… is from George Will’s March 6th, 2020, column, titled “Nikki Haley picks a worthy fight with anti-capitalist Republicans” (links original):
She [Nikki Haley] did not need to specify Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s aspiration for “common-good capitalism,” or Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley’s even vaguer capitalism that does not encourage “Pelagianism” and the “Promethean self.” Really. Such conservatives inevitably advocate, in effect, government “industrial policy,” socialism’s essential ingredient.
DBx: True dat.
Let’s be clear: industrial policy truly is a variety of socialism. And socialism does not become either unworkable or tyrannical only when it is pursued in its most extreme form.
Yes: socialism does, of course, become worse and more tyrannical the grander the scale upon which it is pursued. But government officials’ inadequacy of knowledge – and their abilities (and incentives) to abuse power – kick in the moment they assume the authority to override the outcomes of private market processes. Although no proponent of industrial policy admits this truth – and even granting that most such proponents are too naive to grasp this truth – this truth isn’t rendered null and void by its widespread invisibility.
If you wish to be a cog in a machine designed (necessarily poorly) and operated (equally poorly) by the commentariat, the professoriat, or the political elite, by all means sign up for industrial policy. Have a blast. But please, leave alone those of us who have no wish to be either pawns or lab rats in your heroes’ social-engineering schemes.