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Thought For The Day

Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

Nobody saw more clearly than De Tocqueville that democracy as an essentially individualist institution stood in an irreconcilable conflict with socialism: "Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom," he said in 1848, "socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

It is rarely remembered now that socialism in its beginnings was frankly authoritarian. The French writers who laid the foundations of modern socialism had no doubts that their ideas could be put into practice only by strong dictatorial government.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

. . . it came to pass that toward the turn of the century the belief in the basic tenets of (classical) liberalism was more and more relinquished. What had been achieved came to be regarded as a secure and imperishable possession, acquired once and for all. The eyes of the people became fixed on new demands, the rapid satisfaction of which seemed to be barred by the adherence to the old principles.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

Probably nothing has done so much harm to the (classical) liberal cause as the wooden insistence of some liberals on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez faire.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

There is nothing in the basic principles of (classical) liberalism to make it a stationary creed; there are no hard-and-fast rules fixed once and for all. The fundamental principle that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion, is capable of an infinite variety of applications.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

"Freedom" and "liberty" are now words so worn with use and abuse that one must hesitate to employ them to express the ideals for which they stood.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

. . . the essential features of that individualism which, from elements provided by Christianity and the philosophy of classical antiquity, was first developed during the Renaissance and has since grown and spread into what we know as Western civilization--are the respect for the individual man qua man, that is, the recognition of his own views and tastes as supreme in his own sphere, however narrowly that may be circumscribed, and the belief that it is desirable that men should develop their own individual gifts and bents.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

Although we had been warned by some of the greatest political thinkers of the nineteenth century, by De Tocqueville and Lord Acton, that socialism means slavery, we have steadily moved in the direction of socialism. And now that we have seen a new form of slavery (socialism) arise before our eyes, we have so completely forgotten the warning that it scarcely occurs to us that (political freedom and economic freedom) may be connected.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

But although until 1931 England and America had followed only slowly on the path on which others had led, even by then they had moved so far that only those whose memory goes back to the years before (World War I) know what a (classical) liberal world was like.

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Thought for the day

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From The Road To Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, 1944, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, 1994, The University of Chicago Press.

We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected.

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