ludwig von mises

“Socialism is not in the least what is 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 … Each step leading towards Socialism must exhaust itself in the destruction of what already exists.”

Ludwig von Mises

Some background: Rothbard and Mises are both thinkers associated with “anarcho-capitalism,” which opposes state coercion and maintains that the privatization of all state services would render said services both more moral and more efficient. That said, both theorists had a curious pattern of expressing sympathy for fascism and right-populism as “lesser evils” against socialism, which calls into question the consistency of their moral arguments.

The only way to increase industrialization is to have more capital. Protectionism can only divert investments from one branch of business to another branch.
Protectionism, in itself, does not add anything to the capital of a country. To start a new factory one needs capital. To improve an already existing factory one needs capital, and not a tariff.
—  Ludwig von Mises
The real bosses, in the capitalist system of market economy, are the consumers. They, by their buying and by their abstention from buying, decide who should own the capital and run the plants. They determine what should be produced and in what quantity and quality. Their attitudes result either in profit or in loss for the enterpriser. They make poor men rich and rich men poor.

The consumers are merciless. They never buy in order to benefit a less efficient producer and to protect him against the consequences of his failure to manage better. They want to be served as well as possible. And the working of the capitalist system forces the entrepreneur to obey the orders issued by the consumers.

The consumers are no easy bosses. They are full of whims and fancies, changeable and unpredictable. They do not care a whit for past merit. As soon as something is offered to them that they like better or that is cheaper, they desert their old purveyors. With them nothing counts more than their own satisfaction. They bother neither about the vested interests of capitalists nor about the fate of the workers who lose their jobs if as consumers they no longer buy what they used to buy.
—  Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy (1944)
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. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!
—  Ludwig von Mises
The men who are to protect the community against violent aggression easily turn into the most dangerous aggressors. They transgress their mandate. They misuse their power for the oppression of those whom they were expected to defend against oppression. The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty.
—  Ludwig von Mises