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Mises is the recognized granddaddy of Austrian economics and of 20th century classical liberalism He taught Friedrich Hayek and many of the American libertarians, and his influence on 20th century thought is immense, even though he never won a Nobel Prize, unlike some of his students.His uncompromising, even doctrinaire, position against socialism has won him many fans and detractors His biggest contribution to libertarian liberal thought was Human Action which offered the innovative theory of praxeology as the moral basis of capitalism Liberalism, on the other hand, is not a very theoretical work, nor especially scientific or technical It is a popular work, a pamphlet, written in easy going prose The 200 page book espouses the ideology of classical liberalism, which rests on the institution of private property and limited government intrusion into people s lives The ultimate ideal envisioned by liberalism is the perfect coordination of all mankind, taking place peacefully and without friction p.105 It contains a summary of the moral, sociological and economic arguments for liberalism The main challenge, for the classical liberal, fighting against popular opposition, is to show that private property is not a privilege of the property owner, but a social institution for the good and benefit for all p.30 It runs counter to moral intuition to argue that income inequality can be a good thing but this precisely is the argument that suggests itself to the liberal.Essentially, it all boils down to Adam Smith s succinct observation from the Wealth of Nations Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things The doctrine of laissez faire that sprang from this observation has carried the world far into prosperity and civilizational advancement.But Mises goes a bit further than the earlier classical liberals He argues, contrary to Locke, Smith, and many others, that the state has NO role in, e.g education of children, or providing social welfare to the poor This is a radicalization of the classical liberal program, which eventually lead to the so called libertarian movement, which rejected all state intervention altogether So Mises is an interesting middle man between the earlier classical liberal humanism and the later right wing libertarianism exemplified by people like Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul the former being a student and the latter being a fan of Ludwig von Mises.Even while agreeing with most of his premises, I reject the absolutist conclusions of Ludwig von Mises, such as the unsubstantiated claim that there is simply no other choice than this either to abstain from interference in the free play of the market, or to delegate the entire management of production and distribution of the government Either capitalism or socialism there exists no middle way I think history has shown that there is PLENTY of middle way possible Most governments and societies are something of a middle way Regulated markets are the way societies are organized As already Adam Smith pointed out, not all government intervention needs lead to socialism Even 20th Century liberals, such as, Hayek and Friedman would agree with this It only makes sense to use government to take care of the basic tasks of minimum security as well as social security Nonetheless, Mises is an important figure in warning against the oversteps of government interference The main problem in today s society is excessive regulation, which stifles all growth and hurts the poor even than the rich Today s citizen is failing to respect his fellow citizen s private rights To become a moral person, He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police p 55 Mises knew what was wrong with command economy, and even if some his doctrinaire opinions bordered on myopic, his contribution to the struggle for freedom is immense He was, and remains, one of the best popularizers of liberal thought, and this particular pamphlet is a wonderful little book, which every aspiring Che Guevara wannabe ought to read with caution, self awareness and humility. A classic work, it is von Mises concise description of what Liberalism is, and what it is not In this day and age where liberal is misused to describe anti Liberal Progressives, and Liberals are referred to as conservative along with social and religious Conservatives and other non Liberals , a return to the real meaning and ramifications of Liberalism is always timely The work admirably accomplishes what von Mises intended for it, giving a brief but complete look at Liberalism, as well as a refutation of several misconceptions or propagandistic criticisms of it However, this work falls into the same category as most of von Mises other popular works, namely that he takes an overly reductionist, all or nothing, black or white oversimplification of a number of complicated issues People with experience in the real world will tend to view some of von Mises sweeping claims with skepticism, which may result in their rejecting even his sound logical reasoning.Von Mises does show that Liberalism is not a special interest, which probably explains its retreat since the rise of the bureaucratic state beginning with Bismarck He shows how special interest parties and ideologies inevitably pursue zero sum outcomes and are unable to make long term converts out of anyone outside their core base However, he expresses a cheery optimism that the logic, positive outcomes, and lack of viable alternatives make Liberalism s ultimate victory assured History has shown humanity prefers to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory rather than permit such an outcome.One of the special interests that non Liberals often associate with Liberalism include the wealthy, big business, etc However, von Mises clearly shows that the established frequently prefer interventionism with the intention of preserving their favored position, in light of the fact that true Liberalism forces business people to work for their wealth and position or lose it.Von Mises correctly points out that Liberalism is the only known ideology that permits for peace, all the others making such competing and exclusive claims on at least some groups of people as to engender a never ending cycle of Hatfields and McCoys, vendetta and retribution The liberal does not expect to abolish war by preaching and moralizing He seeks to create the social conditions that will eliminate the causes of war p 111 Von Mises reason and logic are usually methodical and transparent However, when he ventures into moral philosophy, it becomes evident that he had not thoroughly thought through all of his propositions to the full For instance, he states, Everything that serves to preserve the social order is moral everything that is detrimental to it is immoral p 34 This sweeping statement is clearly chock full of the possibility of widespread abuse Even when one realizes the context in which von Mises suggests this is the social order of peace and the preservation of private property so not just any social order , this statement is still too broad and open to interpretation Most people would agree that racial prejudice is detrimental to the kind of Liberal social order von Mises envisioned, but one is left in doubt that von Mises would have endorsed mandatory hiring of minorities by employers, or coerced provision of goods and services to minority customers, etc Contrast the aforementioned sweeping statement to his much limited one later in the book, the task of the state consists solely and exclusively in guaranteeing the protection of life, health, liberty, and private property against violent attacks Everything that goes beyond this is an evil p 52 Von Mises was no Anarchist contrary to many vocal contemporary Libertarians, Anarchists, etc., who like to claim Liberal thinkers as their own Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism p 37 As von Mises indicates, We call the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion that induces people to abide by the rules of life in society, the state the rules according to which the state proceeds, law and the organs charged with the responsibility of administering the apparatus of compulsion, government p 35 He raises intriguing points in conjunction with this Life in society would be quite impossible if the people who desire the continued existence and who conduct themselves accordingly had to forgo the use of force and compulsion against those who are prepared to undermine society by their behavior A small number of antisocial individuals, i.e., persons who are not willing or able to make the temporary sacrifices that society demands of them, could make all society impossible Without the application of compulsion and coercion against the enemies of society, there could not be any life in society p 35 Further Liberalism neither wishes to, nor can deny that the coercive power of the state and the lawful punishment of criminals are institutions that society could never, under any circumstance, do without p 58 Unfortunately, von Mises does not further develop these ideas For instance, was the United States justified in excluding Communist Party members from positions of national security significance during the Cold War, especially in light of Communism s openly declared aim to violently overthrow non Communist regimes and expropriate private property upon doing so Would the U.S have been justified in outlawing the Communist Party and jailing its members What about modern day Islamists who favor the violent establishment of a Caliphate What about Nazi Party members And so on.Von Mises develops the interesting idea that all governments have the sanction of public opinion, as those lacking it collapse before long This need not be enthusiastic support, sullen resignation will do However, popular government is certainly not the sole preserve of representative government not that representative government alone sufficient to establish Liberalism, though von Mises himself was of the view that non Liberal governments could not long remain truly democratic The only unique claim representative government has to make in this regard is the institutionalized way in which peaceful transfers of power are the norm, which makes it well suited for Liberalism, which requires peace to properly operate However, von Mises remained skeptical of popular will as well All mankind s progress has been achieved as a result of the initiative of a small minority that began to deviate from the ideas and customs of the majority until their example finally moved the others to accept the innovation themselves To give the majority the right to dictate to the minority what it is to think, to read, and to do is to put a stop to progress once and for all p 54 The way to bridge the need for peaceful transfers of power through democracy and the need to give minorities space to innovate was tolerance Liberalism demands tolerance as a matter of principle, not from opportunism It demands toleration even of obviously nonsensical teachings, absurd forms of heterodoxy, and childishly silly superstitions It demands toleration for doctrines and opinions that it deems detrimental and ruinous to society and even for movements that it indefatigably combats For what imperils liberalism to demand and accord toleration is not consideration for the content of the doctrine to be tolerated, but the knowledge that only tolerance can create and preserve the condition of social peace without which humanity must relapse into the barbarism and penury of centuries long past p 56 57 However, returning to the crucial Liberal question of what to do with anti Liberal movements and ideas, von Mises alludes to a principle without fleshing it out Liberalism, however, must be intolerant of every kind of intolerance p 55 Intolerant how Von Mises unshakable optimism in the ultimate victory of Liberalism is rooted in his appreciation of the power of ideas Repression by brute force is always a confession of the inability to make use of the better weapons of the intellect better because they alone give promise of final successIt is ideas that group men into fighting factions, that press the weapons into their hands, and that determine against whom and for whom the weapons shall be used It is they alone, and not arms, that, in the last analysis, turn the scales p 51 What von Mises underestimated was the power of competing ideas, particularly those tied to Socialism and its little brother, Interventionism mostly carried as part of Progressivism today in winning hearts and minds, even in spite of Socialism s inevitable Venezuela style and scale failures Von Mises likewise oversimplifies the position of Interventionism as a mere way station on the way to either full Socialism and inevitable collapse or to a Liberal order In fact, so many of the world s developed countries have sustained a version of Interventionism for decades and appear reasonably stable that way It may be true that eventually the cost of having one s cake and eating it too will catch up and the Interventionist systems of Europe and the United States will collapse under the weight of massive debts, but the process has taken so long already that Interventionism has proven itself resilient and stable than von Mises gave it credit.Being an economist, von Mises does pay special attentions to question of property and economy Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state p 67 Even the state and society writ large benefit from private property Capitalist economic calculation, which alone makes rational production possible, is based on monetary calculation Only because the prices of all goods and services in the market can be expressed in terms of money is it possible for them, in spite of their heterogeneity, to enter into a calculation involving homogeneous units of measurement In a socialist society, where all the means of production are owned by the community, and where, consequently, there is no market and no exchange of productive goods and services, there can also be no money prices for goods and services of higher order Such a social system would thus, of necessity, be lacking in the means for the rational management of business enterprises, viz., economic calculation For economic calculation cannot take place in the absence of a common denominator to which all the heterogeneous good and services can be reduced pp 71 72 However, despite the obvious advantages of private property, it comes under successful attack all too easily and too often politically there is nothing advantageous for a government than an attack on property rights, for it is always an easy matter to incite the masses against the owners of land and capital p 69 And once the rights of private property have been abridged, so too has that sphere of freedom from government intervention.Von Mises contrasts Liberalism, the ideology of all, against various ideologies of special interest, of limited groups making zero sum claims against other groups In the first instance, he notes the importance of various forms of chauvinism, not to mention their demands for internal unity This chauvinism and forced unity are best pursued through state controlled education and therefore propaganda school is a political prize of the highest importance It cannot be deprived of its political character as long as it remains a public and compulsory institution p 115 Further, continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace p 114 However, the other powers of the state, including its essential ones, are quite within the realm of abuse when there are differences among the people even the judicial and police activities performed in the service of these ends can become dangerous in areas where any basis at all can be found for discriminating between one group and another in the conduct of official business p 116 Overall, the case for the least possible government intervention, even in the name of the most worthy sounding causes, can be laid out No one has a right to thrust himself into the affairs of others in order to further their interest, and no one ought, when he has his own interests in view, to pretend that he is acting selflessly only in the interest of others p 127 The politics of special interests corrodes cooperative society Society cannot, in the long run, exist if it is divided into sharply defined groups, each intent on wresting special privileges for its own members, continually on the alert to see that it does not suffer any setback, and prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice the most important political institution for the sake of winning some petty advantage p 175 Presaging Isabel Paterson and one of her major points in The God Of The Machine, von Mises notes, Anticapitalism can maintain itself in existence only by sponging on capitalism p 183 In another unfortunate bit of ambiguity, von Mises insists the solution to the problem of minorities is self determination, where feasible, without really defining feasible In fact, von Mises would prefer the question of citizenship to become almost meaningless and easily exchangeable owing to such limited government and freedom of movement But if the first principle is extended, it allows for the individual secession from any political body, leading to the very anarchy von Mises would seek to avoid The latter principle may be an admirable goal, but for reasons even von Mises emphasizes linguistic and cultural differences, for starters , is not likely to be on offer anytime soon.I recommend it, well worth it it is clearly written, easy to understand, and concise It lays out the basic case for Liberalism, though von Mises oversimplification and overreach in parts reduce his potential to persuade the skeptical It make a good precursor to reading von Mises Socialism An Economic and Sociological Analysis, which is a blistering but somewhat less well organized critique of socialism, and presumes familiarity on the part of the reader with the basic concepts involved Truly, von Mises greatest work is without doubt Human Action A Treatise on Economics, but being a longer book, is of an investment If anything, that latter work is the only one I ve read from von Mises that does not suffer from his tendency to over reduce everything to simple black and white dichotomies, but really gives a number of important ideas full work ups, but that means a greater investment on the part of the reader For a person new to Liberalism or von Mises in particular, Liberalism makes a fine start. This book is a great, concise introduction to the ideology of true liberalism To address the complaints of the negative reviews, the book was not meant to be a comprehensive discussion of liberalism nor was it meant to be a complete rebuttal to liberalism s critics Mises says so himself in the introduction of the book For what it is, Liberalism accomplishes its goals by engaging with the reader and forcing him to think twice about solidly held beliefs and assumptions It is important to approach the presented material with an open mind because the philosophy is far from mainstream in academic and political circles despite being an integral part of western, economic systems I recommend this book to any capitalists, open minded socialists, or any other person interested in Austrian economics political thought. Even though Mises can be a bit long winded at times his defense of the free market and the need to liberalism is a refreshing read Mises basic argument is that only liberalism can provide continual material growth, peace and prosperity to mankind Private property creates an opportunity for the division of labor which is a prerequisite for higher standards of living Through private property money the entrepreneurs can calculate their losses and gains from their enterprises A socialist system cannot as it lacks money and therefore agents cannot rationally calculate losses and gains Like the classical liberals Cobden and Bastiat, Mises defines the role of the state consisting entirely in guaranteeing the protection of life, health, liberty and private property against violent attacks.Unlike anarcho capitalists such as Murray Rothbard and Hans Hermann Hoppe, Mises defense of the free market is based on a utilitarian ethics Provided that all man wish for prosperity, liberalism is the only alternative which will succeed in the long run Some critics like Rothbard ask the following question sure, but what if we don t favor prosperity We might be religious fundamentalists who favor the survival of a certain creed over the advantages of a material lifestyle We also might be factory workers who want higher wages Mises can no guarantee the survival of a creed in the capitalist world as we can guarantee the the rise of workers wages Historically is has been a fact that workers wages have risen over time, but one can imagine a situation where the local company can t keep up with the international competition the worker will then be forced to look for work elsewhere Mises critique of the party system is quite interesting I especially liked the following quotation The parties of special interest, which see nothing in politics than the securing of privileges and prerogatives for their own groups, not only make the parliamentary system impossible they rupture the unity of the state and society This description of party politics can be compared with view which economists of the public choice have Their reasoning runs along the following lines given that man is essentially selfish, how can we create a public system which protects individuals and provides long term security Mises answer to that question was to write an apologia for classical liberalism and to believe firmly that rational men will accept his arguments. There is no real new material in his book Mises s criticisms of socialism are right out of his book by the same name, and most of his remarks on liberalism and the dangers of statism can be found in other books like Omnipotent Government Mises s very utilitarian framework for rights slavery is wrong solely because it is economically inefficient, for instance are a bit wanting As a summary of Mises s political thought, this book is decent If you have time and energy, though, books like Socialism and Human Action are really what you should be reading. With this small pamphlet first published in german 1927 and not until 1962 translated into english initally under the title The free and propserous Commenwealth because Mises feared that Liberalism could evoke false connotations Mises endeavoured to bring the ideals and the pivotal elements of liberalism to a broad audience in a time, when the commmon stage of politics espoused strong anti liberal ideas Mises captured the essence of the liberal thoughts of his time in five chapters 1.The foundations of Liberal Policy, 2.Liberal Economic Policy, 3.Liberal Foreign Polcy, 4 Liberalism and the Political Parties, 5.The Furture of Liberalism.This introduction , over 80 years old, still servers as a good overall insight in Mises liberal model and a starting point for someone who wants to journey deeper into Mises oeuvres However, much interesting than the mere informational dimension is the historical dimension of this work written before the harrowing events of the Great Depression, WWII and the Cold War It is uncanny how Mises , just stating facts relying on the scaffold of his liberal system, could foreshadow the historic stride of the 20th century This, than anything, can convince todays reader of the benefits of Mises liberal ideas. |Free E-pub ♡ Liberalismus ♨ The Term Liberalism Comes From The Latin Word Liber Meaning Free Mises Defines Liberalism As The Liberal Doctrine Of The Harmony Of The Rightly Understood Interests Of All Members Of A Free Society Founded On The Principle Of Private Ownership Of The Means Of Production This Book Presents The Theoretical And Practical Arguments For Liberalism In The Classical TraditionThe Foundation Of Liberalism, Mises Says, Rests On An Understanding And Appreciation Of Private Property, Social Cooperation, The Freedom Idea, Ethics And Morality, Democracy, And The Legitimate Role Of Government Liberalism Is Not A Political Party It Is A System Of Social Organization The Liberal Program Aims At Securing Equality Under Law And Freedom Of Opportunity For Everyone To Make Their Own Choices And Decisions, So Long As They Do Not Interfere With The Equal Rights Of Others It Offers No Special Privileges To Anyone Under Liberalism, The Role Of Government Would Be Limited To Protecting The Lives, Property, And Freedom Of Its Citizens To Pursue Their Own Ends And Goals Mises Is Specific Here Than Elsewhere In Applying The Liberal Program To Economic Policy, Domestic And Foreign Also In This Book, Mises Contrasts Liberalism With Other Conceivable Systems Of Social Organization Such As Socialism, Communism, And FascismLudwig Von Mises Was The Leading Spokesman Of The Austrian School Of Economics Throughout Most Of The Twentieth Century He Earned His Doctorate In Law And Economics From The University Of Vienna In In , Mises Founded The Austrian Institute For Business Cycle Research From To , He Was An Economist For The Vienna Chamber Of Commerce Before The Anschluss, In Mises Left For Geneva, Where He Was A Professor At The Graduate Institute Of International Studies Until , When He Emigrated To New York City From To , He Was A Visiting Professor At New York UniversityBettina Bien Greaves Is A Former Resident Scholar, Trustee, And Longtime Staff Member Of The Foundation For Economic Education She Has Written And Lectured Extensively On Topics Of Free Market Economics Her Articles Have Appeared In Such Journals As Human Events, Reason, And The Freeman Ideas On Liberty A Student Of Mises, Greaves Has Become An Expert On His Work In Particular And That Of The Austrian School Of Economics In General She Has Translated Several Mises Monographs, Compiled An Annotated Bibliography Of His Work, And Edited Collections Of Papers By Mises And Other Members Of The Austrian School This is an amazing book Should be mandatory reading In most of his insights, von Mises is still unchallenged and proven right Even if many years have passed by, the current crisis and the reactions and follies of our current governments just prove his points ever strongly. This is a wonderful book and I heartily recommend it to any who work in public policy Mises is a bright man and a capacious writer This appears to be one of his earlier works and it displays a range of strengths and weaknesses as a result There are many paragraphs and sections of startling insight and taught prose There are also occasional repetitions and he does vent a bit of frustration with the enemies of Classical Liberalism The penultimate material on special interest group politics will be pertinent for any who see the primary aim of politics being to get yours out of the public funds As a wild tangent, I d add that internet radio host Stefan Molyneux has artfully pointed out how politicians have since the time of Mises, it seems found how to fund spending programs of astronomical proportions without tangible public backlash simply borrow money and make the unborn pick up the tab Take it from those without even a voice to protest As far as I can tell right now, that immoral atrocity was not in the tool chest when this book was written in 1927 If it were in practice at the time, I think the author would have devoted special energy to the topic.Classical Liberalism would have, and still does, stand against this vile practice.OK, back to the book One slight damper on this book is how the author uses often then current events to illustrate his philosophy With most of this stuff I have some passing familiarity, but reading it kind of sucks my mind into the mini tornado of that particular item and time For me personally in today s world, it distracts a little from the philosophical stance that Mises occupies That stance is a good and principled one, and I would like, in my imagination, to have a book that is this book minus the illustrative side trips It would be about half this length, maybe less.In the appendix, he makes some slight mention of how the term Liberalism began to be expropriated my word by the socialists To confront an imaginary incarnation of an early and true Classical Liberal with how this word is used today would be all of funny, sad, outrageous, bewildering How harmful war is to the development of human civilization becomes clearly apparent once one understands the advantages derived from the division of labor The division of labor turns the self sufficient individual into the dependent on his fellow men, the social animal of which Aristotle spoke Hostilities between one animal and another, or between one savage