Ludwig von Mises Institute

The Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI), established in October 1982 in Auburn, Alabama, USA by Llewellyn (Lew) H. Rockwell, Jr., who remains its President, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy.

The Institute's economic theories depict any government intervention as destructive, whether through welfare, inflation, taxation, regulation, or war.

It generally advances a view of government and economics expressed by Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises. The Institute is funded entirely through private donations.

Some controversy surrounds its creation and the Koch Family Foundations throughout the 1980s. The ensuing ideology-driven drama created a rift between the Mises Institute and organizations like the Cato Institute, whose members had been staunch allies throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.


Lew Rockwell; "In the early eighties, Charles Koch monopolized the libertarian think-tank world by giving and promising millions. That's fine, but he was gradually edging away from radical thought, which included Austrian economics, and toward mainstreaming libertarian theory (as opposed to libertarianizing the mainstream) that attracted him in the first place.

I have never understood this type of thinking. If being mainstream is what you want, there are easier ways to go about it than attempting to remake an intellectual movement that is hostile to government, into a mildly dissenting subgroup within the ideological structure of the ruling class.

Murray and Charles broke at this point, and I won't go into the details. But it was clear that Koch saw their break as the beginning of a long war. Early on, I received a call from George Pearson, head of the Koch Foundation. He said that Mises was too radical and that I mustn't name the organization after him, or promote his ideas. I was told that Mises was "so extreme even Milton Friedman doesn't like him." If I insisted on going against their diktat, they would oppose me tooth and nail.

Later, I heard from other Koch men. One objected to the name of our monthly newsletter, The Free Market. The idea this time was that the word "free" was off-putting. Another said that the idea of an Austrian academic journal was wrong, since it implied we were a separate school, and mustn't be. All urged me to dump Murray and then shun him, if I expected any support."


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