I was just gonna say, apparantly Glenn Beck featured the book on his show last night. While I like this book, and can't stand Beck, I must say, it's gotta be one hell of a head rush to know that if you feature a book on your show, it'll rocket to number 1 on amazon.
If the Beckheads actually read this book, they are in for a big supprise. Wait till they get to chapter 9 where Hayek advocates government run universal health care. Do you think they will go on to read Hayek's "Why I am not a conservative" essay?
Really? I watched the entire show yesterday, including the interviews with Thomas Woods, Jr. And I think he's (Beck) a dishonest hack whose simply found a way to merge Limbaugh style talk and New World Order conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, I've watched and listened to enough Beck that I'd be fine never hearing of him again.
Read "The Road to Serfdom", chapter 9. In fact if don't want to buy it, you'll find it on page 125 on the version in Google Books. While you're at it, get hold of his "The Constitution of Liberty". It includes a vigorous defense of social security, and a postscript entitled "Why I am Not a Conservative"
I looked it up on Google Books, but it only went to page 89. It had this error message:
"Pages 90 to 265 are not shown in this preview."
There is an actual quote (so far, yours doesn't exist, since you haven't even given a snippet of it) in Hayek's Constitution of Liberty against government-run health care:
"But there are strong arguments against a single scheme of state insurance; and there seems to be an overwhelming case against free health service for all. From what we have seen of such schemes, it is probable that their inexpediency will become evident in the countries that have adopted them, although political circumstances make it unlikely that they can ever be abandoned, not that they have been adopted. One of the strongest arguments against them is, indeed, that their introduction is the kind of politically irrevocable measure that will have to be continued, whether it proves a mistake or not."
He was saying that it would soon fail elsewhere in the world, where it had been tried. Look what's going on in Canada: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100531/hl_nm/us_health_3
The other argument in the quote is that government programs are almost never repealed after they are created.
"Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.......But there is no incompatibility in principle between the state providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom."
No, that sounds like you're taking a quote out of context.
Hayek was a man who promoted the decentralization of power and authority, and the empowerment of the individual. He was against the idea that we're all slaves of the state, and he was consistent.
Aside from his individualistic principles, there is this quote:
"The conception that there is a an objectively determinable standard of medical services which can and ought to be provided for all, a conception which underlies the Beveridge scheme and the whole British National Health Service, has no relation to reality. In a field that is undergoing as rapid change as medicine is today, it can, at most, be the bad average standard of service that can be provided equally for all.. But since in every progressive field what is objectively possible to provide for all depends on what has already been provided for some, the effect of making it too expensive foremost to get better than average service, must, before long, be that this average will be lower than it otherwise would be."
That a government-run system would have equal treatment for all -- equally bad treatment.
Gorden, you think socialists make things up, here's what Hayek says in "Why I'm Not a Conservative"
"one of the fundamental traits of the conservative attitude is a fear of change, a timid distrust of the new as such, while the liberal position is based on courage and confidence, on a preparedness to let change run its course even if we cannot predict where it will lead. ...... But the conservatives are inclined to use the powers of government to prevent change or to limit its rate to whatever appeals to the more timid mind."
later he says
"This fear of trusting uncontrolled social forces is closely related to two other characteristics of conservatism: its fondness for authority and its lack of understanding of economic forces."
he also says
"Conservatives feel instinctively that it is new ideas more than anything else that cause change. But, from its point of view rightly, conservatism fears new ideas because it has no distinctive principles of its own to oppose them; and, by its distrust of theory and its lack of imagination concerning anything except that which experience has already proved, it deprives itself of the weapons needed in the struggle of ideas. Unlike liberalism, with its fundamental belief in the long-range power of ideas, conservatism is bound by the stock of ideas inherited at a given time. And since it does not really believe in the power of argument, its last resort is generally a claim to superior wisdom, based on some self-arrogated superior quality."
He also says: " I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it ......the reasons for our reluctance must themselves be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs."
