The Amtrak Train to Serfdom (Or, How to Define Socialism in Today’s World)

Email Print

From the 1976 Preface to F.A. Hayek’s great classic, The Road to Serfdom (University of Chicago Press, p. xxiii):

“[D]uring the interval of time [since the original 1944 publication] terminology has changed and for this reason what I say in the book may be misunderstood. At the time I wrote, socialism meant unambiguously the nationalization of the means of production and the central economic planning which this made possible and necessary. In this sense Sweden, for instance, is today very much less socialistically organized than Great Britain or Austria, though Sweden is commonly regarded as much more socialistic.”

Socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” (emphasis added).

Thus, Obammunism gives us the worst of all worlds: a great expansion of the contemporary definition of socialism, along with some early twentieth-century socialism in the form of nationalized banks, car companies, railroads (The Messiah wants to build six more perpetually money-losing Amtraks), health care, and as much more as he can get away with.

Secession anyone?

11:33 am on May 6, 2009