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Table of Contents

Introduction; Profit Management; Bureaucratic Management; Bureaucratic Management of Publicly Owned Enterprises; Bureaucratic Management of Private Enterprises; The Social and Political Implications of Bureaucratisation; The Psychological Consequences of Bureaucratisation; Is There Any Remedy Available?; Conclusion; Index.

About the Author

Ludwig von Mises (18811973) was the leading spokesman of the Austrian School of economics throughout most of the twentieth century. Bettina Bien Greaves is a former resident scholar and trustee of the Foundation for Economic Education and was a senior staff member at FEE from 1951 to 1999.


Written by professor former Vienna Chamber of Commerce economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), Bureaucracy is a classic economic treatise, first published in 1944, about how the efficient aspects of private ownership and control of public good production ultimately produces superior results compared to the mishmash of publically administrated plans laced with codes of "officialdom", government incompetence, unforeseen legal wranglings, graft, and other ills. "Bureaucracy in itself is neither good nor bad," Mises states; rather, bureaucracy is a valuable resource for managing certain spheres of human activity, such as policing and courts of law, yet ultimately a failure or even harmful when applied to private enterprise, simply because forced obedience to strict rules hobbles entrepreneurial managers' room to maneuver amid fluctuating market situations, and stifles their innovation in response to evolving consumer wants. "Under socialism . . . the beginner must please the already settled. They do not like too efficient newcomers. (Neither do old-established entrepreneurs like such men; but, under the supremacy of the consumers, they cannot prevent their competition.) In the bureaucratic machine of socialism the way toward promotion is not achievement but the favor of the superiors . . . The rising generation is at the mercy of the aged." As timely and insightful now as it was over half a century ago, Bureaucracy is highly recommended especially for college library and economic studies shelves.

The Midwest Book Review
July 2007

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