[Reading] ➸ Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War Author Ludwig von Mises – Saudionline.co.uk

Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War chapter 1 Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, meaning Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, genre Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, book cover Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, flies Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War 4ac70f2fd9a58 Many Of The Earliest Books, Particularly Those Dating Back To The S And Before, Are Now Extremely Scarce And Increasingly Expensive We Are Republishing These Classic Works In Affordable, High Quality, Modern Editions, Using The Original Text And Artwork


10 thoughts on “Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War

  1. says:

    Updated 24 March 2017Very timely, especially considering the book came out in 1944, during WWII.I read this book originally about 1979 or 1980 and loved it.Just read it again, at the urging of Jeff Tucker, over the last year and a half No regrets in spending the time needed to reread at all In fact, I am very glad I did.The book is about the rise of Nationalism in general with special, but not exclusive, focus on Nazism in particular But it is NOT your typical book about Hitler and the Nazis, that is for sure.For example, the book is divided into four major sections I The Collapse of German Liberalism classical liberalism that is, not your current statist American conception of liberalism II NationalismIII NazismIV The Future of Western CivilizationGee, starting with classical liberalism in Germany, how odd Was there even any Well, there were some really great classical liberal thinkers from Germany, such as Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang Goethe But it is true that the support classical liberal ideas gained among the German people was always fairly thin and virtually snuffed out before the 20th Century And what took it s place was it s virtual opposite militarism.In addition to militarism in Germany, came the rise over all of Europe of the ideas of nationalism, etatism statism , interventionism, protectionism, autarky, social democracy one of the socialist ideology implementations , racism, polylogism, economic depression, and planning by that Mises means Government coercive planning, NOT everyone making their own plans, coordinated by the voluntary transactions and institutions of the marketplace Though he does not dwell too much on the US, Mises notes how far the US succumbed to these ideas too He is certainly right, objectively speaking.One of the key points of the book is how these various ideas work together and sometimes in contention, to overrun the classical liberal ideas of peace, private property, harmony and freedom All these ideas are still with us today Our recent presidential election had most of the bad ideas in full hype mode, in contrast to the little time and energy devoted to classical liberal ideas not an auspicious indicator for good ideas to prevail over the statist ideas.Let s just take one of the main ideas that both major 2016 Presidential candidates agreed on, and President Trump made a major focus of his campaign protectionism Mises devotes much discussion of the background, workings, and consequences of this policy and he clearly demonstrates how protectionism leads to virtually nothing but deprivation a poorer state of affairs and war With headlines like this today when this review was orig written in Nov 2016 China We ll block iPhone sales if Trump imposes tariffs All out trade war promised if president elect follows through on campaign promises anyone can see pretty vividly how such a policy could start to impact major US companies and citizens Combining that with military threats and bluster over far away newly created islands in the South China Sea, the connection between the ideology of nationalism, protectionism and war can be easily made Mises explains these connections from the devastating perspective of WWII the book was written in the early 40s and published in 1944.My recommendation is for anyone interested in peace, in free markets, in the harmony of human interests, in a better world, to read this book By doing so, you will gain an appreciation for the history and ideas that created their opposite effects too two world wars, the popularity of military dictators or any strong man to lead government and other pernicious effects that are still with us But than that, you will know the alternative the free market and the peace and prosperity that private property and free and unhampered markets can bring.


  2. says:

    This edition is beautiful.Liberty Fund creates some of the best value classic books around and this one is a good example.Acid free paper, attached bookmark, clear printing, nice cover and an excellent short new Foreward to this edition by the series editor Bettina Bien Greaves, mean that this will be the best reference for years and many readings to come Oh, it also fixed a flaw in the typesetting that I had noticed a transposed line in the earlier edition that I had previously read.I won t review this book separately here, since I just wrote my review after reading an older edition a few days ago See it here I will say that the Foreward by Bettina Bien Greaves is definitely worth checking out and clarified one particular statement by Mises in the book and confirmed another He used the term smash Nazism and she put his meaning in context She also confirmed for me that when he used the term United Nations he meant the allies or allied countries during WWII.Also love her summation quote of Mises Etatism Statism is the occupational disease of rulers, warriors, and civil servants Governments become liberal limited only when forced to by the citizens p 69.


