Back to index


Quotation Source Page Subject
Princes and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law. Are they not the supreme legislators? Don't they have the power to crush every opponent? No war lord is prone to acknowledge any limits other than those imposed on him by a superior armed force. Servile scribblers are always ready to foster such complacency by expounding the appropriate doctrines. They call their garbled presumptions "historical economics." In fact, economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics. Human Action p. 67; p. 67 Economics
Life and reality are neither logical nor illogical; they are simply given. Human Action p. 68; p. 68 Reason
The economist must never be a specialist. In dealing with any problem he must always fix his glance upon the whole system. Human Action p. 69; p. 69 Economics
A judgment of value does not measure, it arranges in a scale of degrees, it grades. It is expressive of an order of preference and sequence, but not expressive of measure and weight. Human Action p. 97; p. 97 Value
A man is free as far as he shapes his life according to his own plans. A man whose fate is determined by the plans of a superior authority, in which the exclusive power to plan is vested, is not free in the sense in which the term free was used and understood by all people until the semantic revolution of our day brought about a confusion of tongues. Human Action p. 285; p. 287 Tyranny
A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings. Human Action p. 676; p. 680 Socialism
A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings. Human Action p. 676; p. 680 Capitalism vs. Socialism
Action is a display of potency and control that are limited. It is a manifestation of man who is restrained by the circumscribed powers of his mind, the physiological nature of his body, the vicissitudes of his environment, and the scarcity of external factors on which his welfare depends. Human Action p. 70; p. 70 Action
Action is an attempt to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory one. We call such a willfully induced alteration an exchange. Human Action p. 97; p. 97 Action
Aggressive nationalism is the necessary derivative of the policies of interventionism and national planning. Human Action p. 819; p. 823 Nationalism
All capital goods sooner or later enter into final products and cease to exist through use, consumption, wear and tear. Human Action p. 514; p. 517 Capital
All present-day governments are fanatically committed to an easy money policy. Human Action p. 570; p. 572 Monetary Policy
All that a tariff can achieve is to divert production from those locations in which the output per unit of input is higher to locations in which it is lower. It does not increase production; it curtails it. Human Action p. 737; p. 744 Tariffs
All the effusions of the contemporary welfare school are, like those of the socialist authors, based on the implicit assumption that there is an abundant supply of capital goods. Then, of course, it seems easy to find a remedy for all ills, to give to everybody according to his needs and to make everyone perfectly happy. Human Action p. 844; p. 848 Capital
All the materials needed for the conduct of a war must be provided by restriction of civilian consumption, by using up a part of the capital available and by working harder. The whole burden of warring falls upon the living generation. Human Action p. 228; p. 227 War and Peace
All the sophisticated syllogisms of the ponderous volumes published by Marx, Engels, and hundreds of Marxian authors cannot conceal the fact that the only and ultimate source of Marx's prophecy is an alleged inspiration by virtue of which Marx claims to have guessed the plans of the mysterious powers determining the course of history. Like Hegel, Marx was a prophet communicating to the people the revelation that an inner voice had imparted to him. Human Action p. 691; p. 695 Marxism
All this passionate praise of the supereminence of government action is but a poor disguise for the individual interventionists self-deification. The great god State is a great god only because it is expected to do exclusively what the individual advocate of interventionism wants to see achieved. Human Action p. 727; pp. 731-32 Social Planning
All those intent upon sabotaging the evolution toward welfare, peace, freedom, and democracy loathed the gold standard, and not only on account of its economic significance. Human Action p. 470; p. 473 Gold Standard
Among the amenities which civilized man can enjoy in a more abundant way than his less civilized ancestors there is also the enjoyment of more leisure time. Human Action p. 133; p. 133 Leisure
An employer or an employee entrusted with the management of a department of an enterprise is free to discriminate in hiring workers, to fire them arbitrarily, or to cut down their wages below the market rate. But in indulging in such arbitrary acts he jeopardizes the profitability of his enterprise. Human Action p. 629; p. 634 Discrimination
An entrepreneur cannot be trained. Human Action p. 311 p. 314 Entrepreneurs
An essential point in the social philosophy of interventionism is the existence of an inexhaustible fund which can be squeezed forever. The whole system of interventionism collapses when this fountain is drained off: The Santa Claus principle liquidates itself. Human Action p. 854; p. 858 Welfare
As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake. Human Action p. 875; p. 878 Economics
As far as there is unhampered capitalism, there is no longer any question of poverty in the sense in which this term is applied to the conditions of a noncapitalistic society. Human Action p. 832; p. 836 Poverty
As soon as the economic freedom which the market economy grants to its members is removed, all political liberties and bills of rights become humbug. Human Action p. 284; p. 287 Freedom
Assistance granted to the unemployed does not dispose of unemployment. It makes it easier for the unemployed to remain idle. Human Action p. 770; p. 776 Unemployment Insurance
At no time and at no place was it possible for enterprises employing servile labor to compete on the market with enterprises employing free labor. Servile labor could always be utilized only where it did not have to meet the competition of free labor. Human Action p. 626; p. 630 Slavery
Bureaucratic conduct of affairs is conduct bound to comply with detailed rules and regulations fixed by the authority of a superior body. It is the only alternative to profit management. . . . Whenever the operation of a system is not directed by the profit motive, it must be directed by bureaucratic rules. Human Action p. 307; p. 310 Bureaucracy
Capitalism gave the world what it needed, a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people. Human Action pp. 860-61; p. 864 Capitalism
Civilization is an achievement of the bourgeois spirit, not of the spirit of conquest. Those barbarian peoples who did not substitute working for plundering disappeared from the historical scene. Human Action p. 645; p. 650 Society
Collaboration of the more talented, more able, and more industrious with the less talented, less able, and less industrious results in benefit for both. The gains derived from the division of labor are always mutual. Human Action p. 159; p. 160 Equality
Competitors aim at excellence and preeminence in accomplishments within a system of mutual cooperation. The function of competition is to assign to every member of the social system that position in which he can best serve the whole of society and all its members. Human Action p. 117; p. 117 Competition
Credit expansion and inflationary increase of the quantity of money frustrate the common mans attempts to save and to accumulate reserves for less propitious days. Human Action p. 834; p. 838 Inflation
Credit expansion is the governments foremost tool in their struggle against the market economy. In their hands it is the magic wand designed to conjure away the scarcity of capital goods, to lower the rate of interest or to abolish it altogether, to finance lavish government spending, to expropriate the capitalists, to contrive everlasting booms, and to make everybody prosperous. Human Action p. 788; p. 794 Credit
Each individual, in buying or not buying and in selling or not selling, contributes his share to the formation of the market prices. But the larger the market is, the smaller is the weight of each individuals contribution. Thus the structure of market prices appears to the individual as a datum to which he must adjust his own conduct. Human Action p. 328; p. 331 Price
