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“I believe you won’t keep political freedom unless you also have economic freedom, which means that you must have a large part of free enterprise in your whole economy.”

 

“There are two ways in which any government can proceed. One is a way based on what you and I would call a free society, which is enshrined right to the heart of the American constitution. The other one is a way which allows only one view both of economics and politics and in which almost everything is either owned or controlled by the state including the media, including the ideas, including freedom of discussion, and everything. There is no freedom of discussion. Now between those two ways–the free society and the totally controlled society–there are, of course, variations. I think what we’ve learned in Britain is that we’ve gradually over the last certainly 12 or 13 years with perhaps a little interruption gone further and further away from the free society towards something else.

At the same time we’ve found–I don’t find it strange, but some other people do–that we have stopped creating wealth. We’ve had a large number of increasing restrictions, and we’ve been finding two things. First, that we are more and more concentrating on redistributing the wealth we’ve got, rather than creating any more. To create more you need a slightly freer society, and you need an incentive society. Naturally when I see that happening I look with very great alarm to societies which have gone even further left. That is, they’ve tried to redistribute even more and haven’t had the incentives for people working hard on their own account, doing well for their families, and often then being able to create jobs for others. They’ve produced a much more prosperous society than we have. But by and large you’ve got the two broad different economic and political approaches.”

Margaret Thatcher

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