Front Page Titles (by Subject) 2: Science and Socialism - Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
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2: Science and Socialism - Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis 
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane, Foreword by F.A. Hayek (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981).
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Science and Socialism
Abstract thought is independent of the wishes which move the thinker and of the aims for which he strives.103 Only this independence qualifies it as thought. Wishes and purposes regulate action. When it is said that economic life influences thought the facts are reversed. Economy as rational action is dependent on thought, not thought on economy.
Even if it were wished to admit that thought is determined by class-interest, it could only be done by considering recognized class interests. But the recognition of class interest is already a result of thought. Whether such thought shows that special class interests exist or that the interests of all classes in society harmonize, the process of thought itself has taken place before the idea of class influenced thought.
For proletarian thought, it is true, Marxism assumes a truth and eternal value, free of all limitations of class interest. Though itself admittedly a class, the proletariat must, transcending class interests, guard the interests of humanity by abolishing the division of society into classes. In the same way, proletarian thought contains in place of the relativity of class-determined thought, the absolute truth content of the pure science which will come to fruition in the future socialist society. In other words, Marxism alone is science. What preceded Marx historically, may be reckoned the pre-history of science. Marxism gives philosophers before Hegel about the same place which Christianity gives to the prophets, and grants Hegel the same position which Christianity assigns to the Baptist in relation to the Redeemer. Since the appearance of Marx, however, all truth is with the Marxist, and everything else is lies, deception, and capitalist apologetics.
This is a very simple and clear philosophy, and in the hands of Marx’s successors it becomes still simpler and clearer. To them science and Marxian Socialism are identical. Science is the exegesis of the words of Marx and Engels. Proofs are demonstrated by the quotation and interpretation of these words. The protagonists exchange accusations of ignorance of the “Writ.” Thus a real cult of the proletariat arises. Engels says: “Only in the working class does the German theoretic mind persist unstunted. Here it is not to be exterminated. Here no regard is paid to career, profit-making, gracious patronage from above. On the contrary, the more regardlessly and disinterestedly science proceeds the more it finds itself in unison with the workers’ interests and strivings.”104 According to Tönnies “only the proletariat, i.e. its literary spokesmen and leaders,” suscribe, “on principle, to the unscientific view and all its consequences.”105
To reveal these presumptuous assertions in their proper light we have only to recall the socialist attitude towards all scientific achievements during recent decades. When about a quarter of a century ago, a number of Marxian writers tried to cleanse the party doctrine of its grossest errors, a heresy hunt was instituted to preserve the purity of the system. Revisionism succumbed to Orthodoxy. Within Marxism there is no place for free thought.
[103. ]The wish is father to the thought, says a figure of speech. What it means is that the wish is the father of faith.
[104. ]Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach und der Ausgang der klassischen deutschen Philosophie, 5th ed. (Stuttgart, 1910), p. 58.
[105. ]Tönnies, Der Nietzsche-Kultus (Leipzig, 1897), p. 6.