SEPTEMBER 01, 1981 by LUDWIG VON MISES
In eighteenth-century France the saying laissez faire [let people do or make what they choose] and laissez passer [let pass or go] was the formula into which some of the champions of the cause of liberty compressed their program.
Laissez faire does not mean: Let soulless mechanical forces operate. It means: Let each individual choose how he wants to cooperate in the social division of labor; let the consumers determine what the entrepreneurs should produce.
Planning means: Let the government alone choose and enforce its rulings by the apparatus of coercion and compulsion.
The alternative is not between a dead mechanism or a rigid automatism on one hand and conscious planning on the other hand. The question is whose planning?