Ludwig von Mises Latin America’s Leading Economist

Argentine President Javier Milei admires Mises, and he has adopted some Misesian ideas, such as the notion that “the middle of the road leads to socialism.”

That is an impressive comeback for Mises, who died in 1973 without ever receiving mainstream acceptance in academia. After emigrating to the US in 1940, he retired as a visiting professor in 1969. 

Yet as of this writing he has three titles on Amazon’s list of the 10 best-selling economics books.

Meanwhile, among free-market types, the vibes have shifted in a way that has boosted the influence of Mises.  

Hayek’s writing style was also more gentle, while Mises was uncompromising. As Hayek said about Mises’s book on socialism, published in 1922: “At first we all felt he was frightfully exaggerating and even offensive in tone.”

Opinions will differ on whether the resurgence of Mises is a good thing. All I can say is that I think about Mises more than I did 10 years ago. His early books Socialism and Liberalism are 20th-century classics and remain underrated. 

Marx and Engels also had their polemical side, and yet they still are cited frequently in polite company and treated as serious thinkers.

Mises, despite his excesses, was far more correct than they were.

Tyler Cowen Bloomberg 16 april 2024

Mises Institute


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