This extract is part of Australian Liberalism: The Continuing Vision
...This is our great year of decision. Are we for the Socialist State, with its subordination of the individual to universal officialdom of government, or are we for the ancient British faith that governments are the servants of the people, a faith which has given fire and quality and direction to the whole of our history for 600 years?
...We must choose our road. Upon our decision will depend the future and fate of this nation. Every extension of Government power and control means less freedom of choice for the citizen. Government activities are monopolist. Monopolies exclude choice. No choice for the producer. No choice for the employee. No choice for the customer. The abolition of choice is the death of freedom. And in the end, what happens? Having chosen the Socialist Road, to what journey's end do we come? To the master State, the one employer, the one planner, the one controller. In that State, as in the monstrous totalitarian States which have disfigured the history of the twentieth century, all free choice will have gone.
The case against Socialism is a deadly one. It concerns the spiritual, mental and physical future of our families.
Let us analyse this piece of humbug. The best people in this community are not those who "leave it to the other fellow' but those who by thrift and self sacrifice establish homes and bring up families and add to the national pool of savings and hope some day to sit under their own vine and fig tree, owing nothing to anybody. . .
Those are very necessary; governments must be pledged to do all in their power to assist people to secure them; but they are not freedoms at all. Each can be obtained in a state of utter slavery.
The real freedoms are to worship, to think, to speak, to choose, to be ambitious, to be independent, to be industrious, to acquire skill, to seek reward. These are the real freedoms, for these are of the essence of the nature of man. Socialism will have none of them, for unless people do what they are told, work where they are told to work, learn what they are drafted to learn; in a sentence, fit obediently into their appointed place, the Socialist "planned State" falls to pieces like the false and shoddy thing it is....
The great centuries of British expansion were not fashioned in this way, nor were the foundations of Australia laid upon such rotten soil. Be warned. Socialism is the politics of dependency and decay.
...No industry can succeed without the cooperation of capital, management and labour. Each must be encouraged. Each must be fairly rewarded. Between the three there must be mutual understanding and respect. Unless employees are energetic and contented, no business can succeed for long No sensible employee wants the business that employs him to be unprofitable. Yet, unhappily, too many employers wash their hands of their employees as human beings, as if the strict performance of their legal duties would suffice, and too many employees have swallowed the pernicious propaganda of the "class war", with the result that it is not uncommonly believed that the success of "the boss" must mean the failure of the man who works for him.
We believe that these obsolete ideas must be rooted out of our minds. The days when labour was a commodity to be bought and sold have gone forever. We shall either get to realise that the industrial problem is a human problem requiring immense human understanding and a genuinely cooperative spirit, or our civilisation will crash to ruins, its production down its living standards broken, its civil life marred by bitterness and hatred.
Twice in this century men have died by the millions, largely because in what might have been the golden age of history men have learned to live with machines and have forgotten how to live with one another.
...We approach the problem of Government ownership and control not as a problem of theory but as one of common sense and hard practical fact. There are certain public utilities of an essentially monopoly kind, not suited to competitive enterprise and not requiring the stimulus of competitive selling, which we willingly accept as Government instruments. One has only to instance such matters as the management of harbours and of water supply. We are concerned with the public interest. That interest must prevail.
We believe that private competitive industry by its very nature is more efficient, can produce the goods better (it certainly has produced all the goods so far!), and by producing and selling them in competition affords to the people that combination of quality, usefulness, and moderate price which they are entitled to demand. We insist, and we say this to the owners, managers, and workmen alike, that private industry must be non-monopolistic, efficient, and concerned with the satisfaction of the customer. If these conditions exist, there is no sensible case for the setting up of any new Government monopoly.
...There are many things which governments must do. But there are plain limits. We adopt Abraham Lincoln's statement of those limits. He said "The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves. Government ought not to interfere."
...Further, we believe that freedom, the most precious of all human elements, is best assured to the citizen by the division of power among governments, and would be seriously threatened if a single Parliament at Canberra could, on the strength of one election, proceed to establish a series of government monopolies.
Joint Opposition Policy Speech 10 November 1949 (A Liberal Party publication)
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