Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens

Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens


10 thoughts on “Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens

  1. Paul Paul says:

    One of the most important books of the 20th century not yet as influential as it deserves to beI was brought to this book in 2009 after a growing feeling of dissatisfaction with expert explanations being offered for the various financial and economic calamities that seemed to be happening worldwide Economic commentary by journalists and pundits struck me as being opaue partisan and contradictory Gradually I had become interested in the ideas of the so called Austrian school of free market economics and eventually I decided to take the plunge and read its principal text Human ActionI was bowled over In the first place the title Human Action intrigued me As a category this seemed to extend far beyond the bounds of what I thought of as economics and indeed I was right Von Mises founds his argument on a little known 19th century discipline called praxeology or the science of human behavior While psychology is the study of human thoughts and feelings praxeology is the study of human actions To be alive is to be continually in action doing things Why do we do what we do? What guides our actions? What motivates us?At the bottom of all our actions lies a specific feeling a felt unease that prompts us to seek its lessening its amelioration It was easy for me to assent to this idea since it accords well with my Buddhist training Indeed human action is a passable translation of the Sanskrit term karma which according to Buddhists is the mechanism of action and reaction in which we all engage due to duhkha usually translated as suffering although felt unease is probably a better translation It is usually subtle and underlying rather than something that is consciously felt and I think von Mises put his finger on this uality of experience and it was a mark of his genius to do so and to build his analysis from itPart 1 of the book the first 140 or so pages deals only with the theory of human action and the categories intimately associated with it such as time and uncertainty Our lives are short and therefore time presses and we have to choose some things and forgo others; the future is uncertain so we have to use our experience and our smarts whatever those might be to make the best choices we can Each one of us is in this situation even as we are also uniue individuals in uniue circumstances This uniueness of constitution and circumstance means that we value things differently differently from each other and differently ourselves from day to day or moment to moment Nothing whatsoever has any intrinsic fixed value all is subjective and situationalBuilding out from these ideas von Mises goes on to explain logically and systematically how the free actions of subjective individuals necessarily develop into the phenomena we call markets and how if allowed to follow their own course material and social benefits necessarily flow from themI don't doubt that some people regard von Mises as dogmatic and he does write in a forceful declarative style but it is not dogma any than Euclid's Elements is dogma and for the same reason For von Mises insists that the fields of praxeology and catallactics its extension into the realm of production and consumption are purely logical their laws based on irreducible constants of experience such as time and uncertainty are inexorable and not falsifiable by experiment Praxeology and catallactics are built up by theorems exactly like geometryAgain and again while reading this book I found myself confronted with new provocative ideas In this respect von Mises has few peers In my own reading I can think of only maybe Northrop Frye or Eric Hoffer or Erich Neumann as offering such a density of surprising ideas per pageIs von Mises a capitalist? Absolutely Capitalism in its pure state is the condition of free individuals engaging with each other without coercion Von Mises deplores violence and for him socialism is intrinsically violent and should be shunned because it leads inexorably to poverty and slavery things that no human being seeks At the same time he's well aware that there is plenty of coercion and fraud in supposedly capitalist societies and to the extent that this is the case those societies are materially poorer and less free than they might beI do not feel competent to argue with anything that von Mises is saying since the depth and range of his thought in these areas is so vastly greater than my own But I did have a couple of uestions or proto critiues One was in von Mises' assertion that military conscription is a justifiable intrusion on the liberty of individuals Since this to me is a form of slavery I find it hard to suare with his dedication to individual liberty Another issue was in his assertion that all values are subjective; he takes it as an axiom that no absolute value can be found My intuition is that this point of view is one that ignores the spiritual dimension of human life In Buddhism for example duhkha or felt unease is not the last word; in a sense it's only the first word For like von Mises the Buddha started there but he took that notion in a much different and a much deeper direction The Buddha taught liberation from that unease; von Mises is only teaching us how to get along with itBut in all my considered opinion is that Human Action is one of the greatest works of literature of all time And as such it is I believe worthy of your time and attention


  2. Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson says:

