by Ludwig von Mises
The authors who think that they have substituted, in the analysis of the market economy, a holistic or social or universalistic or institutional or macroeconomic approach for what they disdain as the spurious individualistic approach delude themselves and their public. For all reasoning concerning action must deal with valuation and with the striving after definite ends, as there is no action not oriented by final causes. It is possible to analyze conditions that would prevail within a socialist system in which only the supreme tsar determines all activities and all the other individuals efface their own personality and virtually convert themselves into mere tools in the hands of the tsar’s actions. For the theory of integral socialism it may seem sufficient to consider the valuations and actions of the supreme tsar only. But if one deals with a system in which more than one man’s striving after definite ends directs or affects actions, one cannot avoid tracing back the effects produced by action to the point beyond which no analysis of actions can proceed, i.e., to the value judgments of the individuals and the ends they are aiming at.