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Author Ludwig von Mises
Original title Liberalismus
Translator Ralph Raico
Country Weimar Germany
Language German
Subject(s) Classical liberalism, Property
Publisher Gustav Fischer Verlag, Liberty Fund
Publication date 1927
Published in
Pages 175 (1927 edition) / 171 (1962 and 2005 editions) / 207 (others)

Liberalism (original German title: Liberalismus) is an influential book by Austrian School economist and libertarian thinker Ludwig von Mises, containing economic analysis and indicting critique of socialism. It was first published in 1927 by Gustav Fischer Verlag in Jena and defending classical liberal ideology based on individual property rights. Starting from the principle of private property, Mises shows how the other classical liberal freedoms follow from property rights and argues that liberalism free of government intervention is required to promote peace, social harmony and the general welfare. The book was translated into English by a student of Mises, Ralph Raico, but its first English edition in 1962 was titled The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth rather than Liberalism, as Mises thought that the literal translation would create confusion because the term liberalism after the New Deal and especially in the 1960s became widely used in the United States to refer to the leftist ideology supporting degrees of government intervention, in opposition to Mises' central premise. The English translation was made available online by the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 2000.



  • Introduction
1. Liberalism - 2. Material Welfare - 3. Rationalism - 4. The Aim of Liberalism - 5. Liberalism and Capitalism - 6. The Psychological Roots of Antiliberalism
  • I. The Foundations of Liberal Policy
1. Property - 2. Freedom - 3. Peace - 4. Equality - 5. The Inequality of Wealth and Income - 6. Private Property and Ethics - 7. State and Government - 8. Democracy - 9. Critique of the Doctrine of Force - 10. The Argument of Fascism - 11. The Limits of Governmental Activity - 12. Tolerance - 13. The State and Antisocial Conduct
  • II. Liberal Economic Policy
1. The Organization of the Economy - 2. Private Property and Its Critics - 3. Private Property and the Government - 4. The Impracticability of Socialism - 5. Interventionism - 6. Capitalism: The Only Possible System of Social Organization - 7. Cartels, Monopolies, and Liberalism - 8. Bureaucratization
  • III. Liberal Foreign Policy
1. The Boundaries of the State - 2. The Right of Self-Determination - 3. The Political Foundations of Peace - 4. Nationalism - 5. Imperialism - 6. Colonial Policy - 7. Free Trade - 8. Freedom of Movement - 9. The United States of Europe - 10. The League of Nations - 11. Russia
  • IV. Liberalism and the Political Parties
1. The "Doctrinairism" of the Liberals - 2. Political Parties - 3. The Crisis of Parliamentarism and the Idea of a Diet Representing Special Groups - 4. Liberalism and the Parties of Special Interests - 5. Party Propaganda and Party Organization - 6. Liberalism as the "Party of Capital"
  • V. The Future of Liberalism
  • Appendix
1. On the Literature of Liberalism - 2. On the Term "Liberalism"

Publication history


In German

  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalismus. Jena: Gustav Fischer Verlag, 1927.
  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalismus. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 1993. ISBN 3883454281.

In English

The book was translated into English by Ralph Raico.

  • Ludwig von Mises, The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth: An Exposition of the Ideas of Classical Liberalism. Princeton, Van Nostrand 1962
  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism, a Socio-Economic Exposition (Studies in economic theory). Mission, KS: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1978. ISBN 0836251067.
  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: In The Classical Tradition. Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education - San Francisco: Cobden Press, 1985. ISBN 0930439236.
  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition. Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education 1996. ISBN 1572460229.
  • Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005. ISBN 0865975868.


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