Sentences to PonderPeter Klein • Wednesday October 19, 2011 10:46 AM PDT •
From Guido Hülsmann’s masterful biography of Ludwig von Mises:
[Mises’s] impact in [the early 1920s] was limited primarily by his deficiencies as a communicator. He was not an orator and lacked the charismatic personality to win over an audience. He had a fine and dry wit, but was often too subtle for those outside Europe’s higher society. And when he gave talks in foreign languages, his wit abandoned him. He certainly was not at ease in French or English. His accent was strong when speaking English, and his French, although significantly better, was far from perfect. Who knows what turn the history of the 1920s might have taken had Mises enjoyed the communicative gifts of a Maynard Keynes, an Irving Fisher, a Werner Sombart, or an Othmar Spann?
Today’s libertarian movement is blessed with many outstanding communicators. But we can all work on our oratorical style—rhetoric matters!