As I wrote here, in response to another commentator who had said: “Ludwig von Mises himself was not an anarchist and went so far as to outright denounce anarchism as ‘altogether untenable'”:
Mises was wrong. However, his views on this matter were so close to anarchy to be almost indistinguishable. See Rothbard:
How far would Mises push the principle of secession, of self-determination? Down to a single village, he states; but would he press beyond even that? He calls the right of self-determination not of nations, “but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit.” But how about self-determination for the ultimate unit, for each individual? Allowing each individual to remain where he lives and yet secede from the State is tantamount to anarchism, and yet Mises comes very close to anarchism, blocked only by practical technical considerations:
If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country.
That Mises, at least in theory, believed in the right of individual secession and therefore came close to anarchism can also be seen in his description of liberalism, that “it forces no one against his will into the structure of the State.”
And Mises did believe in a vigorous right to secede, Liberalism pp. 109-10:
The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars. … However, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done.
See also Ludwig von Mises and the Justification of the Liberal Order, by William Baumgarth (“Mises, then, opened himself up to the claims of the individualist anarchists, who believe such a radical self-determination not only feasible but, on Mises’ own grounds, the ultimate source of social peace.”).
Update: Vijay Boyapati has persuaded me that this is a bit TTH (trying too hard). Mises was not an anarchist.
Update: Maybe I was wrong. He is pretty darn close to anarchism.