    This book is one of the greatest of the 20th century and will endure as a bright beacon of wisdom for centuries to comeI began this book in a curious but still recommended fashion in college Because of its size over 800 pages and at times especially in the beginning difficulty I chose to use it as a reference book In going to classes or doing my other reading if I came across an ideacritiue of free market capitalism that bothered me or one which I thought there is no way the free market can solve X problem then I simply looked up X in the Table of Contents or Index then read the passages by Mises Time and time again not even having read all the context surrounding each passage I found a whole new and usually much clearer than anything I had ever read approach to the problemidea In almost every instance I saw new ways of thinking about how the free voluntary marketplace really could solve X problems better than passing a law for the government to do something coercive about it as is the common trait today Often the passage from Mises would show very clearly why the government may have caused the very problem in the first place with previous laws or it's actionsBut you probably don't believe meSo I just challenge you to try it Human Action will not answer every problem in the world that you come across but I bet you will come away enriched intrigued and amazed at how logical and consistent how in touch with reality and how persuasive Mises isGo ahead try it see what you think The book is on line for free at several websites There are many editions in paperback and hardcover if you prefer a physical copy The book even has at least two different audio versions with two very competent professional readers and probably on Youtube But watch out when you check on five or ten socialeconomicpolitical problems Seeing how Mises deals with them might get you to actually read the whole book from cover to cover If you are like me that ain't such a bad thingI admit am proud actually to having read it at least four times over 40 years and wanting to do it again What is really a gas is to read in stages 50 150 pages and talk about that section in a group that has committed to discussing each part as they go Even better is if you can find a mentor to lead the group someone who knows the book well enough to help those who have difficulties and point out various key parts I've been pretty lucky to have participated in three different such groups Each group met about 10 times over the course of almost a year Each group was wonderful and helped me see so many new insights besides the side benefit of making new friendships with all the great interactionOh one thing get a copy of the book Mises Made Easier by Percy Greaves to have handy while you read Human Action It is a glossary of most of the tough obscure or foreign terms in Human Action and most of the other books by Mises It does not have absolutely all such terms in Human Action defined but it has a great many and is uite a bit better and much smaller than using a big dictionary Dictionaries can have extraneous definitions and also miss completely some of the key termsLove to hear back from you on your experience with my suggestions 1 introductory method of getting acuainted with Human Action or2 the serious and thorough discussion group method too I may even know of someone in your area who might like to join you in such a project I have a pretty good worldwide network of friends interested in Mises 3 check out if you have difficulty finding someone just send me a messageEnjoy You could be getting into something truly transformational


  3. Clif Clif says:

    Ludwig von Mises is a major contributor to what is called the Austrian School of economics Human Reason is his magnum opus a thorough going look at the way that the innate human desire to decrease uneasiness is the pursuit for which capitalism is the mechanismThe thesis is simple Human beings take action to make things better for themselves If we were satisfied there would be no economy But most of us will be cautious in what we do avoiding as much risk as possible in our attempt to get what we wantCertain individuals the entrepreneurs however seek out risk when they see an opportunity to obtain capital the materials needed to produce something at a total cost less than the price that can be obtained by selling the final product what we call profit Of course we all seek individual profit when we do anything even something as simple as moving an object in the living room closer to a chair so we can reach it But the entrepreneur seeks profit in a way that heshe hopes will benefit others why else would people buy what the entrepreneur puts up for sale? If the entrepreneur is successful he or she is rewarded If the product does not sell he or she loses money and the business fails Risk results in reward or failureRather than decrying the wealth of those who are successful in taking a risk in the hope of a reward we should be grateful that such risk takers exist because they are the ones who bring forth the products we desire who take the time and money and effort to come up with the products and services that have created the huge increase in wealth obtained since capitalism took root in the 17th centuryConsumers are not victims of capitalism but kings of the market that exists only to provide things for which we those consumers are willing to pay We end up paying for what we want and not having to pay for what we don't wantSocialism is according to von Mises an idealistic fiction that cannot but end in chaos because it has no method of determining prices and is driven by the few who make policy in the name of the many who must accept what they are told is best for society as a whole The man or woman on the street ends up faced with great uantities of products that few want and too few of the products that many want Only by having a capitalist system to determine prices is there any chance for a socialist system to even limp along as the USSR did for several decades Under socialism there is no opportunity to vote with one's moneyNot a single chart or graph will be found in this lengthy work and that is in keeping with von Mises insistence that human action cannot be uantified with formulas that provide any guide to future events Human beings decide what is best for them as individuals who evaluate conditions in non uantitative waysA validation of von Mises concept is presented by modern advertising that has largely thrown out plain speech advocating a product in favor of atmospherics and emotional settings that tug on the non rational side of human thought to sway purchasing decisionsThis book is a perfect read at this time 2008 9 of huge interventions by government in financial affairs We hear economists making a case for this or that government action based on what has been learned in the past particularly in the Great Depression But von Mises argues that history can never repeat itself because the factors that make up any economic situation are too complex for than a very broad and hence of little use comparison between the past and the present Government actions are broad and blunt and slow acting while the economy changes from minute to minute Like the bull in the china shop interventions are likely to create future problems than to solve current onesIn the careful arguments that he makes Human Reason is nothing if not a collection of solid logic von Mises provides the reader with a real education in the meaning of savings investments unions welfare prices and so much He makes short work of Marxism by showing the faulty premises on which it is basedNever one to rant the author maintains that though there is a certain amount of pain in capitalism to those who lose jobs or investments it is than offset by the vast increase in wealth for humanity as a whole that it has provided We may not like what the market economy does to us as individuals at certain times in our lives but we can hardly deny the fabulous abundance of consumer goods that we can have for very little money something that even the kings and ueens of old were deniedThis book is for the person who wants to know why things are the way they are It is not for casual reading or entertainment but it is intellectually satisfying highly educational and best of all it makes sense


