Why the Free Market Liberals Underestimated the Socialists-Mises

“The masses only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But the masses’ choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster.”..

The masses, the hosts of common men, do not conceive any ideas, sound or unsound. They only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But their choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster.

The social philosophy of the Enlightenment failed to see the dangers that the prevalence of unsound ideas could engender. The objections customarily raised against the rationalism of the classical economists and the utilitarian thinkers are vain. But there was one deficiency in their doctrines. They blithely assumed that what is reasonable will carry on merely on account of its reasonableness. They never gave a thought to the possibility that public opinion could favor spurious ideologies whose realization would harm welfare and well-being and disintegrate social cooperation.”

https://mises.org/wire/why-free-market-liberals-underestimated-socialists