[S]tatism is but socialized dishonesty; it is feathering the nests of some with feathers coercively plucked from others - on the grand scale. There is no moral difference between the act of a pickpocket and the progressive income tax or any other social program.— Leonard Read
The most delighting Leonard Read quotes you will be delighted to read
Socialism takes and redistributes wealth, but it is utterly incapable of creating wealth.
Once an activity has been socialized, it is impossible to point out, by concrete example, how men in a free market could better conduct it. How, for instance, can one compare a socialized post office with private postal delivery when the latter has been outlawed?
Such terms as communism, socialism, Fabianism, the welfare state, Nazism, fascism, state interventionism, egalitarianism, the planned economy, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier are simply different labels for much the same thing.
...the greatest political problem facing the world today is...how to curb the oppressive power of government, how to keep it within reasonable bounds.
What precisely is this disease that causes inflation and all these other troubles? It has many popular names, such as socialism, communism, state interventionism, and welfare statism.
There is no moral distinction between the act of a pickpocket and the progressive income tax.
The more complex our economy, the more we should rely on the miraculous, self-adapting processes of men acting freely. No mind of man nor any combination of minds can even envision, let alone intelligently control, the countless human energy exchanges in a simple society, to say nothing of a complex one.
Were it necessary to bring a majority into a comprehension of the libertarian philosophy, the cause of liberty would be utterly hopeless. Every significant movement in history has been led by one or just a few individuals with a small minority of energetic supporters.
Insecurity must follow the transfer of responsibility from self to others, particularly when transferred to arbitrary and capricious government. Genuine security is a matter of self-responsibility, based on the right to the fruits of one's own labor and freedom to trade.
A fact rarely suspected, let alone understood, is that businessmen are by no means the chief beneficiaries of the free market, private ownership, limited government way of life. Many business ventures fail entirely. Who then are the beneficiaries? The masses!
Politicians, bureaucrats, editors, new commentators, 'economists' teachers,' and other word artists who denounce private enterprise and praise socialism are their own worst enemies...these attackers are unwittingly destroying the sources of their own livelihood. They kill the geese that lay the golden eggs - and don't know it!
There is no moral distinction between petty thievery and 'from each according to ability, to each according to need.'
Coercion is as much the tool of the welfare state as it is of communism.
The programs and edicts of both are backed by the police force. All of us know this to be true under communism, but it is equally true under our own brand of welfare statism.
We need only take our heads out of the sand to see clearly that interventionism not only has failed to provide the promised something-for-nothing, but has led to all sorts of undesirable consequences. Indeed, many are just beginning to realize that we are moving towards disaster even though we have been on a wrong heading for decades.
The proper and limited use of government is to invoke a common justice and keep the peace - and that is all.
What, actually, is the difference between communism and fascism? Both are forms of statism, authoritarianism. The only difference between Stalin's communism and Mussolini's fascism is an insignificant detail in organizational structure.
The advancement of freedom is not a matter of who wields political power over creative actions; rather, it depends upon the disassembling of such power.
Statism, which forces all of us within its orbit, is nothing but a political system of organized plunder, managed by every conceivable type of pressure group.
If the bureaucracy is not checked, it will tend to build, in the name of peace, a defense against every conceivable contingency - so much 'security' that 'the secured' are without resources - helpless and hopeless.
Under both the welfare state and communism, the responsibility for the welfare, security, and prosperity of the people is presumed to rest with the central government.
The solution to this problem [welfare-statism] must take a positive form: the restoration of a faith in what free men can accomplish.
It should be noted that people in the free market rarely bear false witness;
integrity is the rule. The morning mile, phone calls, planes the airlines buy, autos by the millions - no one could list the instances - are as represented. We have daily, eloquent, enormous testimony that the Ten Commandments can be and are observed by fallible human beings. Contemporary politics is the most glaring of all exceptions.
Governments resort to inflation with popular support because the people apparently are naïve enough to believe that they can have their cake and eat it, too.
True, the free market ignores the poor precisely as it does not recognize the wealthy - it is 'no respecter of persons'
There is no greater dishonesty than man effecting his own private gains at the expense of others.
There is really nothing that can be done except by an individual.
Only individuals can learn. Only individuals can think creatively. Only individuals can cooperate. Only individuals can combat statism.
Whenever government assumed responsibility for the security, welfare, and prosperity of citizens, the costs of government rise beyond the point where it is politically expedient to cover them by direct tax levies.
Is it not obvious that the more complex an economy, the more certainly will governmental control of productive effort exert a retarding influence?
If we remove the hope of profit as a means to alleviate misfortune - poverty, illness, misery, disaster - we shall increase our misfortunes and make them permanent.
The American people are becoming more and more afraid of, and are running away from, their own revolution.
The Constitution was definitely and specifically designed to hobble all people who are so foolish as to think themselves capable of leading others by compulsion. It so functions today to an extent exasperating to the authoritarians - which is why they want to get rid of it.
The system of plunder derives much of its support from individuals who do not subscribe to socialism but who say, 'We're paying for it, so we might as well get our share'
There could be no greater error than to conclude that statism caused prosperity.
The free market opens the way for men to operate at their moral best, and all observation confirms that the poor fare better under these circumstances than when the way is closed, as it is under socialism.
No one has more than scratched the surface when it comes to understanding and explaining the miracle of the market.
Socialistic practices are now so ingrained in our thinking, so customary, so much a part of our mores, that we take them for granted.
The libertarian can have no truck with 'left' or 'right' because he regrets any form of authoritarianism - the use of police force to control the creative life of man.
In market terms, one is entitled to what others will offer in willing exchange. That is all!