Friedrich Hayek on Our 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat'

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Recently
by Simon Black: Introducing
the Government's Newest UnpaidSpy: YOU

One of the
greatest thinkers of all time was Austrian economic Friedrich Hayek,
and his work The
Road to Serfdom
is an absolute must-read.

Hayek’s
writings are incredibly powerful in these times. In light of the
countless recent examples of governments changing the rules whenever/wherever
it suits them (from the Troika nonsense in Europe to the Fraudclosure
settlement in the US), I’d like to share a few key passages
with you today.

On the sanctity
of the Rule of Law in a free society, Hayek says:

“Nothing
distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those
in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the
former of the great principles known as the Rule of Law.”

“[U]nder
the Rule of Law the government is prevented from stultifying individual
efforts by ad hoc action. Within the known rules of the game the
individual is free to pursue his personal ends and desires, certain
that the powers of government will not be used to deliberately frustrate
his efforts.”

“The important
question is whether the individual can foresee the action of the
state [based on the government following its own rules] and make
use of this knowledge as a datum in forming his own plans…”

On the nature
of legislative or judicial favoritism, Hayek says:

“It is
the Rule of Law… the absence of legal privileges [or favoritism]
of particular people designated by authority, which safeguards that
equality before the law which is the opposite of arbitrary government.”

“[A]ny
policy aiming directly at a substantive ideal of distributive justice
must lead to the destruction of the Rule of Law.”

There is a
“belief that, so long as all actions of the state are duly
authorized by legislation, the Rule of Law will be preserved…
[But just because] someone has full legal authority to act in the
way he does gives no answer to the question whether the law gives
him power to act arbitrarily.”

“It may
well be that Hitler has obtained unlimited powers in a strictly
constitutional manner and that whatever he does is therefore legal
in the juridical sense. But who would suggest for that reason that
the Rule of Law still prevails in Germany?”

“The Rule
of Law thus implies limits to the scope of legislation: it restricts
it to the kind of general rules known as formal law and excludes
legislation either directly aimed at particular people or at enabling
anybody to use the coercive power of the state for the purpose of
such discrimination.”

Read
the rest of the article

The
Best of Simon Black

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare