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Von Mises vs. Naomi Klein

Von Mises vs. Naomi Klein

Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action and Naomi Klein’s No Logo are worth reading in parallel. I did not intend to end both on the same day, but so it happened. I started with von Mises to fill the gap in my knowledge about economics with no intention that it might relate to brandlife. I started with Naomi Klein because I thought that I had to check this book that should have been a cardinal book about branding. It would be a shame if I find out after I release brandlife, that I repeat some of her thoughts. Both intentions proved to be wrong.

Von Mises first published his book in 1940, and Naomi Klein in 2000. I thanked God that von Mises did not write about branding, since his elaborated economic calculation is, in fact, a basis for my elaboration of brands, values, and business models. Brands, as such, were of no concern for him, but how he treats values was a great support to my previous thoughts. I could easily write a praxeology of branding, but that would be of no avail (typical von Mises phrase). He has done it.

On the other hand, a celebrity Klein’s book proved not only not to compete with my thoughts, but also as utterly disapproved by all that happened after the book was written. Should the acclaimed Naomi read von Mises’s work, she could have never written No Logo. Human Action discredited No Logo 60 years before No Logo was written. Her sweatpants stories should discredit capitalism, but it is clear now that her predictions were false. Not only did the brands she mentioned grow, but Far East economies and people there developed thanks to brands opening their production facilities there. Brands that respect the sustainable development of all six of their capital and are, for that reason, still thriving, survived much better than Naomi herself.

To repeat the positive side of this post: Human Action should be considered as a cardinal elaboration of humanities, human values, and human strivings not only in the 20th century but from the perspective of several thousands of years of philosophy. It is a book about homonism.

The title of this post should thus not be Von Mises vs. Naomi Klein. One could find no confrontation between the two. It is an illusion that they are playing on the same playground. It is a playground of Von Mises on which Naomi appears as an absurd character.


This post is a fourth edition of the original from 2012. This last one was posted six days before the 50th anniversary of von Mises’s death, October 10, 1973.

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