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Revisionist History of War Conference

Summary:
“Truth is the first casualty of war.” This saying is said to have its origins in ancient Greece, in the writings of the playwright Aeschylus. Thus, for thousands of years it has been recognized that most wars are wars of conquest through mass murder, plunder, and destruction. For the ruling classes, war is an opportunity. For the citizens, war means death or crippling injury, taxes, debt, sacrifice, and loss of freedoms. Hence the need for mountains of lies.“[O]f course the people don’t want war,” the notorious Hermann Goring declared during the Nuremberg trials. “All you have to do,” he continued, “is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism.... It works the same way in any country.”Goring was right. And in most cases

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“Truth is the first casualty of war.” 

This saying is said to have its origins in ancient Greece, in the writings of the playwright Aeschylus. Thus, for thousands of years it has been recognized that most wars are wars of conquest through mass murder, plunder, and destruction. For the ruling classes, war is an opportunity. For the citizens, war means death or crippling injury, taxes, debt, sacrifice, and loss of freedoms. Hence the need for mountains of lies.

“[O]f course the people don’t want war,” the notorious Hermann Goring declared during the Nuremberg trials. “All you have to do,” he continued, “is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism.... It works the same way in any country.”

Goring was right. And in most cases the very same people who lied nations into war, then lied about the conduct of the war, have gone on to write statist histories of their wars! 

The state and its court historians spend countless resources bamboozling the public into believing in the state’s prescience, benevolence, and omnipotence while denigratingand lying aboutfree market capitalism, the civil society, and the free society in general. Never is the state’s bamboozling and lying more extreme than when the subject is war, for war is the very health of the state, as Randolph Bourne wrote in his famous essay of the same name.

But is is not true that the victors always write history. We can write the history of war too, and that is exactly what we are going to do with our first history conference in almost thirty years.

Our Revisionist History of War Conference will be held on May 15-17, 2025, at the Mises Institute. We will host an exciting lineup of Misesian and Rothbardian speakers who will illustrate for usand the worldjust why, for centuries, so many learned commentators have expressed the conviction that lies and propaganda are an essential ingredientindeed the essential ingredientof war.

Please join us in Auburn next May for this timely, important, and historical event. The Mises Institute will publish all these radical revisionist war talks as an edited volume, a testament to the truth against the onslaughts of propaganda to come.

Registration and agenda details coming soon.


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