Ludwig von Mises: The dedication of elites built our civilization

October 22, 2012

Top row, L to R: St. Joan of Arc - she saved France; St. Nuno Álvares Pereira - he saved Portugal; St. Katherine Drexel - pioneer and missionary to American Indians. Bottom Row: St. Jadwiga - Queen of Poland; St. Norbert of Xanten - a nobleman who founded the Norbertines, also known as the Premonstratensians; St. Yves of Kermartin - from a wealthy Breton noble family, was known as "The Advocate of the Poor."

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.

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