… is from page 719 of the 2007 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1949 Human Action :
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.
And yet most of those who today are asking for more government interference self-flatter – and confuse unsuspecting others – by calling themselves “liberal” and “progressive.” In fact, of course, there is nothing liberal or progressive about using physical force to bend others to your will. The use of such force reflects only one of the most base, primitive, uncivilized, and destructive of human instincts – a reality that isn’t changed when the force is demanded or approved by a gang called “the majority.”