Search Books

  • Search Full Site
  • Display Book Titles
  • Display Book Paragraphs
2 paragraphs found in the 1 Book listed below
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics; Mises, Ludwig von
2 paragraphs found.
Part 1, Chapter II. The epistemological problems of the sciences of human action
1.II.160

After the philosophers had abandoned the search for the absolute, the utopians took it up. They weave dreams about the perfect state. They do not realize that the state, the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion, is an institution to cope with human imperfection and that its essential function is to inflict punishment upon minorities in order to protect majorities against the detrimental consequences of certain actions. With "perfect" men there would not be any need for compulsion and coercion. But utopians do not pay heed to human nature and the inalterable conditions of human life. Godwin thought that man might become immortal after the abolition of private property. *38 Charles Fourier babbled about the ocean containing lemonade instead of salt water. *39 Marx's economic system blithely ignored the fact of the scarcity of material factors of production. Trotsky revealed that in the proletarian paradise "the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise." *40

Note:
William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness (Dublin, 1793), II, 393-403.