Is Hayek's Road to Serfdom Still Relevant Today?
You be the judge. Here are some quotations from Hayek’s most famous book:
“We have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past” (p. 67).
“[I]ndividualism [means] respect for the individual man qua man, that is, the recognition of his own views and tastes as supreme in his own sphere . . .” (p. 68).
“The fundamental principle [of liberalism is] that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion . . .” (p. 71).
“The demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for an equal distribution of income” (p 78).
“Socialism is . . . the road NOT to freedom, but to dictatorship and counter-dictatorships, to civil war of the fiercest kind” (p. 79).
“The conviction [of socialists] grows that if efficient planning is to be done, the direction must be ‘taken out of politics’ and placed in the hands of experts — permanent officials or independent autonomous bodies” (p 104). Like the “independent Fed,” for instance.
“Planning leads to dictatorship because dictatorship is the most effective instrument of coercion . . .” (p. 110). Executive orders, anyone?
“There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary . . .” (p. 111).
“The [government] planner will be forced to extend his controls until they become all-comprehensive” (p. 137). As with “Obamacare’s tens of thousands of pages of regulations so far.
“With every grant of complete security [by the state] to one group the insecurity of the rest necessarily increases” (p. 153).
If you’d like to study The Road to Serfdom more intensely, consider taking my online five-week course, “The Road to Serfdom: Despotism Then and Now,” which begins this Wednesday, July 3.