Finally he says: "Connected with the conservative distrust if the new and the strange is its hostility to internationalism and its proneness to a strident nationalism. Here is another source of its weakness in the struggle of ideas. It cannot alter the fact that the ideas which are changing our civilization respect no boundaries. But refusal to acquaint one's self with new ideas merely deprives one of the power of effectively countering them when necessary. The growth of ideas is an international process, and only those who fully take part in the discussion will be able to exercise a significant influence"
I'm very glad that people are coming to this book now, even if it had to be introduced by a moron like Glenn Beck. This is an excellent book on free-markets, capitalism, and individualism. I'd reccomend Ludvig Von Mises Human Action and Milton Friedman Free to Choose and his book Capitalism And Freedom, also great books. If you want a very interesting book on how these beliefs can shape business and life, Charles Koch, of Koch Industries, which has gotten notoriety as the evil Oil corporation thath as funded some of the anti-Universal Healthcare rallies, on Rachel Maddow show, wrote a brilliant book called, The Science of Success: Market Based Management.
That's just plain scary what you said. You may not like a partiot that believes the Constitution is our founding and our American way of life. Or you may just think America is "too big to fail" and will always be there when you desire freedom. Beck is afraid we are losing it fast.....you may think he's wrong and even nuts. Yeah, Ok. He's nuts and that's that......But what if....just IF...he's right. Then what?
I think libertarians who dont like Beck understand he is a lying hypocrite who will say whatever it takes to get better ratings. Too many times I have seen him claim to be a libertarian and then go on to praise the govt like in the show about Serfdom, repeatedly claiming how great Ronald Reagan was. He is a slimy scumbag who happens to occasionally say some good things.
@Kreitman: "Do you think [Beckheads] will go on to read Hayek's "Why I am not a conservative" essay?"
I am not a Beckhead, but I do follow Hayek, and thus believe in strictly limited government. I have also read "Why I am not a conservative", and largely agree with it.
The problem with "conservative/right" and "liberal/left" is that those terms have been ripped loose from their historical foundations. "Left/Right" originally referred to the seating in the 18th century French parliament. "Conservative/Liberal" referred to supporters of the nobility and existing social, political, and religious institutions versus a more fluid, egalitarian, humanistic society. The original conservative v. liberal fight is, in the light of the American revolution, essentially over in the US and nations modeling themselves on the US success. The liberals won.
The current fight is between collectivists and individualists. The true modern political spectrum runs from tyranny to anarchy. Both extremes are, ahem, extremely dangerous; anarchy is also unstable and quickly collapses into tyranny.
The descriptions and labels of the two camps are incommensurate; they're talking about different things. Worse, the basic vocabulary has been set by the statist/collectivist/socialist/communist wing, which has taken to itself the liberal/left label, and applied the right/conservative/capitalist labels to the individualist/minarchist/free market/entrepreneurial wing, which has few widely accepted terms of its own to apply to the debate.
A good example of the conflict is the differing interpretations of "the people". Collectivists regard "the people" and "the state" as the same thing, with the state being the mechanism for achieving the most good for society as a whole by leading the people to act in concert for common ends; see various local and state courts, where the prosecution is announced as representing "the people" against individual members of same. Individualists regard "the people" as the aggregate of individual citizens acting in their own best interests; see "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", which makes no sense under the collectivist understanding. Then there's the differing interpretations of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms"....
Another example is "class". Originally, this referred to the idea that people were either, by birth, "noble" or "common", and that there was little mobility between the two. However, socialists have redefined it to mean "rich" versus "poor", and "capitalist" v. "worker", again assuming a rigid hierarchy. Thus, advocates of a free market enabling individuals to make their own decisions regarding the best use of the resources available to them, within the constraints of the rule of law, find themselves conflated with advocates of the divine right of kings and unconstrained robber barons.
Obviously, when such fundamental terms have such disparate definitions, it's almost impossible to have an intelligible conversation.