Monday, February 16, 2015

Is America Still on F. A. Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom'?

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, "EpicTimes," on, "Is America Still on "F. A. Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom'?"

A little more than 70 years ago, Austrian economist, F. A. Hayek published "The Road to Serfdom" in the midst of World War II.

It was meant to be a warning that ideological and political trends that had been at work beginning in the last decades of Imperial Germany and which finally political-philosophically created the social and cultural climate that made it possible for the rise to power of someone like Hitler and his Nazi movement, could be seen in Great Britain and the United States in the middle decades of the 20th century.

Not that either country was threatened with becoming a carbon copy of Nazi totalitarianism, but rather the same ideological and political currents of ideas -- collectivism, socialism, nationalism -- that led to the interventionist-welfare state, that weakened a spirit and practice of individualism, free enterprise and limited government in Germany, were similarly threatening to undermine and potentially destroy the belief in and practice of individual liberty and competitive capitalism in Britain and America.

How relevant are Hayek's arguments in modern America, and what are the examples of such trends at work, already, here in the United States? And how do we get off this potential road to serfdom and greater loss of liberty?


1 comment:

  1. Here is Igor Sechin full Op-Ed in the FT Oil markets need reform to reflect reality for producers and consumers

    In today’s distorted oil markets, prices do not reflect reality. They are driven instead by financial speculation, which outweighs the real-life factors of supply and demand. Financial markets tend to produce economic bubbles, and those bubbles tend to burst. Remember the dotcom bust and the subprime mortgage crisis? Furthermore, they are prone to manipulation. We have not forgotten the rigging of the Libor interest rate benchmark and the gold price.

    Financial bubbles, market manipulations, excessive regulation, regional disparities — so grotesque are these distortions that you might question whether there is any such thing as an oil “market” at all. There is the semblance of a market: buyers and sellers and prices. But they are performing a charade.

    In any case, the authorities should go further, ensuring that at least 10 or 15 per cent of oil trades involve actually delivering some physical oil. At present almost all “oil trades” are conducted by financial traders, who exchange nothing but electronic tokens or pieces of paper.

    A true market for oil, where prices reflect demand and supply, is in the interest of producers and consumers alike. They should work to create one.