The Corner

Hayek and Hyperbole

Matt Welch:

Hayek then moved the ball with his massively influential text of economic hyperbole, The Road to Serfdom. Hayek’s thesis—that manifestations of collectivism even in market-based democracies lead inexorably down the road to tyranny—is powerful, still timely, and not (it turns out) strictly true. But as a warning shot across the bow of Western statists and a galvanizing jolt for politicians and thinkers worldwide, this bit of exaggeration has done more good than a million perfectly fact-checked white papers.

Is that a fair comment on Hayek? It has been many years since I read the book, but I thought his thesis was that central planning would lead to totalitarianism, a proposition that does not seem to me to be easy to dismiss.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

White House

What Is Hillary Clinton Thinking?

When Homer Simpson looks in the mirror, he sees ripped chest muscles and arms like the trunks of beech trees. When Hillary Clinton looks in the mirror, she sees America’s sweetheart. She thinks: America adores me. She thinks: America already chose me to be president once! She thinks: Everyone is comparing me ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Grassley’s Kangaroo Court

So now it looks like next Thursday. On Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s manifestly meritorious nomination to the Supreme Court, what was supposed to be the vote out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this past Thursday now appears to be sliding into a hearing to be held next Thursday. Or, who knows, maybe a Thursday ... Read More