Etatism and Totalitarianism: The Legacy of Mises’s Omnipotent Government

Source: EconLog
by Alberto Mingardi

“Classical liberalism ‘had a good war.’ In 1944, two seminal books in this tradition of thought were published. The first of these was F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, the other Omnipotent Government by Ludwig von Mises. They were complemented the following year by Karl Popper’s Open Society and Its Enemies. Hayek’s book soon became a classic, and it is still considered a force to be reckoned with. Mises’s book has been less fortunate. Yet it is an important contribution, for at least two reasons. On the one hand, Mises offers his explanation of what made German politics degenerate to the point of trusting her fate into Hitler’s hands. On the other hand, Mises offers a complex understanding of the consequences of what he calls ‘etatism’ in the international sphere.” (06/07/21)