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The socialists considered themselves removed from this criticism, because Marxism has declared inquiry about the establishment and the efficacy of a socialist commonwealth heretical; they continued to cherish the socialist state of the future as heaven on earth, but refused to engage in a discussion of the details of their plan. They argued, on insufficient grounds, against the universal validity of economic theory.
Proceeding from this perception, if one wants to arrange market activity according to the conclusions of scientific thought — and we give thought to these matters not only because we are seeking knowledge for its own sake, but also because we want to arrange our actions such that we can reach the goals we aspire to — one then comes unavoidably to a rejection of such interventions as superfluous, unnecessary, and harmful, a notion which characterizes the liberal teaching.
It is not that liberalism wants to carry standards of value over into science; it wants to take from science a compass for market actions.
The custom of citing initiators of great enterprises as economic leaders already gives some indication that these days it is not usually the case that one reaches these positions by economic successes but rather by other means.
In the interventionist state it is no longer of crucial importance for the success of an enterprise that operations be run in such a way that the needs of the consumer are satisfied in the best and least expensive way; it is much more important that one has "good relations" with the controlling political factions, that the interventions redound to the advantage and not the disadvantage of the enterprise.
In the interest of their spiritual welfare and with a view toward their reward in heaven, rulers were admonished by their priests to exercise moderation in their use of power.
Also, it was not a question of what limits the inherent conditions of human life and production set for this power, but rather that they were considered boundless and omnipotent in the sphere of social affairs.It put up stubborn resistance against the politics of capital consumption.And liberalism did not create the armed party troops who are just waiting for the convenient opportunity to start a civil war.In the history of human thought and science there is no greater discovery.If one proceeds from this recognition of the laws of the market, economic theory shows just what kind of situation arises from the interference of force and power in market processes.The line of argument that leads to blaming capitalism for at least some of these things is based on the notion that entrepreneurs and capitalists are no longer liberal but interventionist and statist.The fact is correct, but the conclusions people want to draw from it are wrong-headed.The isolated intervention cannot reach the end the authorities strive for in enacting it and must result in consequences which are undesirable from the standpoint of the authorities.Even from the point of view of the authorities themselves the intervention is pointless and harmful.The foundation of social sciences, the work of a large number of great intellects, of whom David Hume and Adam Smith are most outstanding, has destroyed this conception.One discovered that social power was a spiritual one and not (as was supposed) a material and, in the rough sense of the word, a real one.