Ideas from 'The Road to Serfdom' by F.A. Hayek [1944], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Road to Serfdom' by Hayek, F.A. [Routledge 2001,978-0-415-25389-5]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand these ideas

24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 8. Socialism
Socialist economics needs a very strong central power, virtually leading to slavery
                        Full Idea: Hayek argues that socialist economic equality can only be effectively put into practice by a strong, dictatorial government. Planning has to be imposed by force, and centralised economic power creates a dependency scarcely distingishable from slavery.
                        From: report of F.A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom [1944]) by Johanna Oksala - Political Philosophy: all that matters Ch.7
                        A reaction: I don't see much sign of the post-war British Labour government being anything like this, even though they nationalised the railways and introduce a national health service. Hayek was mesmerised by Russia.
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 4. Free market
Hayek was a liberal, but mainly concerned with market freedom
                        Full Idea: Hayek was a liberal (rather than a conservative), …but the individual liberty he cared about was not diversity or freedom of thought. It was freedom to operate in the market.
                        From: report of F.A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom [1944]) by Ian Dunt - How to be a Liberal 7
                        A reaction: There seems to have been a drift from obsession with freedom to participate in the market, towards the less plausible idea that market forces can solve everything. I once met someone who was convinced the market could solve environmental problems.
Impeding the market is likely to lead to extensive state control
                        Full Idea: Once the free working of the market is impeded beyond a certain degree, the planner will be forced to extend his controls until they become all comprehensive.
                        From: F.A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom [1944]), quoted by Ian Dunt - How to be a Liberal 7
                        A reaction: Hayek was terrified of totalitarianism (quite reasonably), but fascism and communism don't seem to have arisen in the way he describes. I'm not clear why sensible intervention in the market should slide down into nightmare.