Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War

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Published in 1944, during World War II, Omnipotent Government was Mises's first book written and published after he arrived in the United States. In this volume Mises provides in economic terms an explanation of the international conflicts that caused both world wars. Although written more than half a century ago, Mises's main theme still stands:  government interference in the economy leads to conflicts and wars. According to Mises, the last and best hope for peace is liberalism—the philosophy of liberty, free markets, limited government, and democracy.

Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) was the leading spokesman of the Austrian School of economics throughout most of the twentieth century. He earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna in 1906. In 1926, Mises founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research. From 1909 to 1934, he was an economist for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Before the Anschluss, in 1934 Mises left for Geneva, where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until 1940, when he emigrated to New York City. From 1948 to 1969, he was a visiting professor at New York University.

Bettina Bien Greaves is a former resident scholar, trustee, and longtime staff member of the Foundation for Economic Education. She has written and lectured extensively on topics of free market economics. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Human Events, Reason, and The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. A student of Mises, Greaves has become an expert on his work in particular and that of the Austrian School of economics in general. She has translated several Mises monographs, compiled an annotated bibliography of his work, and edited collections of papers by Mises and other members of the Austrian School.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865977549
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2011
  • Series: Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 1,505,646
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Liberty Fund Edition xi
Preface xiii

Introduction 1

PART I The Collapse of German Liberalism

CHAPTER I German Liberalism
1 The Ancien Régime and Liberalism 23
2 The Weakness of German Liberalism 28
3 The Prussian Army 29
4 The Constitutional Conflict in Prussia 33
5 The "Little German" Program 34
6 The Lassalle Episode 37

CHAPTER II The Triumph of Militarism
1 The Prussian Army in the New German Empire 39
2 German Militarism 41
3 The Liberals and Militarism 46
4 The Current Explanation of the Success of Militarism 48

PART II Nationalism

1 The New Mentality 53
2 The State 55
3 The Political and Social Doctrines of Liberalism 57
4 Socialism 60
5 Socialism in Russia and in Germany 65
6 Interventionism 68
7 Etatism and Protectionism 77
8 Economic Nationalism and Domestic Monopoly Prices 80
9 Autarky 84
10 German Protectionism 86

CHAPTER IV Etatism and Nationalism
1 The Principle of Nationality 91
2 The Linguistic Group 97
3 Liberalism and the Principle of Nationality 102
4 Aggressive Nationalism 106
5 Colonial Imperialism 110
6 Foreign Investment and Foreign Loans 115
7 Total War 118
8 Socialism and War 122

CHAPTER V Refutation of Some Fallacious Explanations
1 The Shortcomings of Current Explanations 126
2 The Alleged Irrationality of Nationalism 127
3 The Aristocratic Doctrine 130
4 Misapprehended Darwinism 135
5 The Role of Chauvinism 137
6 The Role of Myths 140

PART III German Nazism

CHAPTER VI The Peculiar Characteristics of German Nationalism
1 The Awakening 147
2 The Ascendancy of Pan-Germanism 149
3 German Nationalism within an Etatist World 154
4 A Critique of German Nationalism 157
5 Nazism and German Philosophy 159
6 Polylogism 163
7 Pan-Germanism and Nazism 167

CHAPTER VII The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany
1 The Legend 169
2 Marxism and the Labor Movement 171
3 The German Workers and the German State 176
4 The Social Democrats within the German Caste System 183
5 The Social Democrats and War 186

CHAPTER VIII Anti-Semitism and Racism
1 The Role of Racism 191
2 The Struggle against the Jewish Mind 197
3 Interventionism and Legal Discrimination against Jews 204
4 The "Stab in the Back" 209
5 Anti-Semitism as a Factor in International Politics 211

CHAPTER IX The Weimar Republic and Its Collapse
1 The Weimar Constitution 217
2 The Abortive Socialization 227
3 The Armed Parties 231
4 The Treaty of Versailles 236
5 The Economic Depression 244
6 Nazism and German Labor 245
7 The Foreign Critics of Nazism 247

CHAPTER X Nazism as a World Problem
1 The Scope and Limitations of History 255
2 The Fallacy of the Concept of "National Character" 257
3 Germany's Rubicon 260
4 The Alternative 264

PART IV The Future of Western Civilization

CHAPTER XI The Delusions of World Planning
1 The Term "Planning" 269
2 The Dictatorship Complex 270
3 A World Government 272
4 Planned Production 275
5 Foreign Trade Agreements 279
6 Monetary Planning 281
7 Planning International Capital Transactions 284

CHAPTER XII Peace Schemes
1 Armament Control 286
2 A Critique of Some Other Schemes Proposed 290
3 The Union of the Western Democracies 296
4 Peace in Eastern Europe 302
5 The Problems of Asia 310
6 The Role of the League of Nations 312

Conclusion 315
Index 323

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