Socialism has been smuggled in by a thousand compromises. When a fundamental principle compromises with political expediency, who wins? From Thos Bishop at mises.org:
Through the sheer power of his intellectual output, Ludwig von Mises established himself as one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. His work Human Action remains a foundational text of the Austrian school. His critique outlining the impracticality of socialism was vindicated with the fall of the Soviet Union and remains without a serious intellectual challenge today.
Just as important, but often overlooked, is his work on the economic system that continues to infect the world today: interventionism.
Like contemporaries such as James Burnham, Mises discerned that the true threat to free markets in the West was not a true socialist revolution, but rather a “middle of the road” approach that so attracted an intellectually shallow political class.
In 1950, during one of his most important speeches, Mises identified the most dangerous ideology on the global stage:
They reject socialism no less than capitalism. They recommend a third system, which, as they say, is as far from capitalism as it is from socialism, which as a third system of society’s economic organization, stands midway between the two other systems, and while retaining the advantages of both, avoids the disadvantages inherent in each. This third system is known as the system of interventionism. In the terminology of American politics it is often referred to as the middle-of-the-road policy.
This ideology succeeded where communism failed, successfully toppling governments around the world that never had true respect for property rights.
But as Mises understood, however, this “managerial revolution” could not last as a sustainable form of government. Interventionism may be politically convenient, but ultimately it is grounded in volatile inconsistencies. It must be rejected completely, or it will inevitably lead to more and more power shifting to the state.
This is precisely what we have seen.