Today, the ideas of Ludwig von Mises are as important as ever. During his career, he discredited the ideas of socialism, identified the role central banks play in creating financial booms and busts, and established himself as the most powerful defender of capitalism.
But perhaps his most important analysis came in a speech he delivered in 1950, The Middle of the Road Leads to Socialism. You can get a copy for yourself today with a $5 donation to the Mises Institute.
In this speech, delivered to the New York University Club, Mises identified the dangers of the ideology that captured the world in the twentieth century: interventionism. As he notes, interventionism is often packaged as a practical “third way,” beyond the “extremes” of socialism or laissez-faire. Instead, however, the result is a volatile economic system that inevitably leads to more and more government control—unless it is rejected entirely.
Now, in 2021, this work is as important as ever.
As we have seen over the past two years, would-be central planners in national governments and globalist institutions are seeking to use the veil of crisis to consolidate their power on an international scale.
The goal isn’t to explicitly seize the means of production. Instead, it is to gradually consolidate economic power within nominally private companies which can be more easily controlled to serve their political agenda.
“Covid,” “global warming,” “overpopulation,” “domestic extremism”—the crisis may change, but the playbook remains the same. Reject consumer-driven markets in favor of a government-driven agenda and utilize the resulting chaos to expand the control of state institutions.
Mises understood it doesn’t have to be this way. “[T]his outcome is not inevitable. The trend can be reversed as was the case with many other trends in history.”
How? By people, like yourself, arming each other with the intellectual tools necessary to identify and respond to this creeping authoritarianism. The challenges we face will not be solved with shallow bumper stickers and the façade of democratic elections, but by inspiring new generations of courageous individuals prepared to resist.
This is the mission of the Mises Institute.
Join us in this battle with a donation today and receive a free copy of The Middle of the Road Leads to Socialism. Even better, with your donation, you will receive special access to a Private Seminar on this important work with Dr. Robert Murphy and Jeff Deist.