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Friedrich Hayek on Our 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat'

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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.”

The Road to Serfdom: T... F. A. Hayek, Bruce Cal... Best Price: $3.06 Buy New $1.99 (as of 03:40 UTC - Details)

“[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?”