The Life, Times, and Work of Ludwig von Mises
4. The Great War and Its Aftermath
Mises was not surprised by WWI, 1914-1920. He was posted on the Northern Front of the Austro-Hungarian towns as a Lieutenant in an artillery unit. He often used his private initiative and competitive advantages during dangerous and hard battles in that first year.
He became involved in the economic side of the war. He saw inflation lead to increased prices, price controls and black markets. Mises did not believe that conquest in the East would be any advantage to Austro-Hungary. The Russian Front collapsed in 1917. Mises joins another department and becomes a professor in an unpaid position.
Social Democrats prevailed in the new Austrian republic. Mises was an economic consultant, a professor, and a member of the government. He prevented Bolshevism from prevailing in Vienna. He saw that a currency collapse would at least have the liberating effect of destroying the system that brought it about. This was like creative destruction.
Lecture 4 of 10 from The Life, Times, and Work of Ludwig von Mises, a George and Joele Eddy Seminar.