Have you ever wondered about the greatness of the book called “Nation, State, and Economyâ€? Maybe you wondered why that piece from 1919 is so universal and its theses are easily applicable to the modern demo-liberal state? Or maybe you’ve wondered how Mises came up with mostly correct conclusions about secession and self-determination?
Well, wonder no more, and instead read the first chapter of Huelsmann’s book. Mises lived in an empire with enormous ethnical and religious diversity. He saw different cultural, national and religious groups; hence he had everyday experience, which could explain his willingness to write NSE and his interest in theories of nation-states. Moreover, the fact that he’d grown up in this environment makes his case for free trade even more understandable, since protectionism is a destructive weapon activated in case of heterogeneous groups.
Apart from that it should come as no surprise that due to those conditions Mises grew up to become a tolerant person. Although he was always very sure of himself, he perfectly accepted the notion that other people might have different opinions than his own, and he would not show disrespect because of that. As we will see, Huelsmann proves the so-called Machlup-Friedman myth about Mises’s intolerance to be incorrect. But let’s leave this story to tell later on.
The chapter also gives some clues about the lady behind the genius â€“ that is Adele Mises, Ludwig’s mother, who had enormous impact on his character and attitude.