“The inner spiritual chaos of the times, so powerfully created by the dynamics of capitalism itself, is such as to make nihilism an easy temptation. A ‘free society’ in Hayek’s sense gives birth in massive numbers to ‘free spirits’ — emptied of moral substance but still driven by primordial moral aspirations. Such people are capable of the most irrational actions. Indeed, it is my impression that, under the strain of modern life, whole classes of our population — and the educated classes most of all — are entering what can only be called, in the strictly clinical sense, a phase of infantile regression. With every passing year, public discourse becomes sillier and more petulant, emotions become, apparently, more ungovernable. Some of our most intelligent university professors are now loudly saying things that, had they been uttered by one of their students twenty years ago, would have called forth gentle and urbane reproof.”
Irving Kristol, “‘When virtue loses all her loveliness’ — some reflections on Capitalism and ‘the free society,’” National Affairs, No. 21, Fall 1970.