  3. says:

    This book is of paramount value for any political science scholars or anyone who is interested in such field There was no intent to fully grasp every doctrines illuminated by Mises in this book when I first read it But it was manageable to synthesize some key points and added my own evaluations I two ideological trends In the Western history of last five hundred years, there are two distinctive ideological trends Enlightenment initiated first the trend of individualism freedom, the rights of man, and self determination This individualistic trend resulted in the fall of autocreatic government, the establishment of democracy, the evolution of capitalism, technical improvements, and an unprecedented rise in standards of living It substituted enlightenment for old superstitions, scientific methods of research for inveterate prejudices It was an epoch of great artistic and literary achievements, the age of immortal musicians, painters, writers, and philosophers And it brushed away slavery, serfdom, torture, inquisition, and other remnants of the dark ages Hegelian philosophors initiated the second trend, the trend toward state omnipotence Men now seem eager to vest all powers in governments, i.e., in the apparatus of social compulsion and coercion They aim at totalitarianism, that is, conditions in which all human affairs are managed by governments They hail every step toward government interference as progress toward a perfect world they are confident that the governments will transform the earth into a paradise II Totalitarian and its logic to war This book effectively illuminate the topic of the later, etatism or national socialism in a broad context of international relations In particular, the confrontation of totalitarianism with international division of labor yields significant consequences Economic considerations are pushing every totalitarian government toward world domination There are surprising resemblance of political nature between Soviet government, Nazis Deutsches Reich and Japanese Empire during WWII These totalitarian regimes all wanted to rule the world For instance, Soviet union does not contain any reference to Russia, and it was the goal of Lenin to make it the nucleus of a world government Thus, etatism and totalitarianism prevented peaceful cooperation of nations and led to But the real paradox in WWII is that a return to liberalism could not open the way toward peaceful cooperation of nations Historical antagonism had engendered hatreds and manipulated public s minds which can vanish only in centuries Adoption of laissez faire policy under such conditions would tantamount to an unconditional surrender to the totalitarian nations Thus, the only hope to a sustainable world peace is for totalitarian nations to abandon etatism tendency However, Mises didn t anticipate the emergence of nuclear weapons which effectively prevent large scale total wars between totalitarian states in the later history In totalitarian states, Mises concluded that public opinion hs espoused a set of dogmas which there is hardly any freedom to attack At the same time, totalitarian government s methods of violence or threat for its protection reveals its inner weakness, the weakness of its doctrine and ideology that can not stand the trial of logic and reason, and thus they must keep persecuting skeptics It is futile to advance historical or geographical reasons in support of political ambitions which cannot stand the criticism of democratic principles Democratic government can safeguard peace and international cooperation because it does not aim at the oppression of other peoples If some people pretend that history or geography gives them the right to subjugate other races, nations, or people, there can be no peace Inherent destiny give totalitarian regimes reasons to justify their ambitions and aggression Although we can erase our memories, but it is not the task of history to kindle new conflicts by reviving hatreds long since dead and by searching the archives for pretexts or justifications of new conflicts The purpose of living at the moment is not to revenge crimes committed centuries ago by kings and conquerors, but we need to build a new and better world order But in most cases, such relevance to age old antagonism became the excuse or justification for current government to wage a new conflict As Mises concluded Neither destiny nor history nor geography nor anthropology must hinder us from choosing those methods of political organization which can make for durable peace, international cooperation, and economic prosperity III Why Liberalism no longer works in our time How Marxism facilitates totalitarian regime Realization of liberalism is impossible in our time, because people lack the mental ability to absorb the principles of sound economics Most men are too dull to follow complicated chains of reasoning In other words, liberalism failed because the intellectual capacities of the immense majority were insufficient for the task of comprehension Even in Marxis doctrine, Marx assumed both that socialism best suits the interests of the proletariat and the proletarians will comprehend it In reality, take China for example, the average peasants hardly understood socialism In fact, recent Marxians have abandoned these metaphysical illusions They no longer hope that a single pattern of socialism can meet with the comprehension and approval from majority, and that their own ideal will be supported by the whole proletariat In stead, these Marxians are now convinced that only an elite class has the intellectual power to understand the blessings of genuine socialism They thought that this elite class has the sacred duty to seize power by violent action, to exterminate all adversaries, to establish the socialist millennium and to maintain the regime with government s total control Thus, regimes under Lenin, Stalin and Hilter had prefect agreements and similar procedures They differ only in respect to the question of who the elite is Liberals repel Marxism, for they reject coercion and oppression They believe that dictatorship will result in endless internal conflict, wars and revolutions Stable government requires the free consent of those ruled Tyranny, even the tyranny of benevolent despots, cannot bring lasting peace and prosperity However, I am not completely convinced by that IV Recommendations for International Politics 1 Durable international peace is only possible under perfect capitalism and market economy, because there will be no economic causes of war My question is there are often other causes of war that Mises omitted without explanations 2.Free mobility of labor tends toward an equalization of the productivity of labor and thereby of wage rates all over the world My question is Has Mises considered the cultural infusion and alienation impacts on labor mobility 3 Protectionism and autarky 1 mean discrimination against foreign labor and capital 2 cause a policy of conquest for economic reasons Thus, if a government hinders the most productive use of its country s resources, it hurts the interests of all other nations 4 Socialism world government will face great oppositions from workers and labors, for labor in comparatively underpopulated countries is unlikely to relinquish its inherited privileges 5 Federal government can work only under a free market economy Thus, Mises s essential conclusion is as follow Our civilization is based on the international division of labor It can not survive under autarky Protectionism and autarky will lead to disintegration and pasteurization Such conditions expedite aggression of totalitarian states.