  4. Brian Michels Brian Michels says:

    There cannot be a serious conversation about economics without Mise's Human Action is the definition of Free Market and delivers the goods for a just economy while cutting down to size any alternative economic systemThis is a must read in your lifetime book The sooner the better


  5. Kevin Cole Kevin Cole says:

    I used to hate economics because I thought it related to nothing in my life Certain others then began showing me in flashes that I was wrong But it was Mises who not only showed but to my mind proved economics has everything to do with my life; because economics doesn't exist without people behaving as peopleWhimsical exampleIf you're in the habit of buying a pound of Brazilian coffee for 1 every week then you hear on the news that an unexpected freeze has hit Brazil with analysts expecting Brazilian coffee exports to drop and subseuently Brazilian coffee prices worldwide to rise what do you do? Do you wait until next week to buy as much coffee for twice the price? No you buy twice as much coffee now What Mises explains in elegant layering is whyWhy would I buy coffee now? Easy answer To save money if not now then later But there's to it than that Why would I want to save money? Because having less money means having less money to buy other things that I wantCommon sense? Then why do people hate economics? Why do people insert morality into a phenomenon human action that is morally neutral?We live in a world of scarcity in which our wants exceed the means to satisfy those wants Because of this people are ill at ease Yet they can imagine a state where they are less ill at ease and act to achieve it ends by way of means whereby all things have subjective utility and are chosen on a scale of valueNo ranting A good book


  6. Monica Perez Monica Perez says:

    The best work on economics ever written If Mises had been an anarchist he'd have been perfect


  7. Ross Ross says:

    Human Action is considered by many to be the definitive theoretical work for what is known as the Austrian school of economics Reading it was 10 weeks of brain stretching concentration peppered liberally with moments of personal paradigm shaking and demystification of how our actions affect each other It enhanced my appreciation of the beautiful way in which life orders itselfIn the first section of this masterwork Mises gets right down to laying a solid epistemological and methodological foundation for the study of the social sciences The ideas in this section could be Mises' most powerful contribution to mankind's body of ideas and I consider it one of the most fascinating discoveries of my adult life Mises shows the inherent difference between the nature of the subject matter of natural sciences and the social sciences For example it is not possible to carry out controlled social laboratory experiments in reliably revealing ways This does not in any way de legitimatize the study of the social sciences but it indicates that sound understanding of them reuires a suitable methodological approach than that of the natural sciences In order to make some sense of the virtually infinite white noise of historical data one must have a theoretical base with which to recognize the relevant data and use it to draw causal links between events and phenomena This is the context of his introduction of the basic ideas of praxeology the study of human action The fundamental concepts of praxeology are that actions are performed by individuals individual action arises from a motive or purpose and that purpose is the attempt to satisfy some perceived need or want To develop economics using praxeology we don't have to understand where purposes come from the complex neurological mechanisms going on whether they are purely determined by physical law or if there is some sort of extra physical aspect to desiresintentions No matter what sort of truths are discovered or beliefs held along these lines we still know that there is action and action is purposeful Mises uses this principle to build his economic theory from the ground upMises illustrates that the economic models used by mathematically oriented economic schools of thought are based on an assumption of static resource levels and consumer demands as well as unchanging technological knowledge It is meaningless to take these models and derive impressive looking mathematical formulae that attempt to describe reality as reality is always unpredictable and in flux However Mises doesn't dispense with these static economic models altogether but uses them brilliantly as theoretical tools By changing one variable at a time Mises shows how a given static model relates to the dynamic unpredictability of reality in which every action of an individual actor aggravates the static state illustrated by the model With this techniue Mises shows the respective ways in which the various types of individual and institutional actions shift the end euilibrium state within these models which the economy is approaching but never reaching at any given instant of timeAs Mises would put it economics is a value free science It does not aim to tell us what we should strive for but rather what is the most effective way to achieve whatever it is that we do strive for I don't agree with every philosophic idea that Mises presents But as Mises elegantly shows it is not necessary to be lock step with his cosmological or social philosophy in order to understand the great practical applicability of his economic ideas to understanding the ongoing drama of human action and exchange Having said that in my mind Human Action handily rebuts the major criticisms I have seen of his economic theories and methodological approach In the face of the praxeological base of Mises' theoretical work the criticisms leveled against them usually seem pretty shallow and lacking in any real attempt to understand the fundamental concepts of praxeologyFive years ago if you told me I would be as fascinated by an economics book as I was by Human Action I would have had a good hearty laugh All through my formal schooling I found economics a bore at best and a racket at worst However I discovered Austrian economics at a time when I was ripe with desire for understanding and I find the methodologically sound and logically rigorous approach of its major writers consistently elucidating After reading a half dozen or so other books from within this school of thought a book club that I was participating in took on this treatise much to my good fortuneDon't make this your first step into the world of theoretical economics but if you have an understanding of some basic philosophical concepts have a moderate level of economic literacy and understand the commitment of time and energy involved in absorbing this masterwork then I highly recommend Human Action


