The Road to Serfdom

Friedrich A. Hayek


  • Individualism vs. collectivism.
  • Socialism is always collectivism, by opposition to liberalism.
  • Democracy and socialism cannot coexist.
  • Communism, Fascism and National Socialism are both collectivism, they just differ in the focus of their planning.
  • Liberalism's regulated competition is the best way to allocate resources in a complex society, which socialism's central planning cannot manage efficiently.
  • Central planning is the consecration of monopolies by the state.
  • Central planning offers idealists the appeal to force society to direct its effort towards grand goals that could/would not be achieved in an free individualistic, but it is only at the expense of the agents' freedom of choice of how to allocate their resources.
  • People are more likely to agree on means than on ends.
  • It is normal more often than none for legislative assemblies not to take any decision on a specific matter. Doing otherwise would be imposing a minority's view onto all the others because everyone's end are different.
  • The Rule of Law states that states should only promulgate laws based on general and predictable principles, treating everyone the same way a priori. Doing otherwise (deciding on the go and on a case by case basis) would be planning and would prevent agents from themselves planning their own ends.
  • Veil of Ignorance.
  • Increased security (to the detriment of freedom) given to a social group increases the risk for the rest of society, which might in turn make it profitable for them to trade their freedom for security. Security progressively becomes such a prominent part of social life and status that freedom seems a very low price to pay not to be cast away.
  • Socialist leaders have to repudiate moral principles and resort to practical ways they disapprove of in the progressive institution of a truly socialist regime.
  • Collectivism replaces absolute ethics by 'useful habits' to fill any gaps that direct orders may leave, to achieve the greater good.
  • The best way to make people adopt a new doctrine is to progressively change the words' meaning.
  • 'That healthy contempt and dislike of power which only an old tradition of personal liberty creates.'
  • What are the consequences of political correctness propaganda?
  • Virtue only exists with choice: collectivism might be a way to indulge in collective selfishness that would not be permissible for individuals.