Socialism confuses the distinction between government and society. Every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850