  4. says:

    Von Mises great achievement with this book was to outline the economic conditions of war and totalitarianism He argues very plausibly that faulty economic reasoning lies at the heart of both In a system of free trade and migration, nations meet each others as trading partners to cooperate with, not as competitors for natural resources The ensuring international division of labor is to the benefit of everyone This system, however, is still not realized because of the prevalence of the mercantilist myth that trade between nations harms the net importer, and the conclusion that some nations draw from this The dream of autarky A nation that cannot be self sufficient with its current resources, like Germany, can only be autark by conquering others, and therein lies the secret to the infamous bellicosity of the Nazis The return to autarky under a lower standard of living is rightly dismissed by von Mises, as our current population numbers couldn t be sustained if the international division of labor were to be abolished entirely If you re still sitting on the fence when it comes to the benefits of international trade, Omnipotent Government may be the book for you There is a lot to this book Of particular interest to fans of von Mises will be his view on secessionism, namely that all regions should be allowed to secede and join other nations, so that no minority will ever be forced to live under a state that would harm it With this, he treaded close to the anarchocapitalist idea, as Rothbard himself once pointed out He also draws attention to the importance of linguistic divisions, for example in shaping national identities, and along the way completely destroys the pretensions of national socialism to have been about race and genetics The antisemitism of the Nazis was inconsistent and incoherent, founded on racialist ideas and yet practically executed by discriminating against members of a specific religion with no regard for their physical characteristics, or sometimes by arbitrarily declaring something or someone to be Jewish Here is one of von Mises excellent quotes in this context The laws promulgated by the Nazis for discrimination against Jews and the offspring of Jews have nothing at all to do with racial considerations proper A law discriminating against people of a certain race would first have to enumerate with biological and physiological exactitude the characteristic features of the race concerned It would then have to decree the legal procedure and proper formalities by which the presence or absence of these characteristics could be duly established for every individual The validly executed final decisions of such procedures would then have to form the basis of the discrimination in each case The Nazis have chosen a different way They say, it is true, that they want to discriminate not against people professing the Jewish religion but against people belonging to the Jewish race Yet they define the members of the Jewish race as people professing the Jewish religion or descended from people professing the Jewish religion The characteristic legal feature of the Jewish race is, in the so called racial legislation of Nuremberg, the membership of the individual concerned or of his ancestors in the religious community of Judaism If a law pretends that it tends toward a discrimination against the shortsighted but defines shortsightedness as the quality of being bald, people using the generally accepted terminology would not call it a law to the disadvantage of the shortsighted but of the bald If Americans want to discriminate against Negroes, they do not go to the archives in order to study the racial affiliation of the people concerned they search the individual s body for traces of Negro descent Negroes and whites differ in racial i.e., bodily features but it is impossible to tell a Jewish German from a non Jewish one by any racial characteristic.For a work by von Mises, this book is heavy on historic data and narratives He often seems to clash with Erik von Kuehnelt Leddihn The two supplement each other perfectly, though Both are among the most brilliant political thinkers of the 20th century, and both excelled at different subjects while being competent in all the humanities Interestingly, the two were also personal friends, despite their manifold ideological differences.