  8. Gary Gary says:

    Von Mises was a psychopath The evil Mises Foundation has an article actually saying that in Dicken's A Christmas foundation Carol Scrooge BEFORE his transformation had the right ideas


  9. David David says:

    There are so many problems with this work The fundamental is a rejection of empirical observations He dismisses all attempts to understand Economics by looking at historical data or using mathematics as WRONG He sees all human actions as irreducible and too complex to be understood He then builds an entire argument ostensibly on rationality If you look from a probabilistic world view you see that each step he takes away from an empirical fact introduces uncertainty Since each claim that is pilled on top now multiples the uncertainty Given the length of this book you can make a mathematical argument that the certainty of the authors conclusions are wrong would approach 100% given the methodology The author argues against taking on beliefs based on authority but what else is this book? He makes all kinds of assertions about the basic nature of man and human prehistory which I don't believe line up with either contemporary or modern understandings of either subject Clearly this is written by a man who sees a totalitarian communist everywhere he looks What troubles me is that I see so much of modern thought based on these assumptions about the nature of man I think the value of this book is getting to see the rotten foundations of this mode of thought


  10. Robert Taylor Robert Taylor says:

    After having read the first 500 pages 3 times over the course of 2 years I finally completed my reading of Human Action Without being overly poetic it is by far the seminal intellectual book of the 20th century and probably the most important contribution to human knowledge so farIt may seem audacious for me to say something like that but given that ANY other book dealing with one of the physical sciences like a book on Advanced uantum Mechanics or any other science for that matter can only be an expansion of the disciplines that were laid out millenia ago by the Greeks it becomes easier to understand where I am coming from with my assertion given that as far as I can see in the literature today Mises' treatise is the first and most encompassing book that deals with the YOUNGEST of all sciences Economics in a pure absolutist mannerIt not only covers an all encompassing defense of Economics as a science but openly displays the epistemological problems with the science and then features a total deductive formal system of knowledge in which to understand the entire concatenation of human phenomena starting at the beginning and most fundamental aspect of human life In other words Human Action as a book serves as the first book to attempt and successfully in my opinion explain the Theory of Everything


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens [Read] ➪ Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens Author Ludwig von Mises – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk In the foreword to Human Action A Treatise on Economics Mises explains complex market phenomena as the outcomes of countless conscious purposive actions choices and preferences of individuals each of In the foreword to Human Action A Treatise des Handelns PDF ✓ on Economics Mises explains complex market phenomena as the outcomes of countless conscious purposive actions choices and preferences of individuals each of whom was trying as best as he or she could under the circumstances to attain various wants and ends and to avoid undesired conseuences It is individual choices in response to personal subjective value judgments that ultimately determine market phenomena—supply and demand prices the pattern of production and even profits and losses Although governments may presume to set prices it Nationalökonomie Theorie MOBI :Þ is individuals who by their actions and choices through competitive bidding for money products and services actually determine prices Thus Mises presents economics—not as a study of material goods services and products—but as a study of human actions He sees the science of human action praxeology as a science of reason and logic which recognizes a regularity in the seuence and interrelationships among market phenomena Mises defends the methodology of praxeology against the criticisms of Marxists socialists positivists and mathematical statisticiansMises attributes the tremendous technological progress and the conseuent increase in Theorie des Handelns Epub Ý wealth and general welfare in the last two centuries to the introduction of liberal government policies based on free market economic teachings creating an economic and political environment which permits individuals to pursue their respective goals in freedom and peace Mises also explains the futility and counter productiveness of government attempts to regulate control and eualize all people's circumstances Men are born uneual and it is precisely their ineuality that generates social cooperation and civilizationLudwig von Mises – 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 In Mises founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research From to he was an economist for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce Before the Anschluss in Mises left for Geneva where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until when he emigrated to New York City From to he was a visiting professor at New York UniversityBettina 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.

