The Road to Serfdom (1944) – F.A. Hayek, Chapter 2 – The Great Utopia

  • Just because most progressives are for Socialism over Liberalism doesn’t mean people have forgotten what liberal thinkers have said about Collectivism.
    • They just don’t agree with them.
    • Socialism was recognized early on as a threat to freedom but an open reaction to Liberalism. Socialism began as authoritarian. The original French Socialists admitted that a dictatorship was its only hope.  Those who didn’t obey “would be treated like cattle”.
      • Only after 1848 did Socialism latch on to Democracy & freedom.
      • Tocqueville saw through that. Socialism restricts freedom while Democracy extends it. Democracy gives each man value while Socialism takes it away.
      • They only have the word “equality” in common. Democracy wants equality in freedom. Socialism wants equality in restraint & servitude.
      • Socialism began to promise a “new freedom” but it had a different meaning.
        • Originally, to those pushing political freedom (Liberals) it meant freedom from coercion & arbitrary power of other men.
        • The “New Freedom” mean freedom from necessity & physical want.
          • This was just another term for power or wealth coupled with irresponsible promises of increase of material wealth in a Socialist society.
          • What it really meant was the disappearance of a range of choices & essentially equal distribution of wealth.
          • Socialists used a common word & gave it a new meaning so people wouldn’t ask so many questions about the “new freedom”. This became the most effective weapon in its propaganda. The promise of more freedom lured liberals on to the Socialist road by blinding them to the differences between Socialism & Liberalism. & so Socialists usurped the title of freedom through linguistic manipulation to bring about the opposite of freedom.
  • Many observers have noted the numerous similarities between Socialism, Communism & Fascism.
    • But Progressives in England deluded themselves into believing that they were polar opposites.
    • The rest of us began to wonder if they were not the results of the same tendencies. Even some Communists will admit that Stalinism was on par with or worse than Nazism. Sympathies see it as a road not to freedom but to dictatorships & civil war. They saw that the promises of a more abundant life gives way to uniformity. Many of these observers are citizens of these Totalitarian countries & now have to rethink their ideals.
  • It’s interesting to see how many Fascist leaders began as Socialists & moved to Fascism. They even became the parties’ best propagandists.
    • Before 1933 in Germany & before 1922 in Italy, Fascists & Communists fought with each other more than with other parties. They were just competing for the same type of mind & showing hatred for heretics. To both the real enemy was the Liberal.
    • Religious Socialist Heimann: Hitler claimed to represent true Democracy & true Socialism, even Christianity. He misinterprets & distorts the grains of truth he posits. But he never ever claimed to represent true Liberalism because that’s the on thin he truly hates.
      • But by Hitler’s rise to power, Socialism had already killed Liberalism in Germany.
  • It’s becoming more obvious that Socialism & Fascism have strong similarities.
    • But most Socialists think Democracy & Socialism can be combined. They don’t realize the direct effect of Socialism is to kill freedom. Most of them don’t have a clue.
    • Democratic Socialism isn’t unachievable but will leave a perverted & undesirable result.

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