a slave of the community bound to obey the dictates of the majority.Liberalism p. 54State
Ludwig von MisesThe essence of etatism is to take from one group in order to give to another. The more it can take the more it can give. It is to the interest of those whom the government wishes to favor that their state become as large as possible.Omnipotent Government p. 94State
Ludwig von MisesWhoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism.Nation, State, and Economy p. 77State