  • Hardcover
  • 1128 pages
  • Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens
  • Ludwig von Mises
  • English
  • 05 June 2015
  • 9780865976306

About the Author: Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises German pronunciation ˈluːtvɪç des Handelns PDF ✓ fɔn ˈmiːzəs; September – October was an Austrian economist historian philosopher author and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the Austrian government's economic policies in the first third of the th century the Austrian School of Economics and the modern free market libertarian movement.


10 thoughts on “Nationalökonomie Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens

  1. Paul Paul says:

    One of the most important books of the 20th century not yet as influential as it deserves to beI was brought to this book in 2009 after a growing feeling of dissatisfaction with expert explanations being offered for the various financial and economic calamities that seemed to be happening worldwide Economic commentary by journalists and pundits struck me as being opaue partisan and contradictory Gradually I had become interested in the ideas of the so called Austrian school of free market economics and eventually I decided to take the plunge and read its principal text Human ActionI was bowled over In the first place the title Human Action intrigued me As a category this seemed to extend far beyond the bounds of what I thought of as economics and indeed I was right Von Mises founds his argument on a little known 19th century discipline called praxeology or the science of human behavior While psychology is the study of human thoughts and feelings praxeology is the study of human actions To be alive is to be continually in action doing things Why do we do what we do? What guides our actions? What motivates us?At the bottom of all our actions lies a specific feeling a felt unease that prompts us to seek its lessening its amelioration It was easy for me to assent to this idea since it accords well with my Buddhist training Indeed human action is a passable translation of the Sanskrit term karma which according to Buddhists is the mechanism of action and reaction in which we all engage due to duhkha usually translated as suffering although felt unease is probably a better translation It is usually subtle and underlying rather than something that is consciously felt and I think von Mises put his finger on this uality of experience and it was a mark of his genius to do so and to build his analysis from itPart 1 of the book the first 140 or so pages deals only with the theory of human action and the categories intimately associated with it such as time and uncertainty Our lives are short and therefore time presses and we have to choose some things and forgo others; the future is uncertain so we have to use our experience and our smarts whatever those might be to make the best choices we can Each one of us is in this situation even as we are also uniue individuals in uniue circumstances This uniueness of constitution and circumstance means that we value things differently differently from each other and differently ourselves from day to day or moment to moment Nothing whatsoever has any intrinsic fixed value all is subjective and situationalBuilding out from these ideas von Mises goes on to explain logically and systematically how the free actions of subjective individuals necessarily develop into the phenomena we call markets and how if allowed to follow their own course material and social benefits necessarily flow from themI don't doubt that some people regard von Mises as dogmatic and he does write in a forceful declarative style but it is not dogma any than Euclid's Elements is dogma and for the same reason For von Mises insists that the fields of praxeology and catallactics its extension into the realm of production and consumption are purely logical their laws based on irreducible constants of experience such as time and uncertainty are inexorable and not falsifiable by experiment Praxeology and catallactics are built up by theorems exactly like geometryAgain and again while reading this book I found myself confronted with new provocative ideas In this respect von Mises has few peers In my own reading I can think of only maybe Northrop Frye or Eric Hoffer or Erich Neumann as offering such a density of surprising ideas per pageIs von Mises a capitalist? Absolutely Capitalism in its pure state is the condition of free individuals engaging with each other without coercion Von Mises deplores violence and for him socialism is intrinsically violent and should be shunned because it leads inexorably to poverty and slavery things that no human being seeks At the same time he's well aware that there is plenty of coercion and fraud in supposedly capitalist societies and to the extent that this is the case those societies are materially poorer and less free than they might beI do not feel competent to argue with anything that von Mises is saying since the depth and range of his thought in these areas is so vastly greater than my own But I did have a couple of uestions or proto critiues One was in von Mises' assertion that military conscription is a justifiable intrusion on the liberty of individuals Since this to me is a form of slavery I find it hard to suare with his dedication to individual liberty Another issue was in his assertion that all values are subjective; he takes it as an axiom that no absolute value can be found My intuition is that this point of view is one that ignores the spiritual dimension of human life In Buddhism for example duhkha or felt unease is not the last word; in a sense it's only the first word For like von Mises the Buddha started there but he took that notion in a much different and a much deeper direction The Buddha taught liberation from that unease; von Mises is only teaching us how to get along with itBut in all my considered opinion is that Human Action is one of the greatest works of literature of all time And as such it is I believe worthy of your time and attention

