“Government thus has to intervene in economic life for the benefit of all not only to redress grievances, but also to establish enterprises that promote economic efforts but, because of their size, are beyond the means of individuals and even private corporations. These are not paternalistic measures to restrain the citizens’ activities; on the contrary, they furnish the means for promoting such activities; furthermore, they are of some importance for those great ends of the whole state that make it appear civilized and cultured.Was it some evil statist?
Important roads, railways and canals that improve the general well-being by improving traffic and communication are special examples of this kind of enterprise and lasting evidence of the concern of the state for the well-being of its parts and thereby its own power; at the same time, they are/constitute major prerequisites for the prosperity of a modern state.
The building of schools, too, is a suitable field for government to prove its concern with the success of its citizens’ economic efforts.”
Well, no, it was none other than Carl Menger, the founder of Austrian economics, in his Lectures to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, p. 121.
A hat tip to Isaac Marmolejo. Please see his original post here:
In fact, some of the early Austrians such as Eugen von Philippovich, Friedrich von Wieser and Richard von Strigl had progressive liberal and even Fabian socialist sympathies, as I have noted before in this post:
Menger, Carl. 1994. Carl Menger’s Lectures to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (ed. by Erich W. Streissler and Monika Streissler; trans. Monika Streissler and David F. Good), E. Elgar, Aldershot.