Ludwig Lachmann

The economist Ludwig Maurits Lachmann, well-known for Capital and Its Structure (1956) and The Market as an Economic Process (1986), taught at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 1948 and 1972, and was president of the South African Economic Society between 1961 and 1963.

Lachmann’s two most well-known books, Capital and Its Structure and The Market as an Economic Process.

In September 1976 Lachmann addressed a meeting of the Free Market Foundation, alongside Dirk Hertzog and Leon Louw, on the topic of economic freedom. He explained how politicians trade promises for votes, arguing that the more they promise, the more votes they attain. This was the basis for his argument that democracy, as it was then widely practiced, threatens economic freedom (Swanepoel 1976c). In an interview with the FMF in August of the same year, Lachmann (1976) argued that inflation, too, threatens economic freedom. Governments, which are invariably unwilling to stop increasing the supply of money, will use methods like price, wage, and rent controls, among other restrictions on the market, to restrain inflation.

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