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.
The Road to Serfdom, F. A. Hayek’s 1944 warning against the dangers of government control, continues to influence politics more than seventy years after it was turned down by three American publishers and finally published by the University of Chicago Press. A classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, the definitive edition of The Road to Serfdom included this essay as its Introduction. Here, acclaimed Hayek biographer and general editor of the Collected Works of F. A. Hayek series, Bruce Caldwell explains how Hayek came to write and publish the book, assesses misunderstandings of Hayek’s thought, and suggests how Hayek’s fears of Socialism lead him to abandon the larger scholarly project he had planned in 1940 to focus instead on a briefer, more popular and political tract—one that has influenced political and economic discourse ever since.
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.
Hayek singled out Marxist-Socialism as being The Road to Serfdom and the greatest threat to Western civilization. However, as the evidence shows, a far greater threat is posed to our freedoms by unregulated, unfettered capital - which is not only responsible for the crash of 2008 but has been the cause of every economic catastrophe since the Bank of England was founded in 1694.
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?
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.
This book examines the crisis of democracy in Hungary since the election of the Fidesz government in 2010. It argues that Fidesz seeks to challenge the capitalist and democratic transformation that shaped Hungary after the fall of communism by increasing the power of the state over crucial aspects of the economy, society, and the political system.