Omnipotent Government was published in 1944, when the battle against Nazism held the world's attention. How had this terrible system gained power? Mises considers and rejects several explanations popular at the time he wrote, such as inherent defects in the German national character. Instead, he looks to the rise of a malignant ideology. Intellectuals spurned the free market in favor of schemes, lacking all support in sound economic theory, which stressed the role of the state in promoting national power and prosperity. Correct economic theory teaches that free trade, not conquest of foreign territories, is the best means to advance prosperity.