Monday, 9 August 2010

Not shattered, but softened

The Social Frame·work of the Free Market
by Wilhelm Ropke

From Chapter IV - The Welfare State and Chronic Inflation - (Page 159)

The situation which the leading welfare-state countries have already reached, and which others are aiming at, startlingly coincides with the famous vision which Alexis de Tocqueville, Heine's contemporary, saw in his mind's eye when he described the coming state in his classical work Democracy in America: "[The government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the· most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." (Vol. II, Book IV, Chapter 6, p. 319.)

Find the book (and many others) at Ludwig von Mises Institute

No comments: