There can be no doubt that the promise of greater freedom has become one of the most effective weapons of socialist propaganda and that the belief that socialism would bring freedom is genuine and sincere. 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.
– Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
Friedrich Hayek was an Austrian-British economist, philosopher, and great proponent for classical liberalism and individualism. If you have ever even remotely suspected that you are entitled to believe your own beliefs and undertake your own actions, then Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom ought to be right up your alley.
Hayek accepts that most people are incapable of independent thought, but that such a state of affairs must never be used to justify abolishing independent thought outright. He lays bare the notion that collectivism doesn’t replace virtues such as self-reliance and the willingness to bear risks, but rather leaves a vacuum in their stead. He makes a copper-sheathed argument that any government which monopolizes its resources will necessarily play favorites when determining who shall receive them.
It is Hayek’s assertion that morality ceases to exist in a society where obedience to authority is revered above all else. In effect, he argues that collectivism is slavery – that forfeiting your right to put your own interests ahead of those of the guy standing next to you damns you both to perpetual servitude.
In short, anything good which man is capable of achieving becomes impossible the moment he abandons personal freedom. In a world plagued by nanny goats hellbent on banning X, Y, and Z for the greater good, Hayek’s message must be screamed from the rooftops.
But you’re not totally insensitive to the needs of the many. Rather than annoy your neighbors with impassioned rooftop screaming, own this quality article instead.