The Montaigne Fallacy

“The Leitmotiv [i.e., an often repeated theme] of social philosophy up to the emergence of economics was: The profit of one man is the damage of another; no man profits but by the loss of others.  This is not a philosophy of social cooperation, but of dissociation and social disintegration.  For the sake of expediency, we call this doctrine after its proponent, essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-92).  In the light of this Montaigne fallacy, human intercourse cannot consist in anything but the spoliation of the weaker by the stronger.”

–Ludwig von Mises. Economics as a Bridge for Interhuman Understanding


  1. That is only even slightly possible as long as the Pile Of Stuff (POS, to quote Obama) remains constant. History has certainly disproved that.

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