Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Whether at least part of Ukraine survives as a free and independent country when this war ends, or whether that will have to wait until some time in the future, Ukrainians will have to plan for the reconstruction of their economy at some point in the future. The economic policy agenda for such a reconstruction is at least partly at hand, and can be found in the writings of the Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises.

Mises, interestingly, was born in Lviv in 1881, when it was then known as Lemberg in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. He served as an artillery officer in the Austrian Army during World War I, seeing action on the eastern front against the Russians. After Lenin’s Bolshevik government signed a separate peace with Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary in February 1918, Mises was sent to the part of Ukraine that fell under Austrian occupation. He was assigned as officer in charge of currency control, with his headquarters in Odessa. Mises served there for most of the spring of 1918, until he was ordered back to Vienna as an economic expert with the Austrian general staff until the end of the war in November 1918.

In the summer of 1918, shortly after returning to Vienna, Mises prepared a policy paper offering “Remarks Concerning the Establishment of a Ukrainian Note-Issuing Bank.” It was an outline of the institutional rules to be followed by a Ukrainian central bank under a gold standard. (In Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises, Vol. 2, pp. 23-29).

Read more at the Future of Freedom Foundation


Ebeling is the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel. A former professor of economics at Northwood University, and at Hillsdale College, he is the author of Austrian Economics and Public Policy:  Restoring Freedom and ProsperityMonetary Central Planning and The State and co-author with Jacob Hornberger of The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration  and The Dangers of Socialized Medicine