According to Le Monde, crisis is the “Motor of Capitalism”.
As I responded in Reddit/Economics (which is not nearly as Bolshie as Reddit/Politics), it is ironic that the article depicts Hank Paulson as a representative of capitalism, as he is one of the greatest anti-capitalist figures in modern history. But it is rather fitting that he is depicted in the article as a Leviathan-like sea monster. For, as Robert Higgs explains, crisis is actually the motor of Leviathan, the interventionist state. And as Mises explained, intervention-bred crises can lead to a vicious cycle which spirals toward, not capitalism, but socialism:
“The interventionist policies as practiced for many decades by all governments of the capitalistic West have brought about all those effects which the economists predicted. There are wars and civil wars, ruthless oppression of the masses by clusters of self-appointed dictators, economic depressions, mass unemployment, capital consumption, famines.
However, it is not these catastrophic events which have led to the crisis of interventionism. The interventionist doctrinaires and their followers explain all these undesired consequences as the unavoidable features of capitalism. As they see it, it is precisely these disasters that clearly demonstrate the necessity of intensifying interventionism.”(…)
All varieties of interference with the market phenomena not only fail to achieve the ends aimed at by their authors and supporters, but bring about a state of affairs which-from the point of view of their authors’ and advocates’ valuations–is less desirable than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter. If one wants to correct their manifest unsuitableness and preposterousness by supplementing the first acts of intervention with more and more of such acts, one must go farther and farther until the market economy has been entirely destroyed and socialism has been substituted for it.
As soon as something happens in the economy that any of the various bureaucratic institutions does not like or that arouses the anger of a pressure group, people clamor for new interventions, controls, and restrictions. But for the inefficiency of the law-givers and the laxity, carelessness, and corruption of many of the functionaries, the last vestiges of the market economy would have long since disappeared.