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Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. The Road to Serfdom Quotes Showing of In any society freedom of thought will probably be of direct significance only for a small minority.
But this does not mean that anyone is competent, or ought to have power, to select those to whom this freedom is to be reserved.
It certainly does not justify the presumption of any group of people to claim the right to determine what people ought to think or believe. Collectivism has nothing to put in their place, and in so far as it already has destroyed then it has left a void filled by nothing but the demand for obedience and the compulsion of the individual to what is collectively decided to be good. But if we face a monopolist we are at his absolute mercy.
And an authority directing the whole economic system of the country would be the most powerful monopolist conceivable…it would have complete power to decide what we are to be given and on what terms.
It would not only decide what commodities and services were to be available and in what quantities; it would be able to direct their distributions between persons to any degree it liked. Yet it is this support from the Left of the tendencies toward monopoly which make them so irresistible and the prospects of the future so dark.
Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's own conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name. An accidental combination of experience and interest will often reveal events to one man under aspects which few yet see.
But what matters is that we have some choice, that we are not absolutely tied to a job which has been chosen for us, and that if one position becomes intolerable, or if we set our heart on another, there is always a way for the able, at some sacrifice, to achieve his goal. Nothing makes conditions more unbearable than the knowledge that no effort of ours can change them; and even if we should never have the strength of mind to make the necessary sacrifice, the knowledge that we could escape if we only strove hard enough makes many otherwise intolerable positions bearable.
The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions--all will be suppressed.
There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced Public criticism or even expressions of doubt must be suppressed because they tend to weaken pubic support When the doubt or fear expressed concerns not the success of a particular enterprise but of the whole social plan, it must be treated even more as sabotage.
It describes no longer something to be found, with the individual conscience as the sole arbiter of whether in any particular instance the evidence or the standing of those proclaiming it warrants a belief; it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.
If the individuals are able to use their knowledge effectively in making plans, they must be able to predict actions of the state which may affect these plans. But if the actions of the state are to be predictable, they must be determined by rules fixed independently of the concrete circumstances which can be neither foreseen nor taken into account beforehand; and the particular effects of such actions will be unpredictable. As such it is by no means infallible or certain.
Nor must we forget that there has often been much more cultural and spiritual freedom under an autocratic rule than under some democracies and it is at least conceivable that under the government of a very homogeneous and doctrinaire majority democratic government might be as oppressive as the worst dictatorship.
But this would only heighten the tragedy if it should prove that what was promised to us as the Road to Freedom was in fact the High Road to Servitude. Unquestionably, the promise of more freedom was responsible for luring more and more liberals along the socialist road, for blinding them to the conflict which exists between the basic principles of socialism and liberalism, and for often enabling socialists to usurp the very name of the old party of freedom.
Socialism was embraced by the greater part of the intelligentsia as the apparent heir of the liberal tradition: therefore it is not surprising that to them the idea of socialism's leading to the opposite of liberty should appear inconceivable.
Let a uniform minimum be secured to everybody by all means; but let us admit at the same time that with this assurance of a basic minimum all claims for a privileged security for particular classes must lapse To give different people the same objective opportunities is not to give them the same subjective chance. It cannot be denied that the Rule of Law produces economic inequality—all that can be claimed for it is that this inequality is not designed to affect particular people in a particular way.
But they are mistaken or misled when they believe that these are still the liberal ideas of the nineteenth century, which, in fact, the younger generation hardly knows. We have little right to feel in this respect superior to our grandfathers; and we should never forget that it is we, the twentieth century, and not they, who have made a mess of things. If in the first attempt to create a world of free men we have failed, we must try again. The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century.
Textos de documentos. The contrast between the "we" and the "they", the common fight against those outside the group, seems to be an essential ingredient in any creed which will solidly knit together a group for common action. It is consequently always employed by those who seek, not merely support of a policy, but the unreserved allegiance of huge masses.
From their point of view it has the great advantage of leaving them greater freedom of action than almost any positive programme. The Left intelligentsia indeed, have so long worshiped foreign gods that they seem to have become almost incapable of seeing any good in the characteristic English institutions and traditions.
That the moral values on which most of them pride themselves are largely the product of the institutions they are out to destroy, these socialists cannot, of course, admit. And whoever has sole control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are to be rated higher and which lower, in short, what men should believe and strive for. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
Camino de servidumbre / The Road to Serfdom : Tax free
Austrian-born economist, political philosopher, and psychologist Friedrich von Hayek is best remembered today for both his contributions to economic theory and his opposition to socialism. Economics was one of Hayek's early interests; while serving as an artillery officer on the Italian front in , he read an economics text to pass the time. In he left the army and enrolled at the University of Vienna, where he received degrees in both law and economics. While at the university, he helped organize an influential group of young scholars, who became known as the "Vienna Circle. In Hayek published his classic Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle, which argued that the business cycle is caused by an increase in credit or monetary stimulus. In the same year, he became a lecturer at the University of Vienna; by he had accepted a professorship at the London School of Economics.
Derecho, legislación y libertad
The Road to Serfdom Quotes