I really hate when anarchists try to defend Mises as if he was some sort of ‘radical’ classical liberal that was basically an inch away in believing in anarchism, or more specifically, anarcho-capitalism. I remember in my anarchist period, I did that exact same thing, so I could completely understand why one would do that, but nevertheless it is a huge pet peeve of mine now. But one has to take into consideration that Mises was a classical liberal and he supported the State, whether anarchists want to admit it or not, and he even thought of the State as a desirable institution.
Society cannot do without a social apparatus of coercion and compulsion, i.e. without state and government. (1)
There are people who call government an evil, although a necessary evil. However, what is needed in order to attain a definite end must not be called an evil … Government may even be called the most beneficial of all earthly institutions as without it no peaceful human cooperation, no civilization and no moral life would be possible.(2)
Liberalism [in the European sense-the philosophy of free markets and limited government] differs radically from anarchism. It has nothing in common with the absurd illusions of the anarchists… Liberalism is not so foolish as to aim at the abolition of the state. (3)
(1) Anti Capitalistic Mentality pg 90
(2) Economic Freedom and Intervention pg 57
(3) Omnipotent Government pg 48
It is quite clear from the passages above that Mises did call for States to be mandatory. As a matter of fact, that is a requirement in the classical liberal branch, a classical liberal thinks of a government as a necessary, but limited.
Also what bothers me is this hatred for Hayek as if he was some sort of socialist pig. Keep in mind now that Friedrich von Wieser, a self proclaimed socialist, never gets this criticism as being a socialistic pig, at least not to the extent as that of Hayek. Even while I was studying at the Mises Institute during the summer, all the faculty gave praise to Wieser for his economic contributions, and not once mentioned their opinions about him being a socialist. Why can’t the same be for Hayek? Hayek surely is less ‘socialistic’ than Wieser, yet he gets the whole ‘statist’ label more than Wieser. Instead of being closed minded people, why don’t you take what Hayek had to say about policy to the side and really read and understand his theoretical points, which his work on knowledge, spontaneous order, and the market process are great. Furthermore, Mises praised Hayek for his work on economics and classical liberalism. He considered Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty, a book highly criticized by Rothbard and his group, the result of Hayek’s studies in the philosophy of freedom, and said nothing negative about it. * It should be quite clear, that this hatred for Hayek is solely due to Rothbard, which, unfortunately, is embraced by the modern Rothbardian.
* Tribute to Hayek by Ludwig von Mises