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A classic work in political philosophy, intellectual history and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians and scholars for half a century. Originally published in 1944, it was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This new edition includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials and forewords to earlier editions by the likes of Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom will be the definitive version of Friedrich Hayek's enduring masterwork.
Leviathan is back The threat of statism has reemerged in force. The federal government has radically expanded its power—through bailouts, “stimulus” packages, a trillion-dollar health-care plan, “jobs bills,” massive expansions of the money supply, and much more. But such interventionism did not suddenly materialize with the recent economic collapse. The dangerous trends of government growth, debt increases, encroachments on individual liberty, and attacks on the free market began years earlier and continued no matter which political party was in power. This shift toward statism “will not end happily,” declares bestselling author Thomas E. Woods. In Back on the Road to Serfdom, Woods brings together ten top scholars to examine why the size and scope of government has exploded, and to reveal the devastating consequences of succumbing to the statist temptation. Spanning history, economics, politics, religion, and the arts, Back on the Road to Serfdom shows: · How government interventionism endangers America’s prosperity and the vital culture of entrepreneurship · The roots of statism: from the seminal conflict between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to the vast expansion of federal power in the twentieth century · Why the standard explanation for the recent economic crisis is so terribly wrong—and why the government’s frenzied responses to the downturn only exacerbate the problems · Why the European welfare state is not a model to aspire to but a disaster to be avoided · How an intrusive state not only harms the economy but also imperils individual liberty and undermines the role of civil society · The fatal flaws in the now-common arguments against free markets and free trade · How big business is helping government pave the road to serfdom · Why the Judeo-Christian tradition does not demand support for the welfare state, but in fact values the free market · How the arrogance of government power extends even to the cultural realm—and how central planning is just as inefficient and destructive there It’s been more than sixty-five years since F. A. Hayek published his seminal work The Road to Serfdom. Now this impeccably timed book provides another desperately needed warning about—and corrective to—the dangers of statism.
Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (1944) analyzes the ways in which excessive government planning can erode democracy. The work draws influential parallels between the totalitarianism of both left and right, questioning the central government control exerted by Western democracies.
In The Road to Serfdom F. A. Hayek set out the danger posed to freedom by attempts to apply the principles of wartime economic and social planning to the problems of peacetime. Hayek argued that the rise of Nazism was not due to any character failure on the part of the German people, but was a consequence of the socialist ideas that had gained common currency in Germany in the decades preceding the outbreak of war. Such ideas, Hayek argued, were now becoming similarly accepted in Britain and the USA.On its publication in 1944, The Road to Serfdom caused a sensation. Its publishers could not keep up with demand, owing to wartime paper rationing. Then, in April 1945, Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book and Hayek's work found a mass audience. This condensed edition was republished for the first time by the IEA in 1999. Since then it has been frequently reprinted and the electronic version has been downloaded over 100,000 times. There is an enduring demand for Hayek's relevant and accessible message.The Road to Serfdom is republished in this impression with The Intellectuals and Socialism originally published in 1949, in which Hayek explained the appeal of socialist ideas to intellectuals - the 'second-hand dealers in ideas'. Intellectuals, Hayek argued, are attracted to socialism because it involves the rational application of the intellect to the organisation of society, while its utopianism captures their imagination and satisfies their desire to make the world submit to their own design.
In the last years of World War II, Friedrich Hayek wrote 'The Road to Serfdom'. He warned the Allies that policy proposals which were being canvassed for the post-war world ran the risk of destroying the very freedom for which they were fighting. On the basis of 'as in war, so in peace', economists and others were arguing that the government should plan all economic activity. Such planning, Hayek argued, would be incompatible with liberty, and had been at the very heart of the movements that had established both communism and Nazism. On its publication in 1944, the book caused a sensation. Neither its British nor its American publisher could keep up with demand, owing to wartime paper rationing. Then, in 1945, Reader's Digest published 'The Road to Serfdom' as the condensed book in its April edition. For the first and still the only time, the condensed book was placed at the front of the magazine instead of the back. Hayek found himself a celebrity, addressing a mass market. The condensed edition was republished for the first time by the IEA in 1999 and has been reissued to meet the continuing demand for its enduringly relevant and accessible message.
The Road to Serfdom By Friedrich A. Hayek New Edition The very magnitude of the outrages committed by the National Socialists has strengthened the assurance that a totalitarian system cannot happen here. But let us remember that 15 years ago the possibility of such a thing happening in Germany would have appeared just as fantastic not only to nine-tenths of the Germans themselves, but also to the most hostile foreign observer. There are many features which were then regarded as 'typically German' which are now equally familiar in America and England, and many symptoms that point to a further development in the same direction: the increasing veneration for the state, the fatalistic acceptance of 'inevitable trends', the enthusiasm for 'organization' of everything (we now call it 'planning'). The character of the danger is, if possible, even less understood here than it was in Germany. The supreme tragedy is still not seen that in Germany it was largely people of good will who, by their socialist policies, prepared the way for the forces which stand for everything they detest. Few recognize that the rise of fascism and the road to serfdom. Marxism was not a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary outcome of those tendencies. Yet it is significant that many of the leaders of these movements, from Mussolini down (and including Laval and Quisling) began as socialists and ended as fascists or Nazis. In the democracies at present, many who sincerely hate all of Nazism's manifestations are working for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny. Most of the people whose views influence developments are in some measure socialists. They believe that our economic life should be 'consciously directed' that we should substitute 'economic planning' for the competitive system. Yet is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?
Friedrich Hayek’s 1944 Road to Serfdom is a classic of conservative economic argument. While undeniably a product of a specific time in global politics – which saw the threat of fascism from Nazi Germany and its allies beguilingly answered by the promises of socialism – Hayek’s carefully constructed argument is a fine example of the importance of good reasoning in critical thinking. Reasoning is the art of constructing good, persuasive arguments by organizing one’s thoughts, supporting one’s conclusions, and considering counter-arguments along the way. The Road to Serfdom illustrates all these skills in action; Hayek’s argument was that, while many assumed socialism to be the answer to totalitarian, fascist regimes, the opposite was true. Socialist government’s reliance on a large state, centralised control, and bureaucratic planning – he insisted – actually amounts to a different kind of totalitarianism. Freedom of choice, Hayek continued, is a central requirement of individual freedom, and hence a centrally planned economy inevitably constrains freedom. Though many commentators have sought to counter Hayek’s arguments, his reasoning skills won over many of the politicians who have shaped the present day, most notably Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.