Tuesday, October 16, 2018

More Incredible Mises-Fascism Confusion

By Robert Wenzel

At the post, Roubini Smear: Mises Supported Fascism, a commenter writes:

I agree with your analysis of what Mises actually meant, but I still find his conclusion extremely troubling. To assert that a political movement that was largely responsible for initiating the most destructive war in human history, as well as perhaps its most notorious campaign of genocide, "saved European civilization" is incredible.

The notion that, but for a few goose-stepping, flag-waving tyrants, we'd have all been assimilated into the communist Borg, is every bit as ridiculous as the current speculation that the war on terror is forestalling the imposition of Sharia Law in the US.

If anything, I would suspect that the aggressive totalitarian threat of the fascists further provoked the communists and chased people into their arms.

I realize that Mises was there and I wasn't (though perhaps that made it difficult for him to see the forest from the trees), and that his contributions to libertarian theory are perhaps unparalleled, and that Roubini is just a mudslinging troll... BUT, Mises is clearly soft-pedaling the right-wing collectivist threat here.
What an incredible miscomprehension of my post!

First, I made clear that the Mises quote that is waved about by Mises-haters is from a  Mises book, Liberalism, that was published in 1927. Hitler did not come to power in Germany until 1933! It had nothing to do with Hitler's Germany. There wasn't a Hitler run Germany when Mises wrote about fascism.

Mises was referring to Italian fascism which as I indicated was soft-fascism. It was not anti-semite at the time Mises wrote about it and it was fighting the communist Bolsheviks, who were much more violent and murderous. And, Jews in Italy were allowed to be fascists until 1938! (SEE: The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe) Eleven years after Mises had written Liberalism

 From realpolitik pre-Hitler period perspective, Mises correctly considered the Italian "soft" fascists in a manner a counter to the more violent communists of the Third International but he still made clear the problems with fascism and that the only ultimate solution was classical liberalism.

The above comment has simply no sense of the timeline of fascist history or what it meant at different times. A complete failure to understand how the essence of a movement could change over time. Further, referencing fascism with goose-stepping is bizarre. It is a military form of parade march that was used in Nazi Germany but never in Italy.

To link Mises with the fascists that emerged under Hitler in Germany is absurd. Mises wasn't soft-pedaling anything, he was commenting on the Italian fascists at the time he was writing.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of


  1. I'll eat my crow for missing the fact that this was written in 1927, so I was probably far too condemnatory in my comments.

    However, I think it's still fair to point out that this particular analysis by Mises has not exactly aged well.

    1. Mises unmistakenly makes clear, that staying on the path of fascism will lead to WAR inevitably. Guess what happened.

      Mises just one paragraph above in Liberalism:
      "So much for the domestic policy of Fascism. That its foreign policy, based as it is on the avowed principle of force in international relations, CANNOT FAIL TO GIVE RISE TO AN ENDLESS SERIES OF WARS THAT MUST DESTROY ALL OF MODERN CIVILIZATION REQUIRES NO FURTHER DISCUSSION."

  2. He was replying to Bob Reddis' comment, not Bob Wenzel's posting.

  3. I'd bet my bottom dollar Rothbard would have supported Trump in 2016. Perhaps Mises would have as well.

    1. Yes you're right. You'll never find any libertarian mentioning this, but Rothbard actually endorsed Dr. David Duke for president. This is fact & can be documented easily.

      I found this out by chance while reading about Rothbard earlier this year. I find it hilarious that no libertarian seems to have the intellectual honesty to addresses this fact. Too PC?

  4. Plus, the continuous referring to Hitler as fascist is pretty ridiculous when he was the head of the National German Socialist Worker's party. Is Bernie Sanders a fascist too?