The Road to Serfdom

Written on January 2, 2012. Written by .

Hayek is a legendary figure in the debate over economic policy. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek provides extensive arguments in favor of what he calls “liberalism”, which he notes has become to mean the opposite of what it originally meant. His definition of liberalism is based on the same root as “liberty”, which is the opposite of liberty-restricting central planning. The book takes a fairly philosophical approach. Instead of going deeply into historical evidence, he focuses on the logical reasons why central planning always fails to achieve what the planners hope. He discusses the tendency for people to assume that they will be in the majority that does the planning and to ignore the likely possibility that they themselves will be oppressed by the plan. He also argues that any central plan will have to make value judgements that not everyone can agree on. His arguments are very clear and mostly undeniable, but the book is rather long and due to the philosophical tone it can be a bit boring. I wish I could give the book a higher rating because the content is quite ingenious, but the delivery is not suitable for casual readers.

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