and another, in no way alter the economic basis of their existence The matter is quite different when a quarrel that has to be decided by an appeal to arms breaks out among the members of a community in which labor is divided In such a society each individual has a specialized function no one is any longer in a position to live independently, because all have need of one another s aid and support Self sufficient farmers, who produce on their own farms everything that they and their families need, can make war on one another But when a village divides into factions, with the smith on one side and the shoemaker on the other, one faction will have to suffer from want of shoes, and the other from want of tools and weapons Civil war destroys the division of labor inasmuch as it compels each group to content itself with the labor of its own adherents If you ve not encountered von Mises before, please know that his use of the word Liberalism is generally not what we mean by the word today in our common speech It is worth a few moments to read this, lifted from Wikipedia Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government The philosophy emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States It advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, private property rights, and belief in laissez faire economic liberalism Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, including ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, Jean Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo It drew on a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law, utilitarianism, and a belief in progress.Not the platform of today s liberals, by any means Here is a passage that really does a fine job of capturing the spirit of von Mises Those who advocate equality of income distribution overlook the most important point, namely, that the total available for distribution, the annual product of social labor, is not independent of the manner in which it is divided The fact that that product today is as great as it is, is not a natural or technological phenomenon independent of all social conditions, but entirely the result of our social institutions Only because inequality of wealth is possible in our social order, only because it stimulates everyone to produce as much as he can and at the lowest cost, does mankind today have at its disposal the total annual wealth now available for consumption Were this incentive to be destroyed, productivity would be so greatly reduced that the portion that an equal distribution would allot to each individual would be far less than what even the poorest receives today Here is another If this is not enough to make the difference plain, there is no further attempt possible that could succeed As the liberal sees it, the task of the state consists solely and exclusively in guaranteeing the protection of life, health, liberty, and private property against violent attacks Everything that goes beyond this is an evil A government that, instead of fulfilling its task, sought to go so far as actually to infringe on personal security of life and health, freedom, and property would, of course, be altogether bad In spite of all persecutions, however, the institution of private property has survived Neither the animosity of all governments, nor the hostile campaign waged against it by writers and moralists and by churches and religions, nor the resentment of the masses itself deeply rooted in instinctive envy has availed to abolish it Every attempt to replace it with some other method of organizing production and distribution has always of itself promptly proved unfeasible to the point of absurdity People have had to recognize that the institution of private property is indispensable The productivity of the capitalist mode of production is the outcome of the capitalist mentality and of the capitalist approach to man and to the satisfaction of man s wants it is a result of modern technology only in so far as the development of technology must, of necessity, follow from the capitalist mentality. Liberalism The Classical Tradition is a good and an important book However, the book is written with certain presuppositions in mind, such as the importance of division of labor and private ownership of the means of production The two are the necessary foundations for the Liberal society and discussed in great detail in Ludwig von Mises s other book, Socialism An Economic and Sociological Analysis Because of these omissions, this book will be beneficial to people already familiar with previous works as this book skips economic basics and deals directly with political, and social, consequences of illiberal societies.Though the book was published in 1927, the ideas discussed in the book are relevant today as well In fact, this book will be relevant as long as there is a struggle between liberalism and illiberalism.In explaining why Liberalism is a better ideal when compared against others, such as Socialism, Fascism, Imperialism, economic protectionism, etc, Ludwig von Mises states that Liberalism is neither religion, nor worldview, and not party of special interests Rather, in author s own words, it is an ideology, a doctrine of the mutual relationship among the members of society and, at the same time, the application of this doctrine to the conduct of men in actual society It promises nothing that exceeds what can be accomplished in society and through society It seeks to give men only one thing, the peaceful, undisturbed development of material well being for all, in order thereby to shield them from the external causes of pain and suffering as far as it lies within the power of social institutions to do so at all To diminish suffering, to increase happiness that is its aim.