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Question about Mises's book Socialism

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FreedomFan88 Posted: Tue, Sep 2 2008 2:05 AM

Hello everyone.

I'm new to the study of economics and capitalism, and so far I'm loving it. I've read Robert Murphy's Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism and Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, both of which are fantastic. I figured I'd go for some more challenging material, so I picked up Mises's Socialism. I'm enjoying it so far but it definitely wasn't written for beginners.

My question is, does anyone know of a study guide to accompany it to help me clearly grasp all of these concepts? Something like Cliffs Notes for economics maybe, either online or for sale. This might be a hopeless question but I figured it'd be worth a shot, and if it doesn't exist after all - hey, there's a great idea for a book! The Mises Reader perhaps. It would be of great assistance to all of these new recruits to the liberty movement (like me!)

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banned replied on Tue, Sep 2 2008 3:19 AM

Not sure about Socialism, but Murphy has a great study guide out for Human Action:


The study guides are filed under "Study Guide to Human Action, Chapter #"

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Well Bettina Greaves did author a book to the effect of Mises made easier (I think that's the title.) She might cover some of his arguments in Socialism there.


Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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Dude, trust me in I say this. Never go for primary sources first. They're always old and give you a headache. For example, you might want to pick up something like "Requiem for a Marx" before you go straight to "Socialism." In any case, I tried to find a study guide for you but I couldn't find anything. My advice is that you just try to slug through it and if it becomes too much, you might want to read a book written in more modern prose instead and go back to "Socialism" later when you have a better understanding of the concepts.

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genrader replied on Thu, Sep 11 2008 5:42 PM

What is funny is Socialism was the first Austrian economics book I read. It was very hard to grasp. I had a little bit of understanding that the central banks were behind the credit crisis but it made my head reel on so many levels. I didn't understand that Mises was a utilitarian and not a natural rightist (made me very confused a few times).

However I did manage to understand that Socialism cannot work without economic calculation, I never had any doubts since I read that book. Now that I have a better foundation I am prepared to reread it and fully digest it all.

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Sage replied on Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:44 PM

Yeah, Socialism is really not for the new recruits. I'd say read some of the more modern stuff and then go back to tackle Mises. - The Positive Political Economy of Anarchism

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mitcjm replied on Fri, Sep 12 2008 2:22 PM

I'm also a beginner when it comes to econ. However, I just started reading Theory and History and it's pretty easy to understand. I would recommend starting there. I'm loving Mises' style of writing so I'm looking forward to stepping up to Human Action.

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