The purpose of the Oxford University Mises Society is to promote intellectual discourse on the ideas of free-market capitalism, the Austrian school of economics, and libertarianism in the University of Oxford. The Society is named after the great 20th-century Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises.
Free-market capitalism, also known as laissez-faire capitalism, is an economic system characterised by comprehensive private property, free-market pricing, and the absence of coercion. In particular, there is private ownership of the means of production. A defining feature of modern capitalism is mass production for the needs of the masses.
The Austrian school of economics was founded in 1871 with the publication of Carl Menger’s Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre (Principles of Economics), which was part of the marginal revolution in economic science. It is not merely a field within economics, but is an entirely different approach which differs from the mainstream on method, theory, and policy.
Libertarianism is a political philosophy which places great emphasis on individual freedom. There have been (and there still are) many varieties of libertarianism, but the creator of modern libertarianism was Murray N. Rothbard (student and intellectual heir of Ludwig von Mises) who synthesised the thought of the classical-liberal tradition, the Austrian economists, the antiwar tradition, and the natural-rights tradition into a unified system of ethics. Libertarians believe strongly in the right to private property, and are opposed to the initiation of force or fraud. They view the State as the principal enemy of freedom in society.
The Oxford University Mises Society’s activities include inviting interesting speakers, such as academics, journalists, businessmen or politicians, to give talks on topics related to, or in the spirit of, these ideas, as well as organising occasional social events.