O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

segunda-feira, maio 31, 2004

The Road Away From Serfdom

Este é mais um artigo comemorativo do 60º aniversário da primeira edição de "The Road To Serfdom" de F.A. Hayek.

The Austrian-born Hayek (...) explained what he called "the extended order of human cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleadingly, known as capitalism." In his later book, "The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism," he elaborated on his thesis, namely socialism could never work, no matter how it came to pass, whether by revolution and dictatorship, as in the onetime Soviet Union, or by the ballot box, as in postwar Great Britain. Socialism to Hayek, a Nobel Laureate, had become a code word for the "economics of scarcity."

For Hayek, the fatal conceit was to think a bunch of ideologized bureaucrats could through the machinery of what was called "central authority" ? in other words, socialism ? uncover the information needed to make the socialist system work. As the Economist summarized Hayekism:

"Socialism is factually flawed (because it is wrong in its description of why capitalism flourished) and logically flawed as well (because it must deny itself the information-gathering apparatus that it would need if it were ever to work)."

For Hayek, competition was the surest way for an economic system to work and competition could exist only under a free market system. In other words, as economist John Cassidy put it, "By allowing millions of decision-makers to respond individually to freely determined prices, it allocated resources, labor, capital, and human ingenuity ? in a manner that can't be mimicked by a central plan, however brilliant the central planner.... The view of capitalism as a spontaneous processing machine ? 'telecommunications system' was how Hayek referred to it ? was one of the real insights of the century." Mr. Cassidy suggested, "It is hardly an exaggeration to refer to the 20th century as the Hayek century."

Yet "socialism" is still the reigning dogma in the vast majority of social science departments of American universities. As Hayek once put it: "The higher we climb up the ladder of intelligence, the more we talk with intellectuals, the more likely we are to encounter socialist convictions."

To remain a Marxist today or a Marxist fellow-traveler when the whole world has voted against the malice of Marxism raises the most profound questions as to the rationality of the true believer. Especially as we celebrate publication of Hayek's irrefutable "Road to Serfdom."

posted by Miguel Noronha 5:51 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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