Kai Weiss, a research fellow at the Austrian Economics Center, explains to readers of The American Conservative the power of the solutions to today’s problems found in the classic social science book, The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich August von Hayek. Weiss writes (abridged):
It isn’t often that a social science book sells hundreds of thousands of copies and is read by millions around the world, even decades after it was first published.
It’s even less common if the author is, according to mainstream accounts, an obscure Austrian economics professor. Yet Friedrich August von Hayek, against seemingly all odds, got it done with his most famous work, The Road to Serfdom, now considered a classic of the 20th century.
This month, Road to Serfdom celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Dedicated “to the socialists of all parties,” over 350,000 copies were sold from its release in 1944 through 2007, and it reached Amazon’s bestseller rankings again at the height of the Tea Party movement in 2010. The shorter Reader’s Digest version was handed out by the millions and made Hayek an international phenom overnight.
We find in The Road to Serfdom viable solutions to today’s problems:
Power needs to be decentralized.
Instead of pseudo-democracy by a handful of politicians for millions of people, a revitalization of “local self-government” is necessary. And finally, the virtues of “independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, non-interference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority” are still sorely needed 75 years later.
Read more here.
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