F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of libertarianism in the twentieth century. In this book written in 1944, Hayek expertly refutes socialist schemes and shows the utter peril that socialism poses to individual freedom. We were warned in the 19th century by one of my favorite historians, Lord Acton, "that socialism is slavery". Hayek expertly points out throughout the book how democracy is no safeguard to economic freedom. He does this by pointing out the command economy structure that was instituted in Great Britain to show how individual freedom was stolen from the individual by the "economic interventionists" in the government. One of Hayek's most prescient quotes is; "When democracy becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself." Hayek points to how most politicians feel they need to use government to plan the economy of a nation. "Planning is a synonym for socialism and a small step away from communism.
He ably refutes Keynesian theory throughout the book. This is an easy to read and understand book that should be read by all who wonder what role the government should have on our economic choices.
55 years after the publication of this book the European's are finally coming to Hayek's view and moving away from the pernicious socialist economic system. Meanwhile, the Democrats are embracing it??? Go figure!
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in political philosophy, economic theory, and history.
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