Here’s an interesting description of government regulation, courtesy of Isabel B. Paterson:

[S]he used the idea of an open electric circuit to depict the ideal working of a free society. The founding fathers, she argued, designed political and legal structures that allow peaceful human energies to flow and interact freely in an unhampered market economy. The energy system is short-circuited whenever government begins to intervene by directing individuals’ lives and regulating the economy. “Government by force is a contradiction in terms and an impossibility in physics.” Paterson wrote. “Force is what is governed.”

That quote appears in Edmund Opitz’s entry on Paterson in American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (ISI Books, 2006).