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This review is from: The Road to Serfdom (Paperback)Even after six decades, The Road To Serfdom remains essential for understanding global economics and politics. Hayek's main point, that whatever the problem, human nature demands that government be the solution, and that this is the road to hell, remains more valid than ever. He pointed out how similar the situation was under Soviet communism and fascism in Germany and Italy.
The consensus in post-war Europe was for the welfare state and this has led to declining birth-rates, mass immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, and a tendency to exchange their ancient cultural values for the frauds of postmodernism and multiculturalism.
In this classic, Hayek discusses matters like planning and power, the fallacy of the utopian idea, planning versus the rule of law. He brilliantly explains how we are faced with two irreconcilable forms of social organization. Either choice and risk resides with the individual or he is relieved of both.
Complete economic security is inseparable from restrictions on liberty - it becomes the security of the barracks. When the striving for security becomes stronger than the love of freedom, a society is in deep, deep trouble. The way to prosperity for all is to remove the obstacles of bureaucracy in order to release the creative energy of individuals.
The government's job is not to plan for progress but to create the conditions favourable to progress. This has been proved by the awesome economic expansion under Reagan and Thatcher and by the amazing growth of the Asian Tiger economies, and most recently India as it implements sensible economic policies.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the contrast between the phenomenal growth in formerly communist countries like Estonia or Poland against the stagnant situation in Germany and France where they never had a Thatcher.
One of the best books by one of Hayek's intellectual heirs is In Defence Of Global Capitalism by Johan Norberg. I also recommend Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand, Freedom: Alchemy For A Voluntary Society by Stephan Hoeller and The Mainspring Of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver.