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Bureaucracy

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Professor von Mises addressed himself to a particular issue: what is the essential difference between bureaucratic management by government and market management in a system based on private ownership of the means of production? Mises does not discuss bureaus or bureaucrats, but inexorable principles of human action. He does not condemn bureaucracy, which is the appropriat ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 137 pages
Published September 1996 by Libertarian Press, Inc. (first published 1944)
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Patrick Peterson
13 May 2019 - I first read this about 1977, the year I graduated from college. I liked it very much, but thought it was not as good as another book, a collection of his essays/speeches - Planning for Freedom. I have read it at least once since then and have kept the same opinion.

However, a learned friend's recent short review makes me want to read it again, which I will try to do soon.

Here are my thoughts from today that I posted under my friend's review:
"Need to read it again. But I love the s
...more
Pedro Jorge
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is just great. A masterpiece for mass consumption. Mises's address to all his fellow men.

Despite having been published some 70 years ago, it will probably remain relevant for many years to come (unfortunately).

It does not delve into the mechanics of inflation and the business cycle that could turn some people off. It just explains how the market process works, how the bureaucratic process works and what are the implications of neglecting a causal relationship between the economic organizati
...more
Alexx
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is jam packed with great insights on the inherent failure of bureaucracy. Basically, since money is taken by coercion from the taxa payers, there is no sense of knowing whether the goods and services provided for by the state are in any way efficient or not. Furthermore, with the absence of the profit motive, the bureaucrat reverts to rigid rules and regulations to guide his/her management. Bureaucracy has no way to award good management and punish bad management, since there is no mar ...more
Clinton
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, favorites
The Bureaucracy analyzes and compares the structural organization in the functionality of private enterprise to bureaucratic agencies and public enterprise. The main objective of business administration is to make profit in the most efficient manner in serving the demands of the consumer. On the other hand, the main objective of public administration cannot be simply measured in terms of monetary value, so the marketplace has no ability to set any prices and achievement. It is impossible to know ...more
wpschrec
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a good short book on some of the problems with our bureaucratic system. TLDR: it's socialistic
Parasuram Venkatesh
The conception of bureaucracy as economic organisation in the absence of the profit motive is one of the cleanest, clearest conceptions I have come across. It would be interesting to apply this conception to the modern university system, charities, and non profit organisations. What Mises does in this book is fascinating; instead of merely decrying the phenomenon of bureaucracy, he elevates the discussion to the description and analysis of its causes and effects in a scientific, value-free manne ...more
Michael
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
3.5 out of 5, but I decided to be nice and round up to 4/5.

Firstly, I will say that it was a good treatment on bureaucracy and, more specifically, planned economy vs free markets. Mises is a good writer and makes persuasive arguments. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that his arguments are extremely in-depth. Given that this book is so short, I'm willing to let his brevity on some issues slide, but I will need to read more of his work in the future to understand his views on fascism and so
...more
James Voorhees
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Bureaucracy is a classic. Von Mises lays out the case for free enterprise clearly. His argument is based on the distinction between bureaucratic management and profit management. In the latter, the measure of success is profit, pure and simple. Firms that cannot satisfy the consumer, that cannot profit, die. In bureaucracies, it is much more complex. There is no single measure of success. So, in the end, bureaucrats must satisfy the rules and regulations the governments create to hold them in ch ...more
ვახო   ჰიბრის სვანიძე
for contemporary society, this book is relevant as hell. People are trying to get everything while doing nothing and do so with government, they think, that government has an unlimited money and cruel capitalists are plundering mere workers. They give a credit to enormous monster, which is bureaucracy and think, that it will solve every problem which they face. What a laziness of people. We must know, that technological advance, which brings welfare to the people, is only possible in capitalist, ...more
Chris Richardson
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. For those that don't have the patience to read through Human Action, Bureaucracy is a great way to cut your teeth on sound economic reasoning as it pertains to the pursuit of big government policy. Human Action is still a must read, but I would recommend Bureaucracy to anyone, even those that don't have an interest in economics. Well reasoned, well written - an absolute classic.
Jirka Havlas
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was absolutely superb book! I think that if more people read books like this, world could be much better place! Mises make you think about world. About how is it possible that in 70 years since this book was written absolutely nothing changed in so called liberal governments.
Dio Mavroyannis
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I found it a bit basic. It regurgitates Mises main arguments in a concise form, it critiques socialists who are obsessed with planned economies.