  2. Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson says:

    This book is one of the greatest of the 20th century and will endure as a bright beacon of wisdom for centuries to comeI began this book in a curious but still recommended fashion in college Because of its size over 800 pages and at times especially in the beginning difficulty I chose to use it as a reference book In going to classes or doing my other reading if I came across an ideacritiue of free market capitalism that bothered me or one which I thought there is no way the free market can solve X problem then I simply looked up X in the Table of Contents or Index then read the passages by Mises Time and time again not even having read all the context surrounding each passage I found a whole new and usually much clearer than anything I had ever read approach to the problemidea In almost every instance I saw new ways of thinking about how the free voluntary marketplace really could solve X problems better than passing a law for the government to do something coercive about it as is the common trait today Often the passage from Mises would show very clearly why the government may have caused the very problem in the first place with previous laws or it's actionsBut you probably don't believe meSo I just challenge you to try it Human Action will not answer every problem in the world that you come across but I bet you will come away enriched intrigued and amazed at how logical and consistent how in touch with reality and how persuasive Mises isGo ahead try it see what you think The book is on line for free at several websites There are many editions in paperback and hardcover if you prefer a physical copy The book even has at least two different audio versions with two very competent professional readers and probably on Youtube But watch out when you check on five or ten socialeconomicpolitical problems Seeing how Mises deals with them might get you to actually read the whole book from cover to cover If you are like me that ain't such a bad thingI admit am proud actually to having read it at least four times over 40 years and wanting to do it again What is really a gas is to read in stages 50 150 pages and talk about that section in a group that has committed to discussing each part as they go Even better is if you can find a mentor to lead the group someone who knows the book well enough to help those who have difficulties and point out various key parts I've been pretty lucky to have participated in three different such groups Each group met about 10 times over the course of almost a year Each group was wonderful and helped me see so many new insights besides the side benefit of making new friendships with all the great interactionOh one thing get a copy of the book Mises Made Easier by Percy Greaves to have handy while you read Human Action It is a glossary of most of the tough obscure or foreign terms in Human Action and most of the other books by Mises It does not have absolutely all such terms in Human Action defined but it has a great many and is uite a bit better and much smaller than using a big dictionary Dictionaries can have extraneous definitions and also miss completely some of the key termsLove to hear back from you on your experience with my suggestions 1 introductory method of getting acuainted with Human Action or2 the serious and thorough discussion group method too I may even know of someone in your area who might like to join you in such a project I have a pretty good worldwide network of friends interested in Mises 3 check out if you have difficulty finding someone just send me a messageEnjoy You could be getting into something truly transformational

