ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, April 03, 2008

On the Road

To Serfdom.

I saw this post/reader comment on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism blog which seeks to point out that the similarities between Liberalism and Fascism are not solely confined to their roots in the Progressive movement, but in Hayek's analysis of any system which is not based on free market mechanisms (ie, individuals freely acting in their own self-interest).

Dear Mr. Goldberg,

Liberal Fascism is a wonderful book, very necessary, very on target. Hats off to your for your splendid work.

There is one additional point that I think could be made in response to some of your liberal commenters, retgarding the continuum that is represented by contemporary liberalism - progressivism - leftism - and fascism.

What links these movements is more than the fact that they share many of the same issues and are founded on many of the same basic ideas.

The link between liberalism and fascism is the coercive nature of all social orders that are not based on a free market.

This is of course Professor Hayek's crucial observation.

Any social order that is not founded on a free market, inevitably involves coercion.

The more that social order is threatened by the unwillingness of individuals to comply with its instructions, the more coercive it will become.

Thus it is really a very easy path from liberalism to totalitarian tyranny. It can be accomplished perhaps more easily by a thousand tiny steps than by a social revolution.
This is a very succinct analysis of Hayek's Road To Serfdom which is a must read for those interested in defending the freedom to choose. It clears the mind and shows how imperative it is that we stop the socialists, progressives, and planners from increasing the responsibilities of the government in our everyday lives. Yes, it's boring and not exactly a quick read, but it provides much insight.

As I read Jonah's Liberal Fascism, I was constantly reminded of Hayek's Road to Serfdom and this central observation.

By the way, MontereyJohn - You'll find that many of the criticisms from the Left about Jonah's books concern a minor paragraphs and the illustration on the cover; they refuse to address the fascist history that underlies their Progressive roots.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler