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Archive of posts published in the tag: The Road to Serfdom

Preventing Putins

“What liberal societies have is not better men — it is independent courts, a free press, the rule of law, checks and balances, democratic accountability, competitive elections, powerful private institutions, and vibrant civic life. There have been some men of remarkably low character elected to the American presidency, but the American system has limited the damage they could do.”

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Distinguishing Welfare from Socialism

Political terms evolve and Kevin Williamson makes an rare but important distinction. Providing for the poor from the public sector is not not synonymous with socialism.  Socialism is more about government control of the economy than mere redistribution. from Venezuela…

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A New Kind of Servitude

“Is it too pessimistic to fear that a generation grown up under these conditions is unlikely to throw off the fetters to which it has grown used? Or does this description not rather fully bear out Tocqueville’s prediction of the…

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The Gradual Encroachment of Ideas

“It was perhaps John Maynard Keynes who said it best, in the closing chapter of The General Theory: the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than commonly…

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Socialist Means and Ends

“What he denied was that they could maintain those values and still carry out their proclaimed program of extensive central planning. As he succinctly put it, “socialism can be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove.”104 Even…

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Liberty and Liberalism

“The fact that this book was originally written with only the British public in mind does not appear to have seriously affected its intelligibility for the American reader. But there is one point of phraseology which I ought to explain…

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Planning and Totalitarianism

“Be it enough to mention that in 1934 the newly established National Planning Board devoted a good deal of attention to the example of planning provided by these four countries: Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan. Ten years later we had…

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The Worst Form of Capitalism

The Right frequently calls the President a socialist?  The left protests that it just isn’t true.  Is it? Socialism, fascism and communism all share belief in some large degree in government control of the means of production.  They all stand…

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A Moral Tyranny

Though there are no doubt many people who honestly believe that if they were allowed to handle the job they would be able to settle all those problems justly and impartially, and who would be genuinely surprised to find suspicion…

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A Strong Economy is a Free Economy

We have seen before how the separation of economic and political aims is an essential guarantee of individual freedom and how it is consequentially attacked by all collectivists.  To this we must now add that the “substitution of political for…

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“Why the Worst Get on Top”

This is a critical chapter in Hayek’s 1944 classic, The Road to Serfdom.  The books is a deeply thoughtful examination of why planned economies lead to despotic rule.   In several different parts of the book Hayek explains that the motivation…

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Ends and Means

Unfortunately, the relation between the ends and the means remains widely misunderstood.  Many of those who profess the most individualistic objectives support collectivist means without recognizing the contradiction.  It is tempting to believe that social evils arise from the activities…

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The Tragic Illusion

.. the desire to organize social life according to a unitary plan itself springs largely from a desire for power. .. in order to achieve their end, collectivists must create power of a magnitude never before known, and …  their…

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Equality vs The Rule of Law

.. any policy aiming directly at a substantive ideal of distributive justice must lead to the destruction of the Rule of Law. To produce the same result for different people, it is necessary to treat them differently. To give different…

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Ignoring the Bitter Choice

That people should wish to be relieved of the bitter choice which hard facts often impose upon them is not surprising.  But few want to be relieved through having the choice made for them by others.  People just wish that…

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Ignoring the Problem is Not a Solution

That people should wish to be relieved of the bitter choice which hard facts often impose upon them is not surprising. But few want to be relieved through having the choice made for them by others. People just wish that…

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Property and Equality

It is probable that we habitually overestimate the extent to which inequality of incomes is mainly caused by income derived from property, and therefore the extent to which the major inequalities would be abolished by abolishing income from property. What…

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The More the State Plans…..

The state should confine itself to establishing rules applying to general types of situations and should allow the individuals freedom in everything which depends on the circumstances of time and place, because only the individuals concerned in each instance can…

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Unleashing Imagination

Whether his interests center round his own physical needs, or whether his he takes a warm interest in the welfare of every human being he knows (altruism), the ends about which he can be concerned will always be only an…

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An Unwanted Journey

It is not difficult to see what must be the consequence when democracy embarks on a course of planning which in its execution requires more agreement than in fact exists.  The people may have agreed on adopting a system of…

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