“The fact is that almost everywhere the groups which pretend to oppose socialism at the same time support policies which, if the principles on which they are based were generalized, would no less lead to socialism than the avowedly socialist policies. There is some justification at least in the taunt that many of the pretending defenders of “free enterprise” are in fact defenders of privileges and advocates of government activity in their favor rather than opponents of all privilege. In principle the industrial protectionism and government-supported cartels a nd the agricultural policies of the conservative groups are not different from the proposals for a more far-reaching direction of economic life sponsored by the socialists. It is an illusion when the more conservative interventionists believe t hat they will be able to confine these government controls to the particular kinds of which they approve. In a democratic society, at any rate, once the principle is admitted t hat the government undertakes responsibility for the status a nd position of particular groups, it is inevitable that this control will be extended to satisfy the aspirations and prejudices of the great masses. There is no hope of a return to a freer system until the leaders of the movement against state control are prepared first to impose upon themselves that discipline of a competitive market which they ask the masses to accept. The hopelessness of the prospect for the near future indeed is due mainly to the fact that no organized political group anywhere is in favor of a truly free system.” (emphasis added.)

“Free Enterprise and Competitive Order” April, 1947