The program of economic freedom is not negativistic. It aims positively at the establishment and preservation of the system of market economy based on private ownership of the means of production and free enterprise. It aims at free competition and at the sovereignty of the consumers. As the logical outcome of these demands the true liberals are opposed to all endeavors to substitute government control for the operation of an unhampered market economy. Laissez faire, laissez passer does not mean: let the evils last. On the contrary, it means: do not interfere with the operation of the market because such interference must necessarily restrict output and make people poorer. It means furthermore: do not abolish or cripple the capitalist system which, in spite of all obstacles put in its way by governments and politicians, has raised the standard of living of the masses in an unprecedented way.
Ludwig von Mises; from the introduction to ‘Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War‘ (1944)