  5. says:

    Ludwin Von Mises wrote Omnipotent Government in 1944 at the last days of WWII Mises describes the philosophical grounds of the Nazi movement A book rich in history background and a though provoking plan for the future.In the first part Mises explains the German Liberalism during the middle of the XIX when the ideas of the classical Liberalism were partially adopted in Germany According to Mises At about the middle of the nineteenth century those Germans interested in political issues were united in their adherence to liberalism Yet the German nation did not succeed in shaking off the yoke of absolutism and in establishing democracy and parliamentary government Mises explains the history of Germany from the late XVIII to the early XX with a different point of view from the dominant Socialist Historians Overall he shows how and why a powerful educated German society fell into Nazism The questions to be answered are not Why did the bankers and the rich entrepreneurs and capitalists desert liberalism Why did the professors, the doctors, and the lawyers not erect barricades We must rather ask Why did the German nation return to the Reichstag members who did not abolish absolutism Why was the army, formed for a great part of men who voted the socialist or the Catholic ticket, unconditionally loyal to its commanders Why could the antiliberal parties, foremost among them the Social Democrats, collect many millions of votes while the groups which remained faithful to the principles of liberalism lost and popular support Why did the millions of socialist voters who indulged in revolutionary babble acquiesce in the rule of princes and courts For Mises the German Liberals were unable to protect the principles and ideas that help them succeed They saw Socialism and Nazism as temporary setbacks and never recognize the deep roots of Etatism Soon Etatism armed with a strong military evolved into nationalism As soon as liberalism reached Germany and Italy the problem of the extent of the state and its boundaries was raised It solution seemed easy The nation is the community of all people speaking the same language the state s frontiers should coincide with the linguistic demarcations The principle of nationality is an outcome of the interpretation which people in Central and Eastern Europe, who never fully grasped the meaning of liberal ideas, gave to the principle of self determination It is a distortion, not a perfection, of liberal thought The nationalism originally define as unity of language evolved to unity of race The idea that Germany was the strongest among European nations contrasted with the defeat after WWI and the unacceptable conditions of the Versailles Treaty It fueled the legend of the stab in the back followed by the total failure of the Weimar Republic setting the conditions to the advent of Nazism The party sold itself as the enemy of the communist to the liberals and as saver of the poor from the bourgeois But overall a saver of the German Nationalism, nationalism now defined by race with a common enemy, Jews.Mises conclusion can be read two ways Considering the era when The Omnipotent Government was published he recognize the improbability of a liberal world, necessary to discard aggression from other countries, plus the risk of government to close their borders establishing autarkic states and starting aggression against their neighbors to eliminate its dependency But will all men rightly understand their own interests What if they do not This is the weak point in the liberal plea for a free world of peaceful co peration The realization of the liberal plan is impossible because at least for our time people lack the mental ability to absorb the principles of sound economics Most men are too dull to follow complicated chains of reasoning Liberalism failed because the intellectual capacities of the immense majority were insufficient for the task of comprehension But sixty years later we can read his conclusion as a kind of prophecy of how humanity is condemned to live with the risk of war supporting strong armies as long as the different flavors of etatism are not replaced by liberalism, where goods and people move freely anywhere in the world Is capitalism an all or nothing global condition for peace Are global coalitions and governments the only defense to totalitarian neighbors My rating 4 out of 5.


  6. says:

    This is a comparatively weak work in the Mises oeuvre It is not a book about economics, it is a history book covering the ideological changes in Germany that resulted in Nazism There are a bit polemics in this book, by Mises standards, compared to his other works, so at times it is difficult to tell how much of what he is saying is historical fact, and how much is his own interpretation.More importantly, Mises makes his case against Nazism both clearly and concisely in other works Anyone with a familiarity of his socialism of the German pattern vs socialism of the Russian pattern dichotomy will find much repetition in this book.But, perhaps it was written for a specific audience at a specific period of time While the first few chapters are of great interest to anyone in any time period, the majority of the book just feels to me as though it no longer applies to anything other than academic history.Don t get me wrong, it is a good book But while much of Mises work is of pressing importance today, this book stands out as being academic history So I recommend this one only to those who are diehard Mises fans, or those with an interest in WWII history Others may safely pass this one by.


  7. says:

    Even though this is written to explain the rise of Nazi Germany, it is still worth reading 1 The first part of the book explains how easy it is for a government to seize power from the people Many of the events and movements that he describes are applicable today The idea that government can cure ills is still a component of many people s philosophy and just as dangerous 2 As a piece of history, it is a contemporaneous analysis of the rise of the Nazi power written by a political economist who can observe the event first hand.


  8. says:

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  9. says:

    One of the most lucid analysis on the collapse of the liberal order and the rise of totalitarianism.


  10. says:

    a bit outdated and on the positivist end, this book gave me good insight on the liberal doctrine backed by logic flawless a times some arguments are still very recent recommended reading.


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