Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Road to Serfdom and the Beck effect

The Beck Bomb: "Glenn Beck’s show on Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom featuring Mises Institute Senior Fellows Yuri Maltsev and Tom Woods:

— crashed Hayek’s Wikipedia entry.

— sent the GOOGLE search phrase “The Road to Serfdom” to “volcanic” status and #1 on Google Trends.

— rocketed the audio version of The Road to Serfdom to #2 on iTunes.

— launched The Road to Serfdom to #1 on Amazon, where it still stands. (Buy it from the Mises store here.)"

This has been fun to watch.

F.A. Hayek wrote the 'The Road to Serfdom' as a rebuttal to the growing academic and political acquiescence to fascist rule in the UK following WWII. Based upon his studies of Republics collapsing into tyrannical governments, he lays out how a nation falls from freedom to serfdom.

It's haunting how a book written 60 years ago to warn of the descent into despotism applies ever more strongly today then in the past. I read it a year ago, and it is a very understandable and accurate analysis.

War forces central economic planning, people become complacent and secure in their government jobs, 'what is good in war is good in peace. Those doing the planning promise an impossible utopia, but are unable to grapple with reality and the lack of a common enemy to form a cohesive plan.
The citizens naturally disagree with the new government economy, but have no recourse. In response, the government crafts propaganda to win the populace over, a propaganda machine that will be useful for many government purposes.
Many buy this Orwellian Newspeak, but as time goes on and the economy falls to shambles, the populace once again is rife with agitation.
To maintain power amidst the growing unrest, the central planners cede more power to the militaristic branches of the government, and as they cross this Rubicon drag the rest of the nation with them into serfdom at the hands of power. In this environment, as is planned by the state.

Far fetched? Hardly. Ask the russians.

I recommend this, and it makes me happy to see this book as the #1 on Amazon. If you haven't read it, and are looking for a classic historical and economic book that altered the world around it, this is it.

If fiction is more your speed, try some of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ideals of liberty are far from overcome, there is a heart of freedom that still beats strong in this nation.


Solameanie said...

You are, of course, assuming that people in America still know how to read.

(OUCH . . . OUCH . . . OUCH).

Sorry. Don't know why I said that. Things make me snarky these days, especially when we get close to election season and I see the GOP getting ready to shoot itself in the foot again . . .

Gino said...

they want freedom, and social security checks.

what side of their hearts you think will win?

Palm boy said...

Joel, that is exceptionally snarky :D

Gino, the side that pays fewer taxes I hope.