Mises the Sunny Pessimist

Kristoffer Mousten Hansen

Ludwig von Mises was called several names and epithets in his life, by his admirers and enemies alike. His friends and colleagues dubbed him theLast Knight of Liberalism,” while his critics called him intransigent, fanatic, and even less flattering epithets.

Just recently I came across another nickname the great Austrian had in the 1920s and 30s: the sunny pessimist. Writing to Bettina Greaves in 1974, Karl Menger, the son of the famous economist, recounts how this came about:”