… is from page 1 of the 1989 Gateway Regnery edition of the 1979 collection – Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow – of Ludwig von Mises’s Fall 1958 lectures in Buenos Aires:
Descriptive terms which people use are often quite misleading. In talking about modern captains of industry and leaders of big business, for instance, they call a man a “chocolate king” or a “cotton king” or an “automobile king.” Their use of such terminology implies that they see practically no difference between the modern heads of industry and those feudal kings, dukes, or lords of earlier days. But the difference is in fact very great, for a chocolate king does not rule at all, he serves. He does not reign over conquered territory, independent of the market, independent of his customers. The chocolate king – or the steel king or the automobile king or any other king of modern industry – depends on the industry he operates and on the customers he serves. This “king” must stay in the good graces of his subjects, the consumers; he loses his “kingdom” as soon as he is no longer in a position to give his customers better service and provide it at lower cost than others with whom he must compete.