We’re now in month two of F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. How does it feel to have the fundamental planks of small government fall into place? Does your own concept of libertarianism feel pushed?
There aren’t any possible bones about it, there’s a lot of meat to The Road to Serfdom.
Have you PDers noticed how true Hayek’s words ring even now?
“It is one of the saddest spectacles of our time to see a great democratic movement support a policy which must lead to the destruction of democracy and which meanwhile can benefit only a minority of the masses who support it.”
“We have misled as much because we have refused to believe that the enemy was sincere in the profession of some beliefs which we shared as because we believed in the sincerity of some of his other claims.”
“The word ‘truth’ itself ceases to have its old meaning. It describes no longer something to be found, with the individual conscience as the sole arbiter of whether in any particular instance the evidence (or the standing of those proclaiming it) warrants a belief; it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.”
“It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program – on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off – than on any positive task.”
“Through meeting the kind of people who talk about the necessity of opposing ‘big’ ideas to ‘small’ ones and of replacing the old ‘static’ or ‘partial’ thinking by the new ‘dynamic’ or ‘global’ way one learns to recognize that what at first appears sheer nonsense is a sign of the same intellectual attitude with whose manifestations we can alone concern ourselves here.”
“There is always in the eyes of the collectivist a greater goal which these acts serve and which to him justifies them because the pursuit of the common end of society can know no limits in any rights or values of any individual.”
“The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for an equal distribution of wealth.”
Are these not the talking points of government administrations throughout the world today? Have you not heard Dear Leader call for an equal distribution of wealth? The work continues to hit on such minded contemporary issues.
“An increasing tendency among modern men to imagine themselves ethical because they have delegated their vices to larger and larger groups.”
Something to also take note of is the copyright from when Hayek actually wrote and published the book, which was well before the fall of the 3rd Reich. He was bold enough to layout his case before the outcome was certain. Ballsy move, but remember it’s easier to be ballsy when you know you’re on the right line.
“It was the union of the anti-capitalist forces of the right and left, the fusion of radical and conservative socialism, which drove out from Germany everything that was Liberal.”
“Fascism and Communism are merely variants of the same totalitarianism which central control of economic activity tends to produce.”
Want to round out your knowledge on Hayek as you read? Check out Econstories; they have a bunch of great videos showing the stark differences between Hayek and Keynes, and let us know what you think so far down in the comments.