Walter John Williams on the Role of the State
From Walter John Williams (1997), City on Fire (New York: HarperPrism: 0061054429), p. 71:
"Constantine smiles coldly. His bright steel knife slices the onions as if they were Keremath livers. 'No. Acquiring the companies was not a difficult decision--we could hardly leave them under the Keremath's ownership, after all. It was in deciding the companies' ultimate fate wherein my brilliant political talents were fully deployed.'
"'You wanted to sell the companies', Aiah says. 'And others wished to keep them'.
"Constantine gives an impatient smile. 'It is a source of astonishment to me that such things are even matters for debate', he says. 'The state should be an instrument of evolution, not a bank, a stock exchange, or a nursery for inefficient enterprises. But--' He shrugs. 'Not all the cabinet members are soldiers or idealists. Some have political instincts that are quite sound, in their fashion. And the possibility of employing the New Theory Hydrogen Company and the other concerns as a source for patronage was, I suspect, a temptation to more than one'."
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