Libertarians and World Government

I’ve been doing a little bit of side reading on capitalism and charity and I came across some of Ludwig von Mises’s writings on foreign policy. I’ll have a longer post on his foreign policy arguments in the future (promise!) but for now lemme just say it falls roughly in line with many other classical liberals.

One interesting tidbit about classical liberals like Mises, Hayek, and Adam Smith is that they were actually very much in favor of some kind of world governing body that would be able to standardize laws and further erode the arbitrary borders drawn up by statesmen over the course of centuries. However, they were much more realistic about the practicality of such an endeavor, as well as suspicious of other kinds of international government being espoused by various thinkers (in Smith’s time, this was done by despots and Popes [same thing!], and in Hayek’s and Mises’s time this was done by despots and socialists [again, same thing!]).

This realism should not be confused, though, with opposition to an international governing body charged with codifying a standard, minimum set of global laws concerning trade, private property, individual rights, and, of course, peace.

Again, I’ll have a longer post explaining the foreign policy arguments of classical liberals in the near future, but for now this juicy little tidbit is all I can offer y’all. You can find Mises’s musings on foreign policy in his book Liberalism (available to read for free at

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