Each party attaches a higher value to the good he receives than to that he gives away. The exchange ratio, the price, is not the product of an equality of valuation, but, on the contrary, the product of a discrepancy in valuation. Human Action pp. 328-29; p. 331 Exchange
Economic nationalism is incompatible with durable peace. Yet economic nationalism is unavoidable where there is government interference with business. Protectionism is indispensable where there is no domestic free trade. Where there is government interference with business, free trade even in the short run would frustrate the aims sought by the various interventionist measures. Human Action p. 682; p. 686 Protectionism
Economic nationalism, the necessary complement of domestic interventionism, hurts the interests of foreign peoples and thus creates international conflict. It suggests the idea of amending this unsatisfactory state of affairs by war. Human Action p. 827; p. 831 Nationalism
Economics deals merely with the socialist plans, not with the psychological factors that impel people to espouse the religion of statolatry. Human Action p. 689; p. 693 Socialism
Economics does not say that isolated government interference with the prices of only one commodity or a few commodities is unfair, bad, or unfeasible. It says that such interference produces results contrary to its purpose, that it makes conditions worse, not better, from the point of view of the government and those backing its interference. Human Action p. 758; p. 764 Price Control
Economics is not about goods and services; it is about human choice and action. Human Action p. 491; p. 494 Economics
Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of mans human existence. Human Action p. 874; p. 878 Economics
Economics, as a branch of the more general theory of human action, deals with all human action, i.e., with mans purposive aiming at the attainment of ends chosen, whatever these ends may be. Human Action p. 880; p. 884 Action
Estimates of future volume of production, future sales, future costs, or future profits or losses are not facts, but speculative anticipations. There are no facts about future profits. Human Action p. 812; p. 816 Risk
Even the most orthodox Marxians are not bold enough to support seriously its essential thesis, namely, that capitalism results in a progressive impoverishment of the wage earners. Human Action p. 691; p. 694 Marxism
Every branch of knowledge has its own merits and its own rights. Economists have never tried to belittle or deny the significance of economic history. Neither do real historians object to the study of economics. Human Action p. 864; p. 868 Knowledge
Every grant of credit is a speculative entrepreneurial venture, the success or failure of which is uncertain. Human Action p. 536; p. 539 Creditors
Every socialist is a disguised dictator. Human Action p. 689; p. 693 Socialism
Every step by which an individual substitutes concerted action for isolated action results in an immediate and recognizable improvement in his conditions. The advantages derived from peaceful cooperation and division of labor are universal. Human Action p. 146; p. 146 Society
Everything that is thought, done and accomplished is a performance of individuals. New ideas and innovations are always an achievement of uncommon men. Human Action pp. 859-60; p. 863 Genius
Fiat money is a money consisting of mere tokens which can neither be employed for any industrial purposes nor convey a claim against anybody. Human Action p. 426; p. 429 Money
For the primary task of reason is to cope consciously with the limitations imposed upon man by nature, to fight against scarcity. Human Action p. 237; p. 236 Nature
For two hundred years the governments have interfered with the markets choice of the money medium. Even the most bigoted étatists do not venture to assert that this interference has proved beneficial. Human Action p. 419; p. 422 Money
Freedom is indivisible. As soon as one starts to restrict it, one enters upon a decline on which it is difficult to stop. Human Action p. 319; p. 322 Freedom
Government does not have the power to encourage one branch of production except by curtailing other branches. It withdraws the factors of production from those branches in which the unhampered market would employ them and directs them into other branches. Human Action p. 737; p. 744 Protectionism
Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of what is called economic freedom. Human Action p. 283 Government
Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Human Action p. 283; p. 285 Government
Governments cannot free themselves from the pressure of public opinion. They cannot rebel against the preponderance of generally accepted ideologies, however fallacious. But this does not excuse the officeholders who could resign rather than carry out policies disastrous for the country. Human Action p. 787; p. 793 Public Opinion
He who invested his funds in bonds issued by the government and its subdivisions was no longer subject to the inescapable laws of the market and to the sovereignty of the consumers. He was no longer under the necessity of investing his funds in such a way that they would best serve the wants and needs of the consumers. Human Action p. 226; p. 225 Public Debt
History can tell us what happened in the past. But it cannot assert that it must happen again in the future. Human Action p. 546; p. 549 History
History does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government. As far as governments invested in the construction of roads, railroads, and other useful public works, the capital needed was provided by the savings of individual citizens and borrowed by the government. Human Action p. 847; p. 851 Capital
History speaks only to those people who know how to interpret it. Human Action p. 859; p. 863 History
How uneasy an American worker would be if he were forced to live in the style of a medieval lord and to miss the plumbing facilities and the other gadgets he simply takes for granted! Human Action p. 612; p. 616 Standard of Living
Human action is purposeful behavior. Human Action p. 11; p. 11 Action
Human life is an unceasing sequence of single actions. Human Action p. 45; p. 45 Action
If inflation is pushed to its ultimate consequences, it makes any stipulation of deferred payments in terms of the inflated currency cease altogether. Human Action p. 779; p. 785 Inflation
If the credit expansion is not stopped in time, the boom turns into the crack-up boom; the flight into real values begins, and the whole monetary system founders. Human Action p. 559; p. 562 Credit
If the government objects to monopoly prices for new inventions, it should stop granting patents. Human Action p. 760; p. 766 Patents
In abolishing economic calculation the general adoption of socialism would result in complete chaos and the disintegration of social cooperation under the division of labor. Human Action p. 857; p. 861 Socialism
In calling a rise in the masses standard of living progress and improvement, economists do not espouse a mean materialism. They simply establish the fact that people are motivated by the urge to improve the material conditions of their existence. Human Action pp. 193-94; p. 193 Material Well-Being
In nature there prevail irreconcilable conflicts of interest. The means of subsistence are scarce. Proliferation tends to outrun subsistence. Only the fittest plants and animals survive. The antagonism between an animal starving to death and another that snatches the food away from it is implacable. Human Action pp. 273-74; p. 273 Nature
In reality no food is valued solely for its nutritive power and no garment or house solely for the protection it affords against cold weather and rain…. the demand for goods is widely influenced by metaphysical, religious, and ethical considerations, by aesthetic value judgments, by customs, habits, prejudice, tradition, changing fashions, and many other things. Human Action p. 234; p. 233 Material Goods
In the hegemonic state there is neither right nor law; there are only directives and regulations which the director may change daily and apply with what discrimination he pleases which the wards must obey. The wards have one freedom only: to obey without asking questions. Human Action p. 199; p. 198 Tyranny
In the long run there cannot be any such thing as an unpopular system of government. Human Action p. 859; p. 863 Public Opinion
