Hullabaloo: Update: Be sure to read Konczal's piece and the ensuing argument over Mises' "endorsement" of birth control. He endorsed it --- for the husband/father to make women use if he didn't feel it was financially viable to have more children. Rick Santorum wouldn't agree with that. But in the end they can both agree on one thing: men are looking out for "the family" when they control women's reproduction. What could be wrong with that?
Ludwig Von Mises Makes the Libertarian Case against “Free Love” (and Implicitly Against Birth Control) | Rortybomb: Check out dueling Mises quotes and interpretation in the comment section from Gene Callahan - ”With the spread and progress of capitalism, birth control becomes a universal practice” – and Corey Robin (whose recent book on conservatives looks even stronger in light of these arguments by Mises) who points out that Mises isn’t talking in terms of woman’s autonomy but the husband as family owner: “In the market economy every individual is spontaneously intent upon not begetting children whom he could not rear without considerably lowering his family’s standard of life.”
Ludwig Von Mises Makes the Libertarian Case against “Free Love” (and Implicitly Against Birth Control) | Rortybomb: Given that Mike’s point was the connection between sexual autonomy for women and birth control, I don’t think the quote Gene cites — not when it’s read in context — actually undermines what Mike is trying to get. If you go onto read after the passage in question — the whole discussion is on 667-672 of Human Action (Volume 3 if you have the four volume edition) — Mises makes it very clear that it’s the father/husband who’s making the decision as to whether he wants to reproduce. And he’s making that decision as a market actor, balancing his sexual desire against what the market dictates he can support (in terms of the number of children). Mises writes (on 672): “In the market economy every individual is spontaneously intent upon not begetting children whom he could not rear without considerably lowering his family’s standard of life. Thus the growth of population beyond the optimum size as determined by the supply of capital available and the state of technological knowledge is checked. The interest of each individual coincide with those of all other individuals.” (In addition, and tangentially, Mises refers to abortion as one of several “egregious and repulsive practices” that include infanticide.) He never speaks of birth control as an advance for women’s autonomy, and he never once says it’s the woman who will be deciding it. It’s always the man, and the larger context in which he speaks of the issue is that it has resolved the Malthusian conundrum of population size versus scarcity. There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that he’d be in favor of women using birth control outside the confines of marriage — i.e., free love — or on their own initiative or for the sake of their own desire.