  3. Clif Clif says:

    Ludwig von Mises is a major contributor to what is called the Austrian School of economics Human Reason is his magnum opus a thorough going look at the way that the innate human desire to decrease uneasiness is the pursuit for which capitalism is the mechanismThe thesis is simple Human beings take action to make things better for themselves If we were satisfied there would be no economy But most of us will be cautious in what we do avoiding as much risk as possible in our attempt to get what we wantCertain individuals the entrepreneurs however seek out risk when they see an opportunity to obtain capital the materials needed to produce something at a total cost less than the price that can be obtained by selling the final product what we call profit Of course we all seek individual profit when we do anything even something as simple as moving an object in the living room closer to a chair so we can reach it But the entrepreneur seeks profit in a way that heshe hopes will benefit others why else would people buy what the entrepreneur puts up for sale? If the entrepreneur is successful he or she is rewarded If the product does not sell he or she loses money and the business fails Risk results in reward or failureRather than decrying the wealth of those who are successful in taking a risk in the hope of a reward we should be grateful that such risk takers exist because they are the ones who bring forth the products we desire who take the time and money and effort to come up with the products and services that have created the huge increase in wealth obtained since capitalism took root in the 17th centuryConsumers are not victims of capitalism but kings of the market that exists only to provide things for which we those consumers are willing to pay We end up paying for what we want and not having to pay for what we don't wantSocialism is according to von Mises an idealistic fiction that cannot but end in chaos because it has no method of determining prices and is driven by the few who make policy in the name of the many who must accept what they are told is best for society as a whole The man or woman on the street ends up faced with great uantities of products that few want and too few of the products that many want Only by having a capitalist system to determine prices is there any chance for a socialist system to even limp along as the USSR did for several decades Under socialism there is no opportunity to vote with one's moneyNot a single chart or graph will be found in this lengthy work and that is in keeping with von Mises insistence that human action cannot be uantified with formulas that provide any guide to future events Human beings decide what is best for them as individuals who evaluate conditions in non uantitative waysA validation of von Mises concept is presented by modern advertising that has largely thrown out plain speech advocating a product in favor of atmospherics and emotional settings that tug on the non rational side of human thought to sway purchasing decisionsThis book is a perfect read at this time 2008 9 of huge interventions by government in financial affairs We hear economists making a case for this or that government action based on what has been learned in the past particularly in the Great Depression But von Mises argues that history can never repeat itself because the factors that make up any economic situation are too complex for than a very broad and hence of little use comparison between the past and the present Government actions are broad and blunt and slow acting while the economy changes from minute to minute Like the bull in the china shop interventions are likely to create future problems than to solve current onesIn the careful arguments that he makes Human Reason is nothing if not a collection of solid logic von Mises provides the reader with a real education in the meaning of savings investments unions welfare prices and so much He makes short work of Marxism by showing the faulty premises on which it is basedNever one to rant the author maintains that though there is a certain amount of pain in capitalism to those who lose jobs or investments it is than offset by the vast increase in wealth for humanity as a whole that it has provided We may not like what the market economy does to us as individuals at certain times in our lives but we can hardly deny the fabulous abundance of consumer goods that we can have for very little money something that even the kings and ueens of old were deniedThis book is for the person who wants to know why things are the way they are It is not for casual reading or entertainment but it is intellectually satisfying highly educational and best of all it makes sense

  4. Brian Michels Brian Michels says:

    There cannot be a serious conversation about economics without Mise's Human Action is the definition of Free Market and delivers the goods for a just economy while cutting down to size any alternative economic systemThis is a must read in your lifetime book The sooner the better

  5. Kevin Cole Kevin Cole says:

    I used to hate economics because I thought it related to nothing in my life Certain others then began showing me in flashes that I was wrong But it was Mises who not only showed but to my mind proved economics has everything to do with my life; because economics doesn't exist without people behaving as peopleWhimsical exampleIf you're in the habit of buying a pound of Brazilian coffee for 1 every week then you hear on the news that an unexpected freeze has hit Brazil with analysts expecting Brazilian coffee exports to drop and subseuently Brazilian coffee prices worldwide to rise what do you do? Do you wait until next week to buy as much coffee for twice the price? No you buy twice as much coffee now What Mises explains in elegant layering is whyWhy would I buy coffee now? Easy answer To save money if not now then later But there's to it than that Why would I want to save money? Because having less money means having less money to buy other things that I wantCommon sense? Then why do people hate economics? Why do people insert morality into a phenomenon human action that is morally neutral?We live in a world of scarcity in which our wants exceed the means to satisfy those wants Because of this people are ill at ease Yet they can imagine a state where they are less ill at ease and act to achieve it ends by way of means whereby all things have subjective utility and are chosen on a scale of valueNo ranting A good book

  6. Monica Perez Monica Perez says:

    The best work on economics ever written If Mises had been an anarchist he'd have been perfect

