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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.

. . . the more the state "plans," the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.

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 state should confine itself to establishing rules applying to general types of situations and should allow the individuals freedom in everything which depends on the circumstances of time and place, because only the individuals concerned in each instance can fully know these circumstances and adapt their options to them.

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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 difference between (the Rule of Law and arbitrary government power) is the same as that between laying down a Rule of the Road, as in the Highway Code, and ordering people where to go; or, better still, between providing signposts and commanding people which road to take.

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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.

Nothing distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the former of the great principles known as the Rule of Law. Stripped of all technicalities, (the Rule of Law) means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand--rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one's individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.

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.

Democratic control may prevent power from becoming arbitrary, but it does not do so by its mere existence. If democracy resolves on a task which necessarily involves the use of power which cannot be guided by fixed rules, it must become arbitrary power.

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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 fashionable concentration on democracy as the main value threatened is not without danger. It is largely responsible for the misleading and unfounded belief that, so long as the ultimate source of power is the will of the majority, the power cannot be arbitrary. The false assurance which many people derive from (the belief that power exercised by the will of the majority cannot be arbitrary) is an important cause of the general unawareness of the dangers we face. There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by a democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary; the contrast suggested by this statement is altogether false; it is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.

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 clash between (central) planning and democracy arises simply from the fact that (democracy) is an obstacle to the suppression of freedom which the direction of economic activity requires.. . . in so far as democracy ceases to be a guaranty of individual freedom, