Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

OMG Someone on the Internet has Said Something Incorrect!

Over at Catellexy
I see we’re going to have to pay more attention to The Road to Serfdom*. If the left are attacking it, there is obviously some truth that annoys them. It might be this

It is one of the saddest spectacles of our time to see a great democratic movement support a policy which must lead to the destruction of democracy and which meanwhile can benefit only a minority of the masses who support it. Yet it is this support from the Left of the tendencies towards monopoly which make them so irresistible and the prospects of the future so dark. So long as Labour continues to assist in the destruction of the only order under which at least some degree of independence and freedom has been secured to every worker, there is indeed little hope for the future. The Labour leaders who now proclaim so loudly that they have ” done once and for all with the mad competitive system ” are proclaiming the doom of the freedom of the individual. There is no other possibility than either the order governed by the impersonal discipline of the market or that directed by the will of a few individuals; and those who are out to destroy the first are wittingly or unwittingly helping to create the second. Even though some workmen will perhaps be better fed, and all will no doubt be more uniformly dressed in that new order, it is permissible to doubt whether the majority of English workmen will in the end thank the intellectuals among their leaders who have presented them with a socialist doctrine which endangers their personal freedom.

Always a sucker, I bite.

I seem to have missed something. In what sense is
"there is indeed little hope for the future..... the doom of the freedom of the individual.... There is no other possibility than either the order governed by the impersonal discipline of the market or that directed by the will of a few individuals..."

a truth?
The Atlee government did introduce the legislation that Hayek objected to: and the future (whether or not it was optimum) was not hopeless, the freedom of the individual was not doomed (despite the continuation to this day of the bulk of the measures that Hayek denounced), and British government now represents neither the impersonal discipline of the market nor the will of a few individuals.
Understandable miscalculation, yes, conceivably; dramatic hyperbole, that would be a defense; but I do find it hard to regard a description that touches reality at no points a "truth".

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