I was hoping somebody out there could answer for me. Why is Ludwig von Mises such a bad ass? From the foreign policy section of Liberalism:
The right of self-determination works to the advantage only of those who comprise the majority. In order to protect minorities as well, domestic measures are required, of which we shall first consider those involving the national policy in regard to education.
In most countries today school attendance, or at least private instruction, is compulsory. Parents are obliged to send their children to school for a certain number of years or, in lieu of this public instruction at school, to have them given equivalent instruction at home. It is pointless to go into the reasons that were advanced for and against compulsory education when the matter was still a live issue. They do not have the slightest relevance to the problem as it exists today. There is only one argument that has any bearing at all on this question, viz., that continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace.
The inhabitants of London, Paris, and Berlin will no doubt find such a statement completely incredible. What in the world does compulsory education have to do with war and peace? One must not, however, judge this question, as one does so many others, exclusively from the point of view of the peoples of Western Europe. In London, Paris, and Berlin, the problem of compulsory education is, to be sure, easily solved. In these cities no doubt can arise as to which language is to be used in giving instruction. The population that lives in these cities and sends its children to school may be considered, by and large, of homogeneous nationality. But even the non-English-speaking people who live in London find it in the obvious interest of their children that instruction is given in English and in no other language, and things are not different in Paris and Berlin.
However, the problem of compulsory education has an entirely different significance in those extensive areas in which peoples speaking different languages live together side by side and intermingled in polyglot confusion. Here the question of which language is to be made the basis of instruction assumes crucial importance. A decision one way or the other can, over the years, determine the nationality of a whole area. The school can alienate children from the nationality to which their parents belong and can be used as a means of oppressing whole nationalities. Whoever controls the schools has the power to injure other nationalities and to benefit his own.
I’m going to keep reading (you should too) and hopefully write up a little sum-sum about what I’ve learned soon.