BOOK REVIEW – Friedrich August von Hayek
“Road to Serfdom”,
The Definitive Edition, Edited by Bruce Caldwell, The University of Chicago Press, Routledge, London, 2007; First Edition 1944
By Adam Mazik
The Road To Serfdom is arguably Hayek’s most important book, and certainly the one that has had the most influence. The main thrust of the book is the demonstration that economic planning in its last consequence must lead to a totalitarian state. Using both abstract and historical examples, Hayek shows the impossibility of a democratic socialist system in which the freedoms and rights of the individual are respected, not without explaining the intellectual roots of the socialist and national-socialist movements. Additionally, the Austrian spends a significant amount of time disproving the notion, commonly believed even today, that fascism and socialism are two opposed ideologies; he argues that, on the contrary, both movements are the children of the same collectivist and illiberal sentiments and ideas. On the positive side, the book is a plea for democracy, the spontaneous forces governing liberal society, and the rule of law.