INDICE DEL LIBRO
MAN, ECONOMY, AND STATE
1. Fundamentals of human action
2. Direct exchange
3. The pattern of indirect exchange
4. Prices and Consumption
5. Production: the structure
6. Production: the rate of interest and its determination
7. Production: general pricing of the factors
8. Production: entrepreneurship and change
9. production: particular factor price and productive incomes
10. Monopoly and competition
11. Money and its purchasing power
12. The economics of violent intervention in the market
POWER AND MARKET
1. Defense services on the free market
2. Fundamentals of intervention
3. Triangular intervention
4. Binary intervention: taxation
5. Binary intervention: government expenditure
6. Anti-market ethics: a phraseological critique
7. Conclusion: economics and public policy
Traditionally, those claiming that life would be better without government (including late 19th century American individualists) didn`t have confidence in the voluntary sector either, so their views were a muddle. Then came Austrian economist and radical thinker Murray Rothbard with a deep understanding of free markets.
His masterwork Man, Economy and State, thankfully reprinted in a magnificent Scholars Edition by the Mises Institute, explains the principles of human action and provides a comprehensive view of how free competition regulates markets far more effectively than bureaucrats. This two-volume work is offered here in one volume, together with Power and Market, which was originally part of the same manuscript, then cut and published separately. Power and Market applies the principles to wide-ranging issues.
Since markets are human institutions, there will always be some incompetents and crooks, but Rothbard shows how competition provides incentives for honesty and good service. However unsatisfactory a market situation might be sometimes, government intervention tends to make things worse. Indeed, many of history`s worst catastrophes occurred precisely because nobody has discovered a way to keep incompetents, crooks and for that matter murderers out of government where they can harm millions.
Perhaps nobody has offered as lively a defense of an all-voluntary society. “The difference between a government and a criminal band,” Rothbard wrote, “is a matter of degree rather than kind.” He explains why there`s no such thing as just taxation. He demolishes claims that consumers can be protected by having the government restrict competition. He assails licenses, “one of the most important (and steadily growing) monopolistic impositions in the American economy.”
Again and again, Rothbard makes clear how government compulsion gives officials incentives to make decisions that are bad for people. These books are among the most important works in the literature on liberty.
Praise for Man, Economy and State:
“An epochal contribution to the general science of human action.”
—Ludwig von Mises
“It is in fact the most important general treatise on economic principles since Ludwig von Mises` Human Action.”
“Only on extremely rare occasions do I have the opportunity to praise a work without reservations. This book is happily one such occasion. From the standpoint of truth, it is the greatest work ever published in economic thought… one marvels at the ease which he communicates even the most difficult and complex economic concepts.
“This is also more than a work on economic principles–it is a searching analysis of the principles of a free society itself, focusing on the nature of property rights, of voluntary exchange, on production and its nature, of money, on monopoly and competition, and analyzing the effects of government intervention into the purely free market… A true masterwork of our time.”
— Roy A. Childs, Jr.