… is from page 51 of the original edition of Walter Lippmann’s sometimes deeply flawed but profoundly insightful and important 1937 book, The Good Society:
For in so far as men embrace the belief that the coercive power of the state shall plan, shape, and direct their economy, they commit themselves to the suppression of the contrariness arising from the diversity of human interests and purposes. They cannot escape it. If a society is to be planned, its population must conform to the plan; if it is to have an official purpose, there must be no private purposes that conflict with it.
DBx: The one ideology and political program that does not seek to conscript the individual to abandon his or her own ends in service to ends imposed by others is liberalism. Socialism, progressivism, social-democratism, NatCon-ism – you name the “ism” other than true liberalism and that “ism,” if studied carefully, is revealed to regard the individual as being a mere means to some higher end not of the individual’s choosing. At the core of the liberal project is the liberation of the individual not from spontaneously formed social ties and obligations but, instead, from what Thomas Sowell called “the rampaging presumptions” of those who advocate using coercion to impose ends on individuals.