  7. Ross Ross says:

    Human Action is considered by many to be the definitive theoretical work for what is known as the Austrian school of economics Reading it was 10 weeks of brain stretching concentration peppered liberally with moments of personal paradigm shaking and demystification of how our actions affect each other It enhanced my appreciation of the beautiful way in which life orders itselfIn the first section of this masterwork Mises gets right down to laying a solid epistemological and methodological foundation for the study of the social sciences The ideas in this section could be Mises' most powerful contribution to mankind's body of ideas and I consider it one of the most fascinating discoveries of my adult life Mises shows the inherent difference between the nature of the subject matter of natural sciences and the social sciences For example it is not possible to carry out controlled social laboratory experiments in reliably revealing ways This does not in any way de legitimatize the study of the social sciences but it indicates that sound understanding of them reuires a suitable methodological approach than that of the natural sciences In order to make some sense of the virtually infinite white noise of historical data one must have a theoretical base with which to recognize the relevant data and use it to draw causal links between events and phenomena This is the context of his introduction of the basic ideas of praxeology the study of human action The fundamental concepts of praxeology are that actions are performed by individuals individual action arises from a motive or purpose and that purpose is the attempt to satisfy some perceived need or want To develop economics using praxeology we don't have to understand where purposes come from the complex neurological mechanisms going on whether they are purely determined by physical law or if there is some sort of extra physical aspect to desiresintentions No matter what sort of truths are discovered or beliefs held along these lines we still know that there is action and action is purposeful Mises uses this principle to build his economic theory from the ground upMises illustrates that the economic models used by mathematically oriented economic schools of thought are based on an assumption of static resource levels and consumer demands as well as unchanging technological knowledge It is meaningless to take these models and derive impressive looking mathematical formulae that attempt to describe reality as reality is always unpredictable and in flux However Mises doesn't dispense with these static economic models altogether but uses them brilliantly as theoretical tools By changing one variable at a time Mises shows how a given static model relates to the dynamic unpredictability of reality in which every action of an individual actor aggravates the static state illustrated by the model With this techniue Mises shows the respective ways in which the various types of individual and institutional actions shift the end euilibrium state within these models which the economy is approaching but never reaching at any given instant of timeAs Mises would put it economics is a value free science It does not aim to tell us what we should strive for but rather what is the most effective way to achieve whatever it is that we do strive for I don't agree with every philosophic idea that Mises presents But as Mises elegantly shows it is not necessary to be lock step with his cosmological or social philosophy in order to understand the great practical applicability of his economic ideas to understanding the ongoing drama of human action and exchange Having said that in my mind Human Action handily rebuts the major criticisms I have seen of his economic theories and methodological approach In the face of the praxeological base of Mises' theoretical work the criticisms leveled against them usually seem pretty shallow and lacking in any real attempt to understand the fundamental concepts of praxeologyFive years ago if you told me I would be as fascinated by an economics book as I was by Human Action I would have had a good hearty laugh All through my formal schooling I found economics a bore at best and a racket at worst However I discovered Austrian economics at a time when I was ripe with desire for understanding and I find the methodologically sound and logically rigorous approach of its major writers consistently elucidating After reading a half dozen or so other books from within this school of thought a book club that I was participating in took on this treatise much to my good fortuneDon't make this your first step into the world of theoretical economics but if you have an understanding of some basic philosophical concepts have a moderate level of economic literacy and understand the commitment of time and energy involved in absorbing this masterwork then I highly recommend Human Action

  8. Gary Gary says:

    Von Mises was a psychopath The evil Mises Foundation has an article actually saying that in Dicken's A Christmas foundation Carol Scrooge BEFORE his transformation had the right ideas

  9. David David says:

    There are so many problems with this work The fundamental is a rejection of empirical observations He dismisses all attempts to understand Economics by looking at historical data or using mathematics as WRONG He sees all human actions as irreducible and too complex to be understood He then builds an entire argument ostensibly on rationality If you look from a probabilistic world view you see that each step he takes away from an empirical fact introduces uncertainty Since each claim that is pilled on top now multiples the uncertainty Given the length of this book you can make a mathematical argument that the certainty of the authors conclusions are wrong would approach 100% given the methodology The author argues against taking on beliefs based on authority but what else is this book? He makes all kinds of assertions about the basic nature of man and human prehistory which I don't believe line up with either contemporary or modern understandings of either subject Clearly this is written by a man who sees a totalitarian communist everywhere he looks What troubles me is that I see so much of modern thought based on these assumptions about the nature of man I think the value of this book is getting to see the rotten foundations of this mode of thought

  10. Robert Taylor Robert Taylor says:

    After having read the first 500 pages 3 times over the course of 2 years I finally completed my reading of Human Action Without being overly poetic it is by far the seminal intellectual book of the 20th century and probably the most important contribution to human knowledge so farIt may seem audacious for me to say something like that but given that ANY other book dealing with one of the physical sciences like a book on Advanced uantum Mechanics or any other science for that matter can only be an expansion of the disciplines that were laid out millenia ago by the Greeks it becomes easier to understand where I am coming from with my assertion given that as far as I can see in the literature today Mises' treatise is the first and most encompassing book that deals with the YOUNGEST of all sciences Economics in a pure absolutist mannerIt not only covers an all encompassing defense of Economics as a science but openly displays the epistemological problems with the science and then features a total deductive formal system of knowledge in which to understand the entire concatenation of human phenomena starting at the beginning and most fundamental aspect of human life In other words Human Action as a book serves as the first book to attempt and successfully in my opinion explain the Theory of Everything

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *