Let me say this: socialism did not come from the people.
Socialism came from a theory of the intellectuals. Socialism is not a creed of the people. Socialism is a doctrine of the intellectuals, a particular kind of intellectual who had the arrogance to believe that they could do it better than other people because they could plan everyone’s lives.
That means that there are quite a number of people who like to have the control, who have a vested interest in it and you will see it in left-wing Labour authorities in this country now; you will see it in some groups in universities. There is quite a vested interest in those who wish to control people’s lives.
Again I repeat: socialism is not a creed for the people – it is a creed for those who wish to take power for themselves for the sake of exercising power, but there are quite a number who have that kind of vested interest.
So it has not yet gone and also, you know the way throughout the ages that those people have put their case to the people. They have not revealed that all freedom would go. What they say is: “Vote for us, who will control your lives, and you will have a better time – you will have far more without doing anything very much about it!”
Some people are still bewitched by that – not a lot, but there are some – and there are some people who would go to a job and do the job well and they are given a house and that suits them, but what they forget is that it does not stop at that. Socialism does not stop at that. It finishes up with direction of labour, progressive diminution of freedom, and that is why they turned away from it, but the vested interest on the part of some of the people and a superficial attraction to others because it is not explained properly.
1989-01-14, Margaret Thatcher.
Interview for Reader’s Digest.