Mises on private property, freedom, peace, and equality
Ludwig von Mises asserts in his book ‘liberalism’ that classical liberal freedoms are essential in promoting peace, social harmony, and general welfare in society. He argues that these freedoms included the rights to private property, equality, and peace. According to Mises (1962), private ownership of property is fundamental in a market economy. Private property regards the factors of production in capital and land. By ensuring private ownership of the factors of production, the owners work towards employing them to meet the needs and satisfaction of other people’s wants (Mises, 1962). Private ownership of property allows the owners to compete so that they can gain any advantage from their property. The idea that these owners control the factors of production submits them to work towards meeting the demands of the public.
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Private ownership allows them to employ the factors of production in the best way possible to satisfy the needs of the consumers. Mises asserts that freedom should become granted to all or else when it gets denied the progress of mankind may become hindered. Freedom allows man to do both good and bad within a society (Mises, 1962). Economic freedom allows individuals to decide on how to integrate themselves within a society. He postulates that without freedom in a market economy, political liberties and bills of rights become deceptive and false. Political and economic freedom must go in tandem to ensure a prosperous society. Freedom within a society ensures that the society continues to function even when its members disagree in their judgments (Mises, 1962). Freedom ensures that members within a society become interdependent. When members in a society attain economic freedom, they begin to desire such freedom in other areas of their lives.
A desire for freedom in all aspects of a society brings about prosperity and progress. Mises provides two reasons as to why all men should get treated equally under law. He argues that equality ensures that human labor gets to attain its highest productivity (Mises, 1962). He asserts that a worker must become free to ensurethat he enjoys his work and wages. A free worker, according to Mises gets to fully immerse himself in his work such that he becomes fully productive.
Page 2 Liberalism – Ludwig von Mises Essay
Mises also argues that equality gets to ensure social peace. Social peace through equality ensures that there is peaceful development of thedivision of labor (Mises, 1962). Social peace can only get attained by respecting the rights and duties of all members of society irrespective of their social class and background. Inequality breeds disenfranchisement in the society among those who feel subjected to it. Mises asserts that society has grown out of peace. He states that war is harmful towards both the conquered and conqueror (Mises, 1962). He states that war does not create or support creation of wealth through economic action, but it rather destroys what is already in place (Mises, 1962). A market economy is dependent on peaceful cooperation. It crumbles in the face of war.
A market economy is reliant on peaceful exchange of goods and services and peaceful coexistence among the players. Only through peace can an economic system get to achieve its target of satisfying human needs and wants. Peace helps to bring out progress, success, and prosperity within a society. Mises on superiority of a capitalist system over a socialist system Mises comes out as a strong proponent for capitalism in his book. He distinguishes capitalism as an economic system where men get to provide for themselves and socialism as a system where they get provided for (Mises, 1962). He states that capitalism represents unending economic progress through its principle of marketing which aims at satisfying the needs of the populations. He argues that capitalism raises the average standard of living as it provides man with plenty through mass production.
Capitalism relies on competition which forces the owners of production to compete towards supplying the consumers with products of the highest quality at a cheaper price (Mises, 1962). Capitalism marks an economic democracy where factors of production collide naturally to satisfy wants. Capitalism ensures sovereignty of the consumers and free enterprise for the owners of factors of production. Capitalism also allows for economic planning as individuals and businesses get forced to become interdependent, and thus adjust their plans in accordance to those of others (Mises, 1962).
According to Mises, socialism removes the incentive of profit and loss. It makes the owners of production to become disinterested in organizing their factors of production for mass production (Mises, 1962). Socialism also curtails the basic principle of private ownership which is fundamental to the prosperity of a society. Socialism implies that the price system gets done away with and there is no process of division of labour. This makes it impossible to undertake economic calculation, planning and coordination leading to chaos in a society (Mises, 1962). Without economic calculation, it is impossible to undertake any economic activity. He also further argued that since socialism does not stimulate economic planning it relies on government intervention. Government intervention in a socialist system may result to the rise of a supreme dictator who may curtail on the freedoms of society members. Conclusion
Von Mises book on ‘liberalism’ details on the essentials required for the prosperity of a society. He argues that private property, equality, freedom, and peace are the tenets that are necessary for a free and prosperous society. In the book, he also forwards the case for a capitalist system over a socialist economy.See More on Economic liberalism