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Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek, 1944

cartoon summary



Chapter I. The Abandoned Road

Human will has made the world what it is — The individualistic basis of modem civilization — Liberalism not a stationary creed — But it has not been allowed to develop and was abandoned — Germany as the leader in the new departure.

Chapter 2. The Great Utopia

The socialist promise of a new liberty — Change in the meaning of the word liberty — The renewed apprehensions — The utopia of democratic socialism.

Chapter 3. Individualism and Collectivism

The meaning of socialism — The meaning of “ planning ” — The alternative to a directed economy not laissez faire but a rational frame- work for competition — Combinations of central direction and com- petition inferior to either system.

Chapter 4. The Inevitability of Planning

Competition not made impossible by technological changes — The causes of the growth of monopolies — New problems created by technological changes — Technological possibilities that cannot be realized under competition— -The demand for planning largely a result of the narrow view of the specialist.

Chapter 5. Democracy and Planning

Central direction of economic activity presupposes a comprehensive common code of values — Individual and social ends — Agreement on methods and disagreement on ends — As the scope of state action extends, the possibility of agreement diminishes — The illusion of democratic control — Freedom and not democracy the ultimate value.

Chapter 6. Planning and the Rule of Law

The Rule of Law — -Formal and substantive rules — The rationale of the Rule of Law — The conflict between formal and substantive equality — The new threat to the Rule of Law — The Rule of Law and the Rights of Man

Chapter 7. Economic Control and Totalitarianism

Political and economic freedom — The contempt for the merely economic — Control over production gives control over consumption — Planning and the choice of occupation — Orders and prohibitions the only alternative to the price system — The myth of plenty — The unprecedented extent of totalitarian control

Chapter 8. Who?  To Whom?

Liberty and property. — Planning and the distribution of incomes — Distributive justice — Equality — Just prices and fair wages — The conflicting ideas about the appropriate status — Socialism prepared the instruments of totalitarian control — Middle-class socialism — The conflict between competing socialisms

Chapter 9. Security and Freedom

The two kinds of security — In a free society undeserved fluctuations of income are inevitable — Security of a certain economic status possible only in a society organized on military lines — Economic security guaranteed to some increases insecurity for the rest — The significance of the increasing demand for security.


Chapter 10. Why the Worst Get on Top

The moral effects of collectivism — The lowest common denominator produces the largest homogeneous group — The particularist tendencies inherent in socialism — The worship of power — The social ends justify every means — Useful habits encouraged in the citizen of the totalitarian state — The selection of the leader

Chapter 11. The End of Truth

The role of propaganda — People must be made to accept not only the values but also the views about facts underlying the plan — The new values made acceptable by introducing them under the names of the old — No field of knowledge can be left uncontrolled — Truth and freedom of thought.

Chapter 12. Socialist Roots of Nazism

Socialist support completed the victory of the anti-liberal forces in Germany — Sombart — Plenge — Lensch — Spengler and Moeller van den Bruck — Socialism as the weapon against the liberal West

Chapter 13. Totalitarians in our Midst

The spreading of German ideals — Historical realism more teutorrico ■ — The totalitarianism of the scientists — The monopolist organisations of capital — The monopolist organisations of labour.

Chapter 14. Material Conditions and Ideal Ends

The economophobia of our generation — In a free society no single purpose can be allowed permanently to dominate all others — not even the abolition of unemployment — Realisation of most of our hopes depends on rapid economic progress — The decline of English political ideals.

Chapter 15. Prospects of International Order

The conflict between national planning and international order — Direction of economic activity on an international scale raises political difficulties even greater than on a national scale — It would create conflicts of ideals which can be settled only by force — International authority cannot be confined to economic matters — Need for a strong but limited political power above the economic authorities — The merits of the federal principle — The Rule of Law in the international sphere — The danger of being over-ambitious