Monday, May 14, 2012

Farrell: Judt rightly denounced Hayek's Road to Serfdom

Right wing  ideology today rests on an article of faith:  social welfare policies share a common evil with fascism and communism: they lead to dependence on the state and an inevitable slide to serfdom.  The key scripture that gives this assertion of belief intellectual colorability is Friedrich von Hayek's Road to Serfdom.  There he says things like 
"What I have argued in this book, and what the British experience convinces me even more to be true, is that the unforeseen but inevitable consequences of socialist planning create a state of affairs in which, if the policy is to be pursued, totalitarian forces will get the upper hand." 
This sort of fantastic thinking underlies the attacks on President Obama as a socialist and the "nanny state" slur on everything from social security to national health care and public education.  Tony Judt deplored Hayek in terms some have argued was unfair.  Henry Farrell, at Crooked Timber, has taken on that allegation of unfairness and dismantled it.

No comments:

Post a Comment