Omnipotent Government (Ludwig von Mises) pdf, epub, doc

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 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 more government interference as progress toward a more 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.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Lowe Press
  • File: 1.5 Mb
  • Ganre: Economics
  • Release: 01.03.2007
  • ISBN: 9781406741940
  • Pages 312
  • Rating: 4.12 (108 votes)

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