The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.
The truth is that most people lack the intellectual ability and courage to resist a popular movement, however pernicious and ill-considered.
The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by governments.
Every socialist is a disguised dictator.
Liberty is meaningless if it is only the liberty to agree with those in power.
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them.
Liberty is always freedom from the government.
Assistance granted to the unemployed does not dispose of unemployment. It makes it easier for the unemployed to remain idle.
Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.
An entrepreneur cannot be trained. A man becomes and entrepreneur by seizing an opportunity and filling the gap. No special education is required for such a display of keen judgment, foresight, and energy.
Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.
The struggle for freedom is ultimately not resistance to autocrats or oligarchs but resistance to the despotism of public opinion.
The most serious dangers for American freedom and the American way of life do not come from without.
Taxing profits is tantamount to taxing success.
Socialism is not in the least what it pretends to be. It is not the pioneer of a better and finer world, but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created. It does not build, it destroys. For destruction is the essence of it. It produces nothing, it only consumes what the social order based on private ownership in the means of production has created.
The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments.
The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.
Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer.
The government and its chiefs do not have the powers of the mythical Santa Claus. They cannot spend except by taking out of the pockets of some people for the benefit of others.
What pushes the masses into the camp of socialism is, even more than the illusion that socialism will make them richer, the expectation that it will curb all those who are better than they themselves are.
If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.
Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy.
A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.
Freedom really means the freedom to make mistakes.