A Favorite Quote From Return to Order: Elites Are Necessary

One of my favorite quotes from Return to Order is a comment of Ludwig von Mises about the need for elites, heroes and representative characters in society. Our culture of frenetic intemperance has failed to recognize the courage of those who look beyond their own self-interests and consider the needs of the common good. These key figures, who are real heroes need to be honored at all levels in society, for they are responsible for true progress.

Ludwig von Mises states:

“Mankind would never have reached the present state of civilization without heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of an elite. Every step forward on the way toward an improvement of moral conditions has been an achievement of men who were ready to sacrifice their own well-being, their health, and their lives for the sake of a cause that they considered just and beneficial. They did what they considered their duty without bothering whether they themselves would not be victimized. These people did not work for the sake of reward, they served their cause unto death.”

Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1944), p. 78.