"Government means always coercion and compulsion and is by necessity the opposite of liberty. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of economic freedom. Where there is no market economy, the best-intentioned provisions of constitutions and laws remain a dead letter."
Ludwig von Mises
(1881-1973) Economist and social philosopher
"Human Action"
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Reader comments about this quote:
There is much truth to be found here and much complexity. Where von Mises' quote falls short is in balance, exactly the place broad pronouncements usually fall apart. For instance: if one changes the word 'liberty' in his first sentence to 'anarchy', is not the same level of 'truth' achieved, despite a very large difference in meaning? I submit that NAFTA, GATT, SPP (Security and Prosperity Agreement) and the current TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) are not "compatible with liberty" of ordinary Americans in the slightest. The substantial reductions of station and the personal wealth of ordinary Americans guaranteed by these "agreements", is profound and increasingly visible. I submit that an extraordinary amount of economic tyranny and loss of genuine personal freedom is being successfully palmed off on Americans, under the guise of 'free markets.' Outside of private, individual barter, which indeed remains free, and flea markets, which are taxed and regulated more assiduously than financial institutions are, there's no such thing as a free market in the U.S. Nor is freedom a commodity to be had in the marketplace; it's just not for sale - despite the fact our foremost politicians are.
 -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
    To quote L. Neil Smith, "Government is a Disease Masquerading as it's own Cure.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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