From R.C. Hoiles
September 8, 1949
Ludwig von Mises
c/o Foundation for Economic Education
New York, N.Y.
Dear Mr. von Mises:
I meant to ask you in my last letter why you spelled praxiology with an "e" when the Webster's dictionary spells it with an "i".
Further regarding your statement that "public education can work very well if it is limited to reading, writing, and arithematic." I wonder whether you ever read Read's letter to a big industrialist friend on how far public education should go. I am enclosing a copy of it. Any education that does not teach the pupil who is learning to read and write that there are certain immutable laws that govern human relations can do a great deal more harm than good.
The world would have been better off if such men as Stalin and Hitler and Roosevelt and even Dewey and Governor Warren never had learned to read. They could not have been such successful demagogues if they could not read. Of course, they would have learned to read whether it was by way of the state or not. But as the late Albert Jay Nock said, it has never been demonstrated yet that it was to the interest of society to have everybody read. If they only read to excite their envy and hate and passions and to be better robbers, our material well-being would be better off if they could not read.
Yours very truly,
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