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Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis Paperback – November 1, 1981
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About the Author
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was a preeminent philosopher and economist during the twentieth century. He shared an intellectual friendship with literary giant Ayn Rand, and his theorems and philosophies have continued to influence the careers and ideas of politicians and economists alike. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The book resides somewhere amidst economics, history and philosophy.
Mises slays socialism on all three counts.
Economically the inability to perform economic calculations kills socialism and makes it static, unable to adjust to anything.
Philosophically he shows how liberalism is superior to collectivism and all other forms of coercion in the name of the mythical 'society' are simple covers for tyranny.
Historically he traces the Marxist movement in the pre war and post war years. I gleaned some new insight into the split of the Marxists that birthed the Bolsheviks. The chapter on Christian Chiliasm I find particularly fascinating. He shows that while Christianity is often the force resisting communism, it also contributes greatly due to the misunderstanding of the gospels and their incorrect interpretation as non-messianic guidelines. The gospels were based on the understanding that the Kingdom of God was just around the corner. They were not intended as a guide to creating a communist society.
The entire background and reason for the socialism calculation debate is inside of these pages. I have debated with many who have read a blog or try to refute Mises out of hand but you cant do it. he has covered every type of socialism within these pages and had already refuted whatever you can bring to the table.
Reading this book requires a certain dedication, since every paragraph needs a great deal of concentration. It is not something to read while watching a ball game.
On the other hand, it is addictive. And you begin to wonder why his observations and conclusions are not accepted and put into practice. However, as you read others of his books, he explains why the statists will prevail.
This is a great book, especially now. His arguments for letting interest rates seek their own level without government interference explains much about our current problems. You will begin to despair of this administration's insistence on artificially low interest rates.
von Mises was truly a genius, as well as a prophet. Read this book, then move on to his others.