Choice in a free society implies responsibility on the part of the individual. There is no hard and fast line between economic and other forms of personal responsibility to self, family, firm, community, nation, God. Morality lies in choosing between feasible alternatives. A moral being is one who exercises his own judgment in choice, on matters great and small, bearing in mind their moral dimension, i.e. right and wrong. Insofar as his right and duty to choose is taken away by the state, the party …, his moral faculties, i.e. his capacity for choice, atrophy, and he becomes a moral cripple in the same way as we should lose the faculty of walking, reading, seeing, if we were prevented from using them over the year.
…The Socialist would take away most or all of these choices. A man would do what he was told by the state …, work where work was “found” for him, at the rate fixed and degree of effort permitted. He would send his children to school where the education authority decided what the children are taught and the way they are taught, irrespective of his views, he would live in the housing provided, take what he could get, give what he was obliged to give.
This doesn’t produce a responsible or a moral society.
This does not produce a classless society; on the contrary it produces the most stratified of all societies, divided into two classes: the powerful and the powerless; the party-bureaucratic elite and the manipulated masses.
And are these rulers better fitted to make choices on our behalf or to dispose of resources? Are they wiser, less selfish, more moral? What reason have we for supposing that they are?
Margaret Thatcher – July 4, 1977