Mit Einleitung von Federico Salazar (Mises Peru Institute)
Im Namen des Staates is not a very well-known book by Ludwig von Mises. The title refers to such famous dicta as “in name of the Father” or “in the name of God”. To cross from God to State seems quite absurd. But it wasn’t for Ferdinand Lasalle, who, more than Marx, was the driving force of German socialism. “The state is God” is a saying attributed to him, but without any precise reference to his works. The attribution is made by Julius Freser (“Was wollen Sie? Der Staat ist Gott!”, in Gustav Mayer, “Lasalleana”, in Archiv für Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung [Archive for the History of Socialism and the Workers Movement], Vol. I, p. 196, edited by Carl Grünberg.
Grünberg was a teacher of Mises’ and also of Kelsen’s at the University of Vienna. Talking to my friend Enrique Ghersi about the non-deciphered relationship between Mises and Kelsen, it seemed important to me to investigate the probable affinities between Kelsen and socialism and, more generally, between legal positivism and statism.
In that connection, it seemed advisable to read “Sozialismus und Staat”, published in 1921, in Grünberg’s Archiv (vol. IX) and “Marx oder Lasalle?” (Archiv, vol. XI). The first one will be re-issued this year in volume 6 of the Works of Kelsen, but the other one won’t. In those days I found an online antiquarian bookshop offering a re-issue of the whole collection of the Archiv for an interesting price. I bought it. A week ago, I started reading the tables of content of each volume and found a triple recension by Mises of books by Cassel, Diehl and Gelesnoff on economic theory (Archiv, vol. X, pp. 89-99).
I didn’t remember such a recension existed, so I looked for references in highly regarded sources such as Bettina Bien Greaves’ Mises: An Annotated Bibliography; Der unbekannte Mises by Kurt R. Leube; Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises, edited by Richard M. Ebeling, and the biography by Jörg Guido Hülsmann, Mises, The Last Knight of Liberalism. I didn’t find any notice about the recension, so I immediately asked my friend Enrique to help me contact the author of the Unbekannte Mises. The generous answer of Professor Leube allows us to read Mises’s text online, which was hidden until now in the Archive for The History of Socialism and the Workers Movement.