All in all, I found the arguments a bit familiar, nevertheless, it is well written a fun to read, as well as being quite short.
Zinger
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
A deep subject written very simply. Mises is always very methodical in explaining his points and bringing you to his conclusion.

Aftan Ismail
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book. Well articulated and concisely presented ideas.
Shane Hawk
An excellent juxtaposition of bureaucracy within both private enterprise and public services. Mises is on fire here.
ziombel
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: average person
Shelves: ase
The book is designed for the average reader and does not require any specialist knowledge. It describes some of the absurdities of bureaucracy and bureaucratic management. Also confronts bureaucratic management with the management by using the price system (free market). It also describes the source of the bureaucracy. A person more interested in free-market economics and the ensuing philosophy will not find in it a lot of new information. But I recommend that book to all enthusiasts of laissez- ...more
Zachary Moore
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and short treatise on the subject of bureaucracy. Mises establishes the essential difference between business and bureaucracy as a question of whether success can be measured by profit and loss or whether success is defined as the strict adherence of pre-established rules. He then shows how the character of bureaucracy inevitably gives rise to those negative features of bureaucratization that most spring to peoples' minds while also showing that the trend toward bureaucratization is ...more
Derek
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great fun and a very well written. I recommend this to anyone wanting to understand liberty. Several quotes that I want to share but will only choose one in hopes that others might grab this book and consume it's contents...

"The aim of the popularization of economic studies is not to make every man an economist. The idea is to equip the citizen for his civic functions in community life.
The conflict between capitalism and totalitarianism, on the outcome of which the fate of civilization depends,
...more
Ruel Chavez
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Bureaucracy, Ludwig von Mises argues throughout the book that economic and personal freedom has been consistently coerced by the State through the gradual expansion of bureaucratic management. Though citizens feel this coercion through the subtle squeezing of their pockets, it is very rare to find someone who knows the details how it is being done. I think the book will give us such ability to distinguish the voice of freedom from the counterfeit ones.

http://freedompeaceprosperity.blogspo...
...more
Josip
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: capitalism
Mises adds a fresh new perspective for anyone who wants to learn about the mystic question: What is bureaucracy? Trying to make bureaucracy something that it is not and will never be, an effective and efficient system, is a flaw that many of us thought over and over again. Some interesting concepts are shown like the difference between bureaucratic and profit management, why bureaucracy economic calculation is not possible and how it destroys the possibilities of change and growth.
Kopyto
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skvělé! Ostatně jako vždy. Brilantně podané rozdíly v principech fungování tržního vs. byrokratického prostředí a všech důsledků z nich vyplývajících.
Popsání intervencionalismu (regulace plodí další regulace, čímž se roztáčí spirála omezování individuálních svobod), jako způsobu postupného dokráčení k totalitě a socialimu, je krásně a srozumitelně podáno i neekonomů.
Daniel Hepworth
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. If it weren't for all the references to the nazis (as in, they still existed in this pre-WWII world), you would think it was written six months ago. Very clearly outlines the capitalism vs. socialism debate and lays out why bureaucracy itself (though not necessarily the bureaucrats themselves) is to be avoided when possible.
Marts  (Thinker)
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, philosophy
Great work by Von Mises, explaining the differences between bureaucratic and profit management, and the advantages and disadvantages of both with a focus on the bureaucratic forms of government and operations of large industries.
Richard Murphy
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
tough read, repetitive on the main topic of management philosophy
Collin
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Surprisingly, a really good read. Clear, concise comparison of bureaucracy and socialism.
Craig Bolton
BUREAUCRACY (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB) by LUDWIG VON MISES (2007)
Rikhard Von Katzen
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2018
Marco den Ouden
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2015
David
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Sep 22, 2013
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Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (German pronunciation: [ˈluːtvɪç fɔn ˈmiːzəs]; September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) was an Austrian economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School.

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“He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.” 59 likes
“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.” 33 likes
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