Ludwig von Mises is well known as a fountainhead of the revival of classical liberalism and libertarianism after WWII. But his influence on contemporary political thought was based entirely on his groundbreaking contributions to social analysis, and to monetary economics in particular. At the very moment when inflationist ideas had made their intrusion into the academic world and were about to supersede classical economics, Mises revolutionized the theory of money. He was the first economist to develop a full-fledged explanation of money prices, and he was also the first to develop a comprehensive analysis of the causes and consequences of money production. His work renewed and greatly reinforced the case against monetary interventionism, which had been at the heart of classical economics.
It was Mises’s personal misfortune that, during all of his life, his economic and political ideas were thoroughly out of fashion. But, precisely for this very reason, his legacy is lasting and strong. Today the ideas that Mises had painstakingly refuted have run their course. Inflationism, socialism, and statism have spelled misery, corruption, and chaos. Reading Mises enables us to understand this world, and it helps us to see the road that leads out of these quagmires.