Saturday, February 18, 2006

Yours or theirs

Mises saw that the attempt to wed socialism and
dictatorship would lead to unparalleled calamity,
which indeed it did because Mises's pathway out
of this problem was ignored. He mapped out his
solution in his great book Liberalism, which
appeared in 1927. Here he said that the
foundation of liberty is private property. If
property were protected from invasion, all else
in politics follows. The state cannot be
imperialistic because it cannot raise the funds
necessary to fund adventures in foreign lands. On
the other hand, he wrote, the more the state is
given control over private property, the more it
will be tempted toward imposing its rule via arms
and war.

Therefore, he said, war and socialism are both
part of the same ideological apparatus. They both
presume the primacy of power over property. In
the same way, peace and free enterprise are cut
from the same cloth. They are the result of a
society with a regime that respects the privacy,
property, associations, and wishes of the
population. The liberal society trades with
foreign countries rather than waging war on them.
It respects the free movement of peoples. It does
not intervene in the religious affairs of people
but rather adopts a rule of perfect tolerance.

Full speech.