In the long run war and the preservation of the market economy are incompatible. Capitalism is essentially a scheme for peaceful nations. Human Action p. 824; p. 828 War and Peace
In the market economy the worker sells his services as other people sell their commodities. The employer is not the employees lord. He is simply the buyer of services which he must purchase at their market price. Human Action p. 629; pp. 633-34 Workers
Income no longer stemmed from the process of supplying the wants of the consumers in the best possible way, but from the taxes levied by the states apparatus of compulsion and coercion. He was no longer a servant of his fellow citizens, subject to their sovereignty; he was a partner of the government which ruled the people and exacted tribute from them. Human Action p. 226; p. 225 Public Debt
Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them. Human Action p. 311 p. 314 Education
Interventionism generates economic nationalism, and economic nationalism generates bellicosity. If men and commodities are prevented from crossing the borderlines, why should not the armies try to pave the way for them? Human Action p. 828; p. 832 Nationalism
Interventionism generates economic nationalism, and economic nationalism generates bellicosity. If men and commodities are prevented from crossing the borderlines, why should not the armies try to pave the way for them? Human Action p. 828; p. 832 War and Peace
It is a fact that no paternal government, whether ancient or modern, ever shrank from regimenting its subjects minds, beliefs, and opinions. If one abolishes mans freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away. Human Action p. 729; p. 734 Paternalism
It is a poor makeshift to call any age an age of transition. In the living world there is always change. Every age is an age of transition. Human Action p. 855; p. 860 Uncertainty
It is a widespread fallacy that skillful advertising can talk the consumers into buying everything that the advertiser wants them to buy. The consumer is, according to this legend, simply defenseless against high-pressure advertising. If this were true, success or failure in business would depend on the mode of advertising only. Human Action p. 317; p. 321 Advertising
It is always the individual who thinks. Society does not think any more than it eats or drinks. The evolution of human reasoning from the naive thinking of primitive man to the more subtle thinking of modern science took place within society. However, thinking itself is always an achievement of individuals. Human Action p. 177; p. 177 Society
It is certain that many intellectuals envy the higher income of prosperous businessmen and that these feelings drive them toward socialism. They believe that the authorities of a socialist commonwealth would pay them higher salaries than those that they earn under capitalism. Human Action p. 90; p. 90 Intellectuals
It is certainly true that the necessity of adjusting oneself again and again to changing conditions is onerous. But change is the essence of life. In an unhampered market economy the absence of security, i.e., the absence of protection for vested interests, is the principle that makes for a steady improvement in material well-being. Human Action p. 848; p. 852 Uncertainty
It is extremely difficult for our contemporaries to conceive of the conditions of free banking because they take government interference with banking for granted and as necessary. Human Action p. 444; p. 447 Banking
It is futile to place confidence in treaties, conferences, and such bureaucratic outfits as the League of Nations and the United Nations. Plenipotentiaries, office clerks and experts make a poor show in fighting ideologies. The spirit of conquest cannot be smothered by red tape. What is needed is a radical change in ideologies and economic policies. Human Action p. 821; p. 825 United Nations
It is manifestly contrary to the interest of the consumers to prevent the most efficient entrepreneurs from expanding the sphere of their activities up to the limit to which the public approves of their conduct of business by buying their products. Human Action p. 802; p. 806 Production
It is no accident that Germany, the country that inaugurated the social security system, was the cradle of both varieties of modern disparagement of democracy, the Marxian as well as the non-Marxian. Human Action p. 613; p. 617 Social Security
It is not labor legislation and labor-union pressure that have shortened hours of work and withdrawn married women and children from the factories; it is capitalism, which has made the wage earner so prosperous that he is able to buy more leisure time for himself and his dependents. The nineteenth century's labor legislation by and large achieved nothing more than to provide a legal ratification for changes which the interplay of market factors had brought about previously. Human Action p. 612; pp. 616-17 Working Conditions
It is not the fault of the entrepreneurs that the consumers — the people, the common man — prefer liquor to Bibles and detective stories to serious books, and that governments prefer guns to butter. The entrepreneur does not make greater profits in selling bad things than in selling good things. His profits are the greater the better he succeeds in providing the consumers with those things they ask for most intensely. Human Action p. 297; pp. 299-300 Profit and Loss
It is not unfair to call syndicalism the economic philosophy of short-sighted people, of those adamant conservatives who look askance upon any innovation and are so blinded by envy that they call down curses upon those who provide them with more, better, and cheaper products. Human Action p. 810; p. 814 Syndicalism
It is ultimately always the subjective value judgments of individuals that determine the formation of prices. Human Action p. 329; p. 332 Price
It is vain to object that life and reality are not logical. Life and reality are neither logical nor illogical; they are simply given. But logic is the only tool available to man for the comprehension of both. Human Action pp. 67-68; p. 67 Reason
It is vain to provide for the needs of ages the technological abilities of which we cannot even dream. Human Action p. 383; p. 386 Environment
It is vain to speak of any calculation of values. Calculation is possible only with cardinal numbers. The difference between the valuation of two states of affairs is entirely psychical and personal. It is not open to any projection into the external world. It can be sensed only by the individual. It cannot be communicated or imparted to any fellow man. Human Action p. 97; p. 97 Value
It would be a serious blunder to neglect the fact that inflation also generates forces which tend toward capital consumption. One of its consequences is that it falsifies economic calculation and accounting. It produces the phenomenon of illusory or apparent profits. Human Action p. 546; p. 549 Inflation
Keynes did not add any new idea to the body of inflationist fallacies, a thousand times refuted by economists… He merely knew how to cloak the plea for inflation and credit expansion in the sophisticated terminology of mathematical economics. Human Action p. 787; p. 793 Keynes, John Maynard
Labor is more scarce than material factors of production. Human Action p. 136; p. 136 Unemployment
Laissez faire means: Let the common man choose and act; do not force him to yield to a dictator. Human Action p. 727; p. 732 Laissez Faire
Liberty and freedom are the conditions of man within a contractual society. Human Action p. 280; p. 282 Free Market
Liberty and freedom are the conditions of man within a contractual society. Human Action p. 282 Freedom
Like the mystical sense of communion, racial hatred is not a natural phenomenon innate in man. It is a product of ideologies. Human Action p. 168; p. 168 Discrimination
Logical thinking and real life are not two separate orbits. Logic is for man the only means to master the problems of reality. Human Action p. 185; p. 185 Reason
Love of nature and appreciation of the beauties of the landscape were foreign to the rural population. The inhabitants of the cities brought them to the countryside. It was the city-dwellers who began to appreciate the land as nature. Human Action p. 641; p. 645 Nature
Man can never become omniscient. He can never be absolutely certain that his inquiries were not misled and that what he considers as certain truth is not error. All that man can do is to submit all his theories again and again to the most critical reexamination. Human Action p. 68; p. 68 Knowledge
Man has only one tool to fight error: reason. Human Action p. 187; p. 187 Reason
Man is subject to the passing of time. He comes into existence, grows, becomes old, and passes away. His time is scarce. He must economize it as he economizes other scarce factors. Human Action p. 101; p. 101 Time
Man lives in the shadow of death. Whatever he may have achieved in the course of his pilgrimage, he must one day pass away and abandon all that he has built. Each instant can become his last. There is only one thing that is certain about the individual's future — death. Human Action p. 877; p. 881 Death
Man uses reason in order to choose between the incompatible satisfactions of conflicting desires. Human Action p. 173; p. 174 Reason
Many people complain today about the lack of creative statesmanship. However, under the predominance of interventionist ideas, a political career is open only to men who identify themselves with the interests of a pressure group. Human Action p. 866; p. 870 Political Parties
Many people look upon tariff protection as if it were a privilege accorded to their nations wage earners, procuring them, for the full duration of its existence, a higher standard of living than they would enjoy under free trade. Human Action p. 745; p. 752 Tariffs
Men are fighting one another because they are convinced that the extermination and liquidation of adversaries is the only means of promoting their own well-being. Human Action p. 175; p. 176 War and Peace
Men have chosen the precious metals gold and silver for the money service on account of their mineralogical, physical, and chemical features. The use of money in a market economy is a praxeologically necessary fact. That gold, and not something else, is used as money is merely a historical fact and as such cannot be conceived by catallactics. Human Action p. 468; p. 471 Gold Standard
Men must choose between the market economy and socialism. They cannot evade deciding between these alternatives by adopting a middle-of-the-road position, whatever name they may give to it. Human Action p. 857; p. 861 Socialism
Modern civilization is a product of the philosophy of laissez faire. It cannot be preserved under the ideology of government omnipotence. Human Action p. 828; p. 832 Civilization
Modern war is merciless, it does not spare pregnant women or infants; it is indiscriminate killing and destroying. It does not respect the rights of neutrals. Millions are killed, enslaved, or expelled from the dwelling places in which their ancestors lived for centuries. Nobody can foretell what will happen in the next chapter of this endless struggle. This has little to do with the atomic bomb. The root of the evil is not the construction of new, more dreadful weapons. It is the spirit of conquest. It is probable that scientists will discover some methods of defense against the atomic bomb. But this will not alter things, it will merely prolong for a short time the process of the complete destruction of civilization. Human Action p. 828; p. 832 War and Peace
Most actions do not aim at anybody's defeat or loss. They aim at an improvement in conditions. Human Action p. 116; p. 116 Action
Neither the entrepreneurs nor the farmers nor the capitalists determine what has to be produced. The consumers do that. Human Action p. 270; p. 270 Production
No civilized community has callously allowed the incapacitated to perish. But the substitution of a legally enforceable claim to support or sustenance for charitable relief does not seem to agree with human nature as it is... The discretion of bureaucrats is substituted for the discretion of people whom an inner voice drives to acts of charity. Human Action pp. 835-36; pp. 839-40 Charity
No dullness and clumsiness on the part of the masses can stop the pioneers of improvement. There is no need for them to win the approval of inert people beforehand. They are free to embark upon their projects even if everyone else laughs at them. Human Action p. 859; p. 863 Entrepreneurs
No income can be made safe against changes not adequately foreseen. Human Action p. 391; p. 394 Wealth
No investment is safe forever. He who does not use his property in serving the consumers in the most efficient way is doomed to failure. Human Action p. 308; p. 312 Wealth
No one has ever succeeded in the effort to demonstrate that unionism could improve the conditions and raise the standard of living of all those eager to earn wages. Human Action pp. 764-65; pp. 770-71 Unions
No physical violence and compulsion can possibly force a man against his will to remain in the status of the ward of a hegemonic order. What violence or the threat of violence brings about is a state of affairs in which subjection as a rule is considered more desirable than rebellion. Faced with the choice between the consequences of obedience and of disobedience, the ward prefers the former and thus integrates himself into the hegemonic bond. Every new command places this choice before him again. In yielding again and again he himself contributes his share to the continuous existence of the hegemonic societal body. Human Action p. 197; p. 196 Revolution
Nobody believes that the states will eternally drag the burden of these interest payments. It is obvious that sooner or later all these debts will be liquidated in some way or other, but certainly not by payment of interest and principal according to the terms of the contract. Human Action p. 228; p. 227 Public Debt
Nobody is in a position to decree what should make a fellow man happier. Human Action p. 14; p. 14 Happiness
Not shepherds, but sophisticated aristocrats and city-dwellers were the authors of bucolic poetry. Daphnis and Chloe are creations of fancies far removed from earthy concerns. No less removed from the soil is the modern political myth of the soil. It did not blossom from the moss of the forests and the loam of the fields, but from the pavements of the cities and the carpets of the salons. Human Action p. 641; p. 645 Nature
Nothing suggests the belief that progress toward more satisfactory conditions is inevitable or a relapse into very unsatisfactory conditions impossible. Human Action pp. 856-57; p. 861 Future
Notwithstanding all declarations to the contrary, the immense majority of men aim first of all at an improvement of the material conditions of well-being. They want more and better food, better homes and clothes and a thousand other amenities. They strive after abundance and health. Human Action p. 96; p. 96 Material Well-Being
On the unhampered market there prevails an irresistible tendency to employ every factor of production for the best possible satisfaction of the most urgent needs of the consumers. If the government interferes with this process, it can only impair satisfaction; it can never improve it. Human Action pp. 736-37; pp. 743-44 Interventionism
Once the principle is admitted that it is duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. Human Action pp. 728-29 p. 733 Government
Only the human mind that directs action and production is creative. Human Action p. 141; p. 141 Creativity
Policies of long-term irredeemable and perpetual loans . . . offered to the citizen an opportunity to put his wealth in safety and to enjoy a stable income secure against all vicissitudes. It opened a way to free the individual from the necessity of risking and acquiring his wealth and his income anew each day in the capitalist market. Human Action p. 226; p. 225 Public Debt
Primitive man was always haunted by the specter of death from starvation. Civilization has freed us from these perils. Human Action p. 600; p. 602 Nature
Production is not something physical, material, and external; it is a spiritual and intellectual phenomenon. Human Action p. 141; p. 144 Production
Profit is not related to or dependent on the amount of capital employed by the entrepreneur. Capital does not beget profit. Profit and loss are entirely determined by the success or failure of the entrepreneur to adjust production to the demand of the consumers. Human Action p. 295; p. 297 Wealth
Profit is the pay-off of successful action. It cannot be defined without reference to valuation. It is a phenomenon of valuation and has no direct relation to physical and other phenomena of the external world. Human Action p. 393; p. 396 Profit and Loss
Profit tells the entrepreneur that the consumers approve of his ventures; loss, that they disapprove. Human Action p. 701; p. 705 Profit and Loss
