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Below is a list of intriguing quotations I pulled from the book Bureaucracy by Ludwig von Mises, written in 1944:

Bureaucracy

“Bureaucracy is but a consequence and a symptom of things and changes much more deeply rooted.”

“Of course, America is faced with a phenomenon that the framers of the Constitution did not foresee and could not foresee: the voluntary abandonment of congressional rights. Congress has in many instances surrendered the function of legislation to government agencies and commissions, and it has relaxed its budgetary control through the allocation of large appropriations for expenditures…”

“…government control of business is ultimately incompatible with any form of constitutional and democratic government.”

“The trend toward bureaucratic rigidity is not inherent in the evolution of business. It is an outcome of government meddling with business.”

“Thus a tendency toward rigidity originates….In all countries all tax laws are today written as if the main purpose of taxes were to hinder the accumulation of new capital and the improvements which it could achieve…..Modern policies result in tying the hands of innovators no less than did the guild system of the Middle Ages.”

“The popular ideas of government interference with business and of socialism have undermined the dams erected by twenty generations of Anglo-Saxons against the flood of arbitrary rule.”

“Bureaucratic management is management bound to comply with detailed rules and regulations fixed by the authority of a superior body. The task of the bureaucrat is to perform what these rules and regulations order him to do.”

“Bureaucratic management is the method applied in the conduct of administrative affairs the result of which has no cash value on the market. Remember: we do not say that a successful handling of public affairs has no value, but that it has no price on the market, that its value cannot be realized in a market transaction and consequently cannot be expressed in terms of money.”

“The objectives of public administration cannot be measured in money terms and cannot be checked by accountancy methods.”

“What many people nowadays consider an evil is not bureaucracy as such, but the expansion of the sphere in which bureaucratic management is applied.”

“People blame bureaucracy, but what they really have in mind are the endeavors to make the state socialist and totalitarian.”

“It is a mistake to judge the efficiency of a government department by comparing it with the working of an enterprise subject to the interplay of market factors.”

Capitalism

“Capitalism or market economy is that system of social cooperation and division of labor that is based on private ownership of the means of production.”

“It is the most precious privilege of man to strive ceaselessly for improvement and to fight by improved methods against the obstacles that nature opposes to his life and welfare.”

“It is therefore nonsensical to contrast production for profit and production for use. With the profit motive the enterpriser is compelled to supply the consumers with those goods which they are asking for most urgently.”

“Thus the capitalist system of production is an economic democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. The consumers are the sovereign people.”

“In the capitalist system all designing and planning is based on the market prices.”

“The devices of bookkeeping and accountancy are so familiar to the businessman that he fails to observe what a marvelous instrument they are. It needed a great poet and writer to appreciate them at their true value. Goethe called bookkeeping by double-entry “one of the finest inventions of the human mind.””

“Responsibility to the consumer is the lifeblood of business and enterprise in an unhampered market society.”

“Profit is the reward for the best fulfillment of some voluntarily assumed duties. It is the instrument that makes the masses supreme. The common man is the customer for whom the captains of industry and all their aides are working….under capitalism, their main task is to serve the consumers.”

 

Politics

“Bureaucratization is only a particular feature of socialization. The main matter is: Capitalism or Socialism? Which?”

 “The emergence of a large class of such men dependent on the government became a serious menace to the maintenance of constitutional institutions.”

“…both industrial inefficiency and corruption are the consequences of methods of government interference with business…”

“The worst law is better than bureaucratic tyranny.”

“Representative democracy cannot subsist if a great part of the voters are on the government pay roll.”

“The modern trend toward government omnipotence and totalitarianism would have been nipped in the bud if its advocates had not succeeded in indoctrinating youth with their tenets and in preventing them from becoming acquainted with the teachings of economics.”

“Economics deals with the operation of the whole system of social cooperation, with the interplay of all its determinants, and with the interdependence of the various branches of production. It cannot be broken up into separate fields open to treatment by specialists who neglect the rest.”

“The government pretends to be endowed with the mystical power to accord favors out of an inexhaustible horn of plenty. It is both omniscient and omnipotent. It can by a magic wand create happiness and abundance.”

“The truth is that the government cannot give if it does not take from somebody.”

 “At the bottom of all this fanatical advocacy of planning and socialism there is often nothing else than the intimate consciousness of one’s own inferiority and inefficiency.…He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.”

“Paternal government by an order of lofty and wise men, by any elite of noble bureaucrats, can claim a very eminent champion, Plato. Plato’s ideal and perfect state is to be ruled by unselfish philosophers.”

 “Whether one likes it or not, it is a fact that the main issues of present-day politics are purely economic and cannot be understood without a grasp of economic theory. Only a man conversant with the main problems of economics is in a position to form an independent opinion on the problems involved.”

“All the others are merely repeating what they have picked up by the way. They are an easy prey to demagogic swindlers and idiotic quacks. Their gullibility is the most serious menace to the preservation of democracy and to Western civilization.”

Can we compromise between capitalism and socialism?

“The most detrimental outcome of the average citizen’s repugnance to a serious concern with economic problems is his readiness to back a program of compromise. He looks upon the conflict between capitalism and socialism as if it were a quarrel between two groups—labor and capital—each of which claims for itself the whole of the matter at issue. As he himself is not prepared to appraise the merits of the arguments advanced by each of the parties, he thinks it would be a fair solution to end the dispute by an amicable arrangement: each claimant should have a part of his claim.”

“Thus the program of government interference with business acquired its prestige. There should be neither full capitalism nor full socialism, but something in between, a middle way. This third system, assert its supporters, should be capitalism regulated and regimented by government interference with business.”

“The conflict between socialism and capitalism is not a struggle between two parties for a greater share in the social dividend. To see the matter this way is tantamount to a full acceptance of the tenets of the Marxians and the other socialists.”

Conclusion

“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 promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.”

8/16/2011 08:54:28 am

Politics! Ya gotta love it, Charlie Bessey Congress of Colorado 2020!

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