The Rise of the Total State and Total War
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Liberty Fund
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Title Page, Copyright
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Foreword to the Liberty Fund Edition
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Ludwig von Mises, eminent economist, was the leading spokesman for the Austrian School of economics throughout half of the twentieth century. Born in pre–World War I Austria-Hungary, he spent most of his working life in Vienna, teaching at the University of Vienna and advising the Austrian government on economic affairs. ...
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In dealing with the problems of social and economic policies, the social sciences consider only one question: whether the measures suggested are really suited to bringing about the effects sought by their authors, or whether they result in a state of affairs which—from the viewpoint of their supporters—is even more undesirable ...
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The essential point in the plans of the German National Socialist Workers’ party is the conquest of Lebensraum for the Germans, i.e., a territory so large and rich in natural resources that they could live in economic self-sufficiency at a standard not lower than that of any other nation. ...
Part I: The Collapse of German Liberalism
I. German Liberalism
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It is a fundamental mistake to believe that Nazism is a revival or a continuation of the policies and mentalities of the ancien régime or a display of the “Prussian spirit.” Nothing in Nazism takes up the thread of the ideas and institutions of older German history. ...
II. The Triumph of Militarism
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In the late afternoon of September 1, 1870, King William I, surrounded by a pompous staff of princes and generals, was looking down from a hill south of the Meuse at the battle in progress, when an officer brought the news that the capitulation of Napoleon III and his whole army was imminent. ...
Part II: Nationalism
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The most important event in the history of the last hundred years is the displacement of liberalism by etatism. Etatism appears in two forms: socialism and interventionism. Both have in common the goal of subordinating the individual unconditionally to the state, the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion. ...
IV. Etatism and Nationalism
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In the early nineteenth century the political vocabulary of the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland did not differentiate between the concepts state, people, and nation. The conquests which expanded the realm and brought countries and their inhabitants into subjection did not alter the size of the nation and the state. ...
V. Refutation of Some Fallacious Explanations
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The current explanations of modern nationalism are far from recognizing that nationalism within our world of international division of labor is the inevitable outcome of etatism. We have already exposed the fallacies of the most popular of these explanations, namely, of the Marxian theory of imperialism. ...
Part III. German Nazism
VI. The Peculiar Characteristics of German Nationalism
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German nationalism did not differ from other peoples’ nationalism until—in the late 1870’s and early ’80’s—the German nationalists made what they believed to be a great discovery. They discovered that their nation was the strongest in Europe. They concluded that Germany was therefore powerful enough to subdue Europe or even the whole world. ...
VII. The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany
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The older legend, developed before 1914, runs like this: The German bourgeoisie have betrayed freedom to German militarism. They have taken refuge with the imperial government in order to preserve, through the protection of the Prussian Army, their position as an exploiting class, which was menaced by the fair claims of labor. ...
VIII. Anti-Semitism and Racism
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German chauvinism claims for the Germans a lofty ancestry. They are the scions of the Nordic-Aryan master race, which includes all those who have contributed to the development of human civilization. The Nordic is tall, slim, with fair hair and blue eyes; he is wise, a gallant fighter, heroic, ready to sacrifice, and animated by “Faustic” ardor. ...
IX. The Weimar Republic and Its Collapse
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The main argument brought forward in favor of the Hohenzollern militarism was its alleged efficiency. Democracy, said the nationalist professors, may be a form of government adequate to small countries, whose independence is safeguarded by the mutual rivalries of the great powers, ...
X. Nazism as a World Problem
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It is the function of historical research to trace historical events back to their sources. The historian has to demonstrate how any historical situation developed out of previously existing—natural and social— conditions and how the actions of men and occurrences beyond human control transformed any previous state of affairs ...
Part IV: The Future of Western Civilization
XI. The Delusions of World Planning
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It is obvious that in this age of international division of labor, on the one hand, and of government interference with business on the other, unrestricted sovereignty for each nation must lead to economic nationalism and through it to conflict. No one ventures to deny that economic nationalism and peace are incompatible. ...
XII. Peace Schemes
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It would be an illusion to assume that any nation today is prepared to abandon protectionism. As the ruling parties favor government interference with business and national planning, they cannot demolish the trade barriers erected by their own countries. ...
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The eighteenth-century liberals had full confidence in man’s perfectibility. All men, they held, are equal and endowed with the faculty of grasping the meaning of complicated inferences. They will therefore grasp the teachings of economics and social philosophy; ...
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Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2012