Profit-seeking business is compelled to employ the most efficient methods of production. What checks a businessman's endeavors to improve the equipment of his firm is only lack of capital. Human Action p. 769; p. 775 Capital
Profits are the driving force of the market economy. The greater the profits, the better the needs of the consumers are supplied... He who serves the public best, makes the highest profits. Human Action p. 805; p. 809 Profit and Loss
Rational conduct means that man, in face of the fact that he cannot satisfy all his impulses, desires, and appetites, forgoes the satisfaction of those which he considers less urgent. Human Action pp. 171-72; p. 172 Rational Action
Reason is mans particular and characteristic feature. There is no need for praxeology to raise the question whether reason is a suitable tool for the cognition of ultimate and absolute truth. It deals with reason only as far as it enables man to act. Human Action p. 177; p. 177 Reason
Rulers do not like to admit that their power is restricted by any laws other than those of physics and biology. They never ascribe their failures and frustrations to the violation of economic law. Human Action p. 756; p. 762 Economics
Science does not give us absolute and final certainty. It only gives us assurance within the limits of our mental abilities and the prevailing state of scientific thought. A scientific system is but one station in an endlessly progressing search for knowledge. Human Action p. 7; p. 7 Science
Servile labor disappeared because it could not stand the competition of free labor; its unprofitability sealed its doom in the market economy. Human Action p. 625; p. 630 Slavery
Society is division of labor and combination of labor. Human Action p. 143; p. 143 Society
Statistics is a method for the presentation of historical facts concerning prices and other relevant data of human action. It is not economics and cannot produce economic theorems and theories. The statistics of prices is economic history. Human Action p. 348; p. 351 Statistics
Strictly speaking, people do not long for tangible goods as such, but for the services which these goods are fitted to render them. Human Action p. 234; p. 233 Material Goods
Tax-supported universities are under the sway of the party in power. The authorities try to appoint only professors who are ready to advance ideas of which they themselves approve. Human Action p. 868; p. 872 Education
The available supply of every commodity is limited. If it were not scarce with regard to the demand of the public, the thing in question would not be considered an economic good, and no price would be paid for it. Human Action p. 356; p. 359 Scarcity
The average American worker enjoys amenities for which Croesus, Crassus, the Medici, and Louis XIV would have envied him. Human Action p. 265; p. 265 Material Well-Being
The bigness and the economic power of the railroad companies did not impede the emergence of the motor car and the airplane. Human Action p. 276; p. 275 Big Business
The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built. Human Action p. 885 Economics
The boom produces impoverishment. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration. Human Action p. 574; p. 576 Business Cycles
The boon of these privileged farmers is paid for by the taxpayers who must provide the funds required to defray the deficit. It affects neither the market price nor the total available supply of agricultural products. It merely makes profitable the operation of farms which hitherto were submarginal. Human Action p. 656; p. 660 Farm Programs
The characteristic mark of economic history under capitalism is unceasing economic progress, a steady increase in the quantity of capital goods available, and a continuous trend toward an improvement in the general standard of living. Human Action p. 562; p. 565 Capitalism
The cognizance of reality is a sad experience. It teaches the limits on the satisfaction of ones wishes. Only reluctantly does man resign himself to the insight that there are things, viz., the whole complex of all causal relations between events, which wishful thinking cannot alter. Human Action p. 858; p. 862 Reality
The concept of a just or fair price is devoid of any scientific meaning; it is a disguise for wishes, a striving for a state of affairs different from reality. Human Action p. 329; p. 332 Fairness
The cyclical fluctuations of business are not an occurrence originating in the sphere of the unhampered market, but a product of government interference with business conditions designed to lower the rate of interest below the height at which the free market would have fixed it. Human Action p. 562; p. 565 Business Cycles
The deal is always advantageous both for the buyer and the seller. Even a man who sells at a loss is still better off than he would be if he could not sell at all, or only at a still lower price. Human Action pp. 661-62; pp. 665-66 Exchange
The democracy of the market consists in the fact that people themselves make their choices and that no dictator has the power to force them to submit to his value judgments. Human Action p. 384; p. 387 Free Market
The development of a profession of economists is an offshoot of interventionism. The professional economist is the specialist who is instrumental in designing various measures of government interference with business. He is an expert in the field of economic legislation, which today invariably aims at hindering the operation of the market economy. Human Action p. 865; p. 869 Economics
The doctrines of Nazism are vicious, but they do not essentially disagree with the ideologies of socialism and nationalism as approved by other peoples public opinion. What characterized the Nazis was only the consistent application of these ideologies to the special conditions of Germany. Human Action p. 187; p. 187 Nazism
The early industrialists were for the most part men who had their origin in the same social strata from which their workers came. They lived very modestly, spent only a fraction of their earnings for their households and put the rest back into the business. Human Action p. 617; p. 622 Capitalism
The effect of its interference is that people are prevented from using their knowledge and abilities, their labor and their material means of production in the way in which they would earn the highest returns and satisfy their needs as much as possible. Such interference makes people poorer and less satisfied. Human Action p. 736; p. 743 Interventionism
The emergence of the international division of labor requires the total abolition of war. Human Action p. 827; p. 831 War and Peace
The eminence of the Western nations consisted in the fact that they succeeded better in checking the spirit of predatory militarism than the rest of mankind and that they thus brought forth the social institutions required for saving and investment on a broader scale. Human Action p. 497; p. 500 Western Civilization
The endeavors to expand the quantity of money in circulation either in order to increase the governments capacity to spend or in order to bring about a temporary lowering of the rate of interest disintegrate all currency matters and derange economic calculation. Human Action p. 225; p. 224 Economic Calculation
The entrepreneur profits to the extent he has succeeded in serving the consumers better than other people have done. Human Action p. 380; p. 383 Profit and Loss
The essence of a credit-expansion boom is not overinvestment, but investment in wrong lines, i.e., malinvestment. Human Action p. 556; p. 559 Credit
The essence of Marxian philosophy is this: We are right because we are the spokesmen of the rising proletarian class. Discursive reasoning cannot invalidate our teachings, for they are inspired by the supreme power that determines the destiny of mankind. Our adversaries are wrong because they lack the intuition that guides our minds. Human Action p. 84; p. 83 Marxism
The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution. Human Action p. 851; p. 855 Interventionism
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom. Human Action p. 715; p. 719 State
The existence of the armaments industries is a consequence of the warlike spirit, not its cause. Human Action p. 297; p. 300 War and Peace
The expectation of rising prices thus has the tendency to make the gross rate of interest rise, while the expectation of dropping prices makes it drop. Human Action p. 540; p. 543 Interest Rate
The factory owners did not have the power to compel anybody to take a factory job. They could only hire people who were ready to work for the wages offered to them…. Their only refuge was the factory. It saved them, in the strict sense of the term, from death by starvation. Human Action p. 615; pp. 619-20 Industrial Revolution
The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. Human Action p. 562; p. 564 Credit
The flowering of human society depends on two factors: the intellectual power of outstanding men to conceive sound social and economic theories, and the ability of these or other men to make these ideologies palatable to the majority. Human Action p. 860; p. 864 Public Opinion
The freedom of man under capitalism is an effect of competition. Human Action p. 283; p. 285 Freedom
The fundamental discrepancies in worldview and patterns of behavior do not correspond to differences in race, nationality or class affiliation. There is hardly any greater divergence in value judgments than that between ascetics and those eager to enjoy life lightheartedly. Human Action p. 87; p. 87 Races
The gold standard was the world standard of the age of capitalism, increasing welfare, liberty, and democracy, both political and economic. Human Action pp. 469-70; pp. 472-73 Gold Standard
The governments alone are responsible for the spread of the superstitious awe with which the common man looks upon every bit of paper upon which the treasury or agencies which it controls have printed the magical words legal tender. Human Action pp. 444-45; p. 448 Money
The hired man does not owe the employer gratitude; he owes him a definite quantity of work of a definite kind and quality. Human Action p. 629; p. 634 Work
The idea of justice refers always to social cooperation. Human Action p. 717; p. 721 Justice
The imposition of a duty on the importation of a commodity burdens the consumers. Human Action p. 742; p. 749 Tariffs
The issue is not the right to form associations. It is whether or not any association of private citizens should be granted the privilege of resorting with impunity to violent action. It is the same problem that relates to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. Human Action p. 773; p. 779 Unions
The labor unions aim at a monopolistic position on the labor market. But once they have attained it, their policies are restrictive and not monopoly price policies. They are intent upon restricting the supply of labor in their field without bothering about the fate of those excluded. Human Action p. 374; p. 377 Unions
The labor unions are deadly foes of every new machine. Human Action p. 269; p. 269 Unions
The laborer is an entrepreneur in so far as his wages are determined by the price the market allows for the kind of work he can perform. This price varies according to the change in conditions in the same way in which the price of every other factor of production varies. Human Action p. 255; p. 254 Workers
The League of Nations did not fail because its organization was deficient. It failed because it lacked the spirit of genuine liberalism. It was a convention of governments imbued with the spirit of economic nationalism and entirely committed to the principles of economic warfare. Human Action p. 683; pp. 687-88 United Nations
The majority has the power to do away with an unpopular government and uses this power whenever it becomes convinced that its own welfare requires it. In the long run there is no such thing as an unpopular government. Civil war and revolution are the means by which the discontented majorities overthrow rulers and methods of government which do not suit them. Human Action pp. 149-150; pp. 149-50 Revolution
The majority of the students espouse without any inhibitions the interventionist panaceas recommended by their professors. Human Action p. 871; p. 875 Education
The market economy involves peaceful cooperation. It bursts asunder when the citizens turn into warriors and, instead of exchanging commodities and services, fight one another. Human Action p. 817; p. 821 War and Peace
The market economy is the social system of the division of labor under private ownership of the means of production. Everybody acts on his own behalf; but everybody's actions aim at the satisfaction of other peoples needs as well as at the satisfaction of his own. Everybody in acting serves his fellow citizens. Human Action p. 258; p. 257 Free Market
The market economy needs no apologists and propagandists. It can apply to itself the words of Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph in St. Paul's: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. [If you seek his monument, look around.] Human Action p. 850; p. 854 Capitalism
The masses, the hosts of common men, do not conceive any ideas, sound or unsound. They only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But their choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster. Human Action p. 860; p. 864 Public Opinion
The member of a contractual society is free because he serves others only in serving himself. What restrains him is only the inevitable natural phenomenon of scarcity. Human Action p. 280; p. 283 Self-Interest
The metamorphosis of taxes into weapons of destruction is the mark of present-day public finance. Human Action p. 734; p. 741 Taxes
The monopoly problem mankind has to face today is not an outgrowth of the operation of the market economy. It is a product of purposive action on the part of governments. It is not one of the evils inherent in capitalism as the demagogues trumpet. . Human Action p. 363; p. 366 Monopolies
The moral precepts and the laws of the country are means by which men seek to attain certain ends. Whether or not these ends can really be attained this way depends on the laws of the universe. The man-made laws are suitable if they are fit to attain these ends and contrary to purpose if they are not. They are open to examination from the point of view of their suitableness or unsuitableness. Human Action p. 756; pp. 761-62 Law
The most popular of these doctrines is crystallized in the phrase: A public debt is no burden because we owe it to ourselves. If this were true, then the wholesale obliteration of the public debt would be an innocuous operation, a mere act of bookkeeping and accountancy. Human Action p. 229n; p. 228n Public Debt
The most that can be attained with regard to reality is probability. Human Action p. 105; p. 105 Uncertainty
The natural condition of man is extreme poverty and insecurity. It is romantic nonsense to lament the passing of the happy days of primitive barbarism. Human Action p. 165; p. 165 Nature
The notion of justice makes sense only when referring to a definite system of norms which in itself is assumed to be uncontested and safe against any criticism. Human Action p. 716; p. 720 Justice
The notions of abnormality and perversity therefore have no place in economics. It does not say that a man is perverse because he prefers the disagreeable, the detrimental, and the painful to the agreeable, the beneficial and the pleasant. Human Action p. 95; p. 95 Perversity
The only means of inducing a man to work more and better is to offer him a higher reward. It is vain to bait him with the joy of labor. Human Action p. 589; p. 592 Work
The only source from which an entrepreneurs profits stem is his ability to anticipate better than other people the future demand of the consumers. Human Action p. 288; p. 290 Entrepreneurs
The only statement that can be predicated with regard to reason is that it is the mark that distinguishes man from animals and has brought about everything that is specifically human. Human Action p. 91; p. 91 Reason
The outstanding fact about the Industrial Revolution is that it opened an age of mass production for the needs of the masses. . Human Action p. 616; p. 621 Industrial Revolution
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. The wars of our age are not at variance with popular economic doctrines; they are, on the contrary, the inescapable result of a consistent application of these doctrines. Human Action p. 683; p. 687 Protectionism
The philosophy of protectionism is a philosophy of war. The wars of our age are not at variance with popular economic doctrines; they are, on the contrary, the inescapable result of consistent application of these doctrines. Human Action p. 683; p. 687 War and Peace
The planning businessman cannot help employing data concerning the unknown future; he deals with future prices and future costs of production. Human Action p. 225; p. 224 Entrepreneurs
The policies advocated by the welfare school remove the incentive to saving on the part of private citizens. On the one hand, the measures directed toward a curtailment of big incomes and fortunes seriously reduce or destroy entirely the wealthier peoples power to save. On the other hand, the sums which people with moderate incomes previously contributed to capital accumulation are manipulated in such a way as to channel them into the lines of consumption. Human Action p. 841; pp. 844-45 Welfare
The pretended solicitude for the nations welfare, for the public in general, and for the poor ignorant masses in particular was a mere blind. The governments wanted inflation and credit expansion, they wanted booms and easy money. Human Action p. 438; p. 441 Inflation
The problems of poor relief are problems of the arrangement of consumption, not of the arrangement of production activities. Human Action p. 600; p. 603 Welfare
The public debt embodies claims of people who have in the past entrusted funds to the government against all those who are daily producing new wealth. It burdens the producing strata for the benefit of another part of the people. Human Action p. 229n; p. 228n Public Debt
The quantity of money available in the whole economy is always sufficient to secure for everybody all that money does and can do. Human Action p. 418; p. 421 Money Supply
The role which good will plays on the market does not impair or restrict competition. Everybody is free to acquire good will, and every bearer of good will can lose good will once acquired. Human Action p. 377; p. 380 Good Will
The Roman Empire crumbled to dust because it lacked the spirit of liberalism and free enterprise. The policy of interventionism and its political corollary, the Führer principle, decomposed the mighty empire as they will by necessity always disintegrate and destroy any social entity. Human Action p. 763; p. 769 Roman Empire
The statement that one mans boon is the other mans damage is valid with regard to robbery, war, and booty. The robbers plunder is the damage of the despoiled victim. But war and commerce are two different things. Human Action p. 662; p. 666 War and Peace
The substitution of economic planning for the market economy removes all freedom and leaves to the individual merely the right to obey. Human Action p. 284; p. 287 Tyranny
The supremacy of public opinion determines not only the singular role that economics occupies in the complex of thought and knowledge. It determines the whole process of human history. Human Action p. 859; p. 863 Public Opinion
The system of discriminatory taxation universally accepted under the misleading name of progressive taxation of income and inheritance is not a mode of taxation. It is rather a mode of disguised expropriation. Human Action p. 803; p. 807 Taxes
The toiler looks at his work as a means for the attainment of an end sought, and the progress of his work delights him as an approach toward his goal. His joy is a foretaste of the satisfaction conveyed by the mediate gratification. Human Action p. 586; p. 589 Work
The transition to capitalism is thus accompanied by two phenomena: a decline both in fertility rates and in mortality rates. The average duration of life is prolonged. Human Action p. 665; p. 669 Population
The tricks and artifices of advertising are available to the seller of the better product no less than to the seller of the poorer product. But only the former enjoys the advantage derived from the better quality of his product. Human Action p. 318; p. 321 Advertising
The ultimate source of the determination of prices is the value judgments of the consumers. Human Action p. 328; p. 331 Price
The value of time, i.e., time preference or the higher valuation of want-satisfaction in nearer periods of the future as against that in remoter periods, is an essential element in human action. It determines every choice and every action. Human Action p. 490; p. 493 Time
The very existence of a comparatively great number of invalids is, however paradoxical, a characteristic mark of civilization and material well-being. Provision for those invalids who lack mean of sustenance and are not taken care of by their next of kin has long been considered a work of charity. Human Action p. 833; p. 837 Prosperity
The vigorous man industriously striving for the improvement of his condition acts neither more nor less than the lethargic man who sluggishly takes things as they come. For to do nothing and to be idle are also action, they too determine the course of events. Human Action p. 13; p. 13 Action
The wavelike movement effecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion. Human Action p. 570; p. 572 Business Cycles
The writings of the socialists are full of such utopian fancies. Whether they call themselves Marxian or non-Marxian socialists, technocrats, or simply planners, they are all eager to show how foolishly things are arranged in reality and how happily men could live if they were to invest the reformers with dictatorial powers. Human Action p. 503; pp. 506-07 Social Planning
There are in the market economy no conflicts between the interests of the buyers and sellers. Human Action p. 661; p. 665 Exchange
There are in this world no such things as stability and security and no human endeavors are powerful enough to bring them about. There is in the social system of the market society no other means of acquiring wealth and of preserving it than successful service to the consumers. Human Action p. 227; p. 226 Security
There are people to whom monetary calculation is repulsive. They do not want to be roused from their daydreams by the voice of critical reason. Reality sickens them, they long for a realm of unlimited opportunity. Human Action p. 231; p. 230 Intellectuals
There cannot be any question of abolishing interest by any institutions, laws, or devices of bank manipulation...such decrees would bring about capital consumption and would very soon throw mankind back into the original state of natural poverty. Human Action p. 529; p. 532 Interest Rate
There is in the course of human events no stability and consequently no safety. Human Action p. 113; p. 113 Uncertainty
There is neither constancy nor continuity in the valuations and in the formation of exchange ratios between various commodities. Every new datum brings about a reshuffling of the whole price structure. Human Action p. 118; p. 118 Expectations
There is no kind of freedom and liberty other than the kind which the market economy brings about. In a totalitarian hegemonic society the only freedom that is left to the individual, because it cannot be denied to him, is the freedom to commit suicide. Human Action p. 280; p. 283 Free Market
There is no means of comparing and measuring the happiness of different people and of the same people at different times. Human Action p. 617; p. 621 Happiness
There is no method available to construct a unit of value. Human Action p. 206; p. 205 Value
There is no reason to idolize the police power and ascribe to its omnipotence and omniscience. There are things which it can certainly not accomplish. It cannot conjure away the scarcity of the factors of production, it cannot make people more prosperous, it cannot raise the productivity of labor. All it can achieve is to prevent gangsters from frustrating the efforts of those people who are intent upon promoting material well-being. Human Action p. 827; p. 831 State
There is no such thing as a nonspeculative investment. In a changing economy action always involves speculation. Investments may be good or bad, but they are always speculative. Human Action p. 514; p. 517 Investment
There is no such thing as a safe investment. Human Action p. 806; p. 810 Risk
There is no such thing as an absolute notion of justice not referring to a definite system of social organization. . . . There is neither right nor wrong outside the social nexus. Human Action p. 717; p. 721 Justice
There is no such thing as independence of the vicissitudes of the market. Human Action p. 806; p. 810 Risk
There is no such thing as prices outside the market. Prices cannot be constructed synthetically, as it were. Human Action p. 392; p. 395 Price
There is no such thing as quantitative economics. Human Action p. 348; p. 351 Statistics
There was no reason whatever to abandon the principle of free enterprise in the field of banking. Human Action p. 440; p. 443 Banking
Though a tyrant may temporarily rule through a minority if this minority is armed and the majority is not, in the long run a minority cannot keep the majority in subservience. The oppressed will rise in rebellion and cast off the yoke of tyranny. Human Action p. 189; p. 189 Revolution
Time for man is not a homogenous substance of which only length counts. It is not a more or a less in dimension. . . . It is an irreversible flux the fractions of which appear in different perspective according to whether they are nearer to or remoter from the instant of valuation and decision. Human Action pp. 480-81; p. 483 Time
To assign to everybody his proper place in society is the task of the consumers. Their buying and abstention from buying is instrumental in determining each individuals social position. Human Action p. 275; p. 275 Social Mobility
To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war. Human Action p. 828; p. 832 War and Peace
Tools and machinery are primarily not labor-saving devices, but means to increase output per unit of input. Human Action p. 768; p. 774 Productivity
True, man cannot escape death. But for the present he is alive; and life, not death, takes hold of him... It is mans innate nature that he seeks to preserve and to strengthen his life, that he is discontented and aims at removing uneasiness, that he is in search of what may be called happiness. Human Action pp. 877-78; pp. 881-82 Death
Under capitalism, private property is the consummation of the self-determination of the consumers. Human Action p. 680; p. 683 Private Property
Under laissez faire peaceful coexistence of a multitude of sovereign nations is possible. Under government control of business it is impossible. Human Action p. 820; p. 824 War and Peace
Under such a socialist mode of production all personal incentives which selfishness provides under capitalism are removed, and a premium is put upon laziness and negligence. Whereas in a capitalist society selfishness incites everyone to the utmost diligence, in a socialist society it makes for inertia and laxity. Human Action p. 674; p. 677 Self-Interest
Under the gold standard gold is money and money is gold. It is immaterial whether or not the laws assign legal tender quality only to gold coins minted by the government. Human Action p. 425; pp. 428-29 Gold Standard
Understanding is always based on incomplete knowledge. Human Action p. 112; p. 112 Uncertainty
Value is not intrinsic, it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which man reacts to the conditions of his environment. Neither is value in words and doctrines, it is reflected in human conduct. It is not what a man or groups of men say about value that counts, but how they act. Human Action p. 96; p. 96 Value
Wages are not paid for labor expended, but for the achievements of labor, which differ widely in quality and quantity. Human Action p. 134; p. 134 Labor
War is the alternative to freedom of foreign investment as realized by the international capital market. Human Action p. 499; p. 502 War and Peace
We may call consciousness of kind, sense of community, or sense of belonging together the acknowledgement of the fact that all other human beings are potential collaborators in the struggle for survival because they are capable of recognizing the mutual benefits of cooperation. Human Action p. 144; p. 144 Society
We may fully endorse the religious and ethical precepts that declare it to be mans duty to assist his unlucky brethren whom nature has doomed. But the recognition of this duty does not answer the question concerning what methods should be resorted to for its performance. Human Action p. 835; p. 839 Charity
What distinguishes man from animals is the insight into the advantages that can be derived from cooperation under the division of labor. Human Action p. 827; p. 831 Civilization
What distinguishes the successful entrepreneur and promoter from other people is precisely the fact that he does not let himself be guided by what was and is, but arranges his affairs on the ground of his opinion about the future. He sees the past and the present as other people do; but he judges the future in a different way. Human Action p. 582; p. 585 Entrepreneurs
What economic calculation requires is a monetary system whose functioning is not sabotaged by government interference. Human Action p. 225; pp. 223-24 Economic Calculation
What governments call international monetary cooperation is concerted action for the sake of credit expansion. Human Action p. 473; p. 476 International Monetary Cooperation
What has transformed the limited war between royal armies into total war, the clash between peoples, is not technicalities of military art, but the substitution of the welfare state for the laissez-faire state. Human Action p. 820; p. 824 War and Peace
What is needed for a sound expansion of production is additional capital goods, not money or fiduciary media. The credit boom is built on the sands of banknotes and deposits. It must collapse. Human Action p. 559; p. 561 Credit
What is needed to prevent any further credit expansion is to place the banking business under the general rules of commercial and civil laws compelling every individual and firm to fulfill all obligations in full compliance with the terms of the contract. Human Action p. 440; p. 443 Banking
What produces the product are not toil and trouble in themselves, but the fact that the toiling is guided by reason. The human mind alone has the power to remove uneasiness. Human Action pp. 141-42; pp. 141-42 Production
What the government spends more, the public spends less. Public works are not accomplished by the miraculous power of a magic wand. They are paid for by funds taken away from the citizens. Human Action p. 655; p. 659 Deficits
What the incompatibility of war and capitalism really means is that war and high civilization are incompatible. Human Action p. 824; p. 828 War and Peace
What those people who ask for equality have in mind is always an increase in their own power to consume. Human Action p. 836; p. 840 Equality
When pushed hard by economists, some welfare propagandists and socialists admit that impairment of the average standard of living can only be avoided by the maintenance of capital already accumulated and that economic improvement depends on accumulation of additional capital. Human Action p. 844; p. 848 Capital
When treated as a chattel, man renders a smaller yield per unit of cost expended for current sustenance and guarding than domestic animals. Human Action p. 626; pp. 630-31 Slavery
Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter. Human Action p. 283; p. 285 Freedom
Whether such a system of social security is a good or a bad policy is essentially a political problem. One may try to justify it by declaring that the wage earners lack the insight and the moral strength to provide spontaneously for their own future. But then it is not easy to silence the voices of those who ask whether it is not paradoxical to entrust the nation's welfare to the decisions of voters whom the law itself considers incapable of managing their own affairs; whether it is not absurd to make those people supreme in the conduct of government who are manifestly in need of a guardian to prevent them from spending their own income foolishly. Human Action p. 613; p. 617 Social Security
Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society's fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen. Human Action p. 875; p. 879 Economics
While all other animals are unconditionally driven by the impulse to preserve their own lives and by the impulse of proliferation, man has the power to master even these impulses. He can control both his sexual desires and his will to live. He can give up his life when the conditions under which alone he could preserve it seem intolerable. Man is capable of dying for a cause or of committing suicide. To live is for man the outcome of a choice, of a judgment of value. Human Action p. 19; pp. 19-20 Choice
With the progress of the semantic confusion which has converted the meaning of political terms into their very opposite, the epithet democratic is now lavishly spent. Human Action p. 838; p. 842 Language
Within the frame of social cooperation there can emerge between members of society feelings of sympathy and friendship and a sense of belonging together. These feelings are the source of mans most delightful and most sublime experiences. They are the most precious adornment of life; they lift the animal species man to the heights of a really human existence. However, they are not, as some have asserted, the agents that have brought about social relations. They are fruits of social cooperation. Human Action p. 144; p. 144 Society