On September 29, 1881, Austrian Economist and knight of classical liberalism Ludwig Von Mises was born. Today, we honor all he did for freedom despite the resistance he faced.
In 1949, Mises published Human Action, his magnum opus which made the case for an aprioristic approach to economic thought. But his contributions expand to much more, and his life story makes these accomplishments all the more incredible.
Perhaps the only economist to appear in a Batman Comic, the life of Mises truly carried the dedication and the action of the dark knight. By maintaining his dedication to the notions that the free market is the one path to prosperity and that socialism and government intervention will lead to societal disaster, Mises was barred from practically any paid positions in Austrian academia (this would also happen in America later on. But before this, Mises served in the first World War, and his Theory of Money and Credit almost got him killed. Due to his dedication to freedom in an increasingly unfree world, Mises’s commanding officers would often assign him unreasonably dangerous tasks. Even after all this, Mises had to flee the Nazis by coming to America in the 1940.
It was here in America that Mises did his most important work. In America, Mises continued to develop his theories, especially that of the business cycle. He also taught his critiques of socialism, central planning, and statism while advocating for the free market at New York University as a visiting professor.
But most importantly, Mises brought Austrian Economics into the public sphere, influencing people such as Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard. His Omnipotent Government maintained that fascism emerged out of socialism, directly challenging the view of the Frankfurt School. His Bureaucracy annihilated the pipe dream that is efficient government. His Human Action codified the entirety of his economic theory, giving readers a one-stop resource to the wisdom of the free market.
The works of Mises still live on. And in 1982, Lew Rockwell founded the Ludwig Von Mises Institute with the help of Murray Rothbard and Mises’s widow to continue the teachings of Mises. Mises’s influence goes beyond academia, and played as a fundamental influence to Ron Paul, the father of the American liberty movement. If there were no Mises, there would be no Ron Paul. There would be no Ldwig Von Mises Institute. There would be no prominence for the Austrian School of Economics. There would be no Murray Rothbard. There would be no libertarianism as we know it.
You can help continue the legacy of Ludwig Von Mises by donating to the Mises Institute here.