Industry entirely left to itself, would soon fall to ruin, and a nation letting everything alone would commit suicide.
Look around, and you see everywhere the exertions and acts of individuals restricted, regulated, or promoted, on the principle of the common welfare.
But the general welfare must restrict and regulate the exertions of the individuals, as the individuals must derive a supply of their strength from social power.
An individual, in promoting his own interest, may injure the public interest; a nation, in promoting the general welfare, may check the interest of a part of its members.
The concentration and reciprocal effect of industry and agriculture conjoin in a growth of productive powers, which increases more in geometrical than in arithmetical proportion.
The more a person learns how to use the forces of nature for his own purposes, by means of perfecting the sciences and the invention and improvement of machines, the more he will produce.
Only now did I recognize the reciprocal relationship which exits between manufacturing power and the national system of transportation, and that the one can never develop to its fullest without the other.
The relationship I have to my fatherland is like that of mothers with crippled children: they love them all the more, the more crippled they are. Germany is the background of all my plans, the return to Germany.
It is bad policy to regulate everything... where things may better regulate themselves and can be better promoted by private exertions; but it is no less bad policy to let those things alone which can only be promoted by interfering social power.