“The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer (1951) – Part 4 – Beginning & End Chapter 15 – Men of Words (104-109) 104 – Mass movements don’t usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited. Discrediting is not automatically the result of blunders & abuse of those in power butContinue Reading

“The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer (1951) – Part 3 – Factors Promoting Self-Sacrifice Chapter 12 – Preface (43) 43 – The vigor of mass movements comes from followers’ united action & self-sacrifice. We ascribe success of a movement to faith, doctrine, propaganda, etc. but it’s really unification & inculcationContinue Reading

  “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer (1951) – Part 2 – The Potential Converts Chapter 4 – The Role of the Undesirables in Human Affairs (18-19) 18 – Often a society is judged by its least worth members, fairly or unfairly. The middle class is typically inert. Those whoContinue Reading

“The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer (1951) – Part 1 – The Appeal of Mass Movements Preface The book deals with commonalities of mass movements, be they religious, social or national. They aren’t identical but have very similar traits. Adherents have a readiness to die & proclivity for united action.Continue Reading

Thomas Paine – African Slavery in America (1775) It’s more depressing than bizarre that some people would be willing to steal & enslave men by violence & murder for gain. Many civilized & Christian people approve this savage practice is contrary to nature, principles of justice & humanity, as wellContinue Reading

Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament of the Bible Chapter 1 Everything is Meaningless Everything is meaningless says the teacher (Solomon?). You work all day under the sun & what do you get? Generations come & go but the earth remains forever. The sun rises & sets, only to rise again.Continue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 16 – Conclusion The point of the book wasn’t to be a guide for a desirable future order of society. If it did so in the chapter on international affairs, it’s because that is necessary for the rest to happen. It’sContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 15 – The Prospects of International Order The world was paid the most for the abandonment of liberalism in the field of international relations. We’re starting to see that economic planning has an aggregate harmful effect in producing international friction. There’sContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 14 – Material Conditions & Ideal Ends Our generation attaches less weight to economic matters than previous ones. The “End of Economic Man” is becoming one of the governing myths of our time. Before accepting that phrase, let’s examine it. WhenContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 13 – The Totalitarians in Our Midst The magnitude of the terrible things done by totalitarian governments makes it more assured it can’t happen here. When we look at Nazi Germany, it seems very different & that makes us think thatContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 12 – The Socialist Roots of Nazism It’s a mistake to see Nazism as just a revolt against reason & a movement without intellectual background. Its doctrines are the culmination of a long evolution of thought from beyond the confines ofContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 11 – The End of Truth The most effective way to make everyone serve the single system is to make everyone believe in the same ends. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, you can’t just make everyone work for theContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 10 – Why the Worst Get on Top Some people believe that the worst parts of totalitarian regimes are due to the fact that it was only by accident that they were established by groups of criminals & thugs. Why shouldn’tContinue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 9 – Security & Freedom “Economic Security” is often represented as a necessary condition of real liberty. Independence of mind is rarely found in those with no confidence of being able to survive on their own. But the term “economic security”Continue Reading

“The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 8 – Who, Whom? A common complaint about competition is that it’s blind, even though justice has historically been portrayed as blind. It’s important that we not know who will succeed either through luck or skill & not based on someone’sContinue Reading

The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 7 – Economic Control & Totalitarianism Most planners don’t doubt a planned economy must be run as a dictatorship. A complex system of interrelated activities must be a single staff of experts & ultimate power must be in the hands ofContinue Reading

The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 6 – Planning & the Rule of Law The Rule of Law is what distinguishes conditions of a free country & one with an arbitrary government. Definition – government is bound by pre-announced fixed rules. It makes it possible to foreseeContinue Reading

The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 5 – Planning & Democracy A common feature of collectivist systems is the deliberate organization of society’s labors for a common social goal. Socialists complain that our present society lacks “conscious direction” towards one goal & that our activities are guidedContinue Reading

The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 4 – The “Inevitability” of Planning Few central planners even claim that planning is desirable. Most of them just say we’re forced to do it due to technological changes that can’t be reversed or prevented. The argument has little explanation behindContinue Reading

The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 3 – Individualism & Collectivism Socialism is used to describe ideals of social justice, greater equality, & security. It also means the method socialists wish to achieve those. Their methods are the abolition of private enterprise, private ownership of the meansContinue Reading