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Nation, State, and Economy: Contributions to the Politics and History of Our Time (The Institute for Humane Studies Series in Economic Theory) Hardcover – June 1, 1983
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One key element is missing: his calculation critique of socialism. Mises started down an intellectual path towards the calculation critique of socialism when he wrote The Theory of Money and Credit. It was in this earlier work that Mises began to see the significance of monetary calculation. Yet, Mises did not fully grasp the significance of money in capitalism when writing his 1919 book. Ironically, Mises came to recognize what was missing in Nation, State, and Economy just after it came out. In 1919 Mises wrote his article Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. From then on economic calculation would be the central issue in his economic and historical analysis.
Nation, State, and Economy is important to those who are interested in the evolution of Austrian ideas. It also has some interesting history of the First World War (that is, interesting to those who want to understand history). As such, this book has a relatively narrow audience. But it is a well reasoned gem for the few who find such subject of interest.
"Nation, State and Economy" was Mises' first book, published in 1919, it discusses the great war and in some ways anticipates the events to come. Despite the author's pedigree as a former Austrian treasury official and pioneer of the Austrian school of economics, this is really a book best pigeon holed as political sociology than economics per se. Originally written in German and, assuming a greater knowledge of German / Austrian history than I possess, I had to rely upon detail provided in the forward to help me through.
The book covers wide intellectual ground and has been compared to John Maynard Keynes' "Economic Consequences of The Peace", written about the same time with much of the same concerns, as it's most comparable peer.
Perhaps the section that most interested me, and it should be of interest to those, including modern liberals and social democrats, not normal Mises readers, was his discussion of the weakness of 19th century liberalism in Germany and Austria. Elsewhere in the west liberalism, nationalism and democratic reform marched side by side as brothers in arms. But what happened in Germany and Austria?
Peter Viereck has argued that in the Germanies, the idea of "volk" triumphed when and where liberalism and democracy was defeated.Read more ›
Nation, State, and Economy by Ludwig von Mises is a companion work to Keynes’s Economics Consequences of the Peace. It was published a year after Austria’s defeat in World War I and for that reason important, especially in the context of two other books, Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger and Woodrow and Theodore by Judge Napolitano.
The Kissinger and Napolitano books focus on the operation of the Executive Branch through the Presidencies of Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt -- Napolitano from a Constitutional perspective, and Kissinger from their seminal impact on foreign policy through three World Wars.
The First World War as a pivotal event in World History can’t be underestimated. “With the World War mankind got into a crisis with which nothing that happened before in history can be compared. There were great wars before; flourishing states were annihilated, whole people exterminated. All that can in no way be compared with what is now occurring before our eyes. In the world crisis whose beginning we are experiencing, all peoples of the world are involved. None can stand aside; none can say that its cause too will not be decided along with the others. If in ancient time the destructive will of the more powerful met its limits in the inadequacy of the means of destruction and in the possibility available to the conquered of escaping persecution by moving away, the progress in the techniques of war and transportation and communication makes it impossible to for the defeated to evade the execution of the victor’s sentence of annihilation.”
“…Imperialism has placed the tools of peace in the service of destruction. With modern means it would be easy to wipe out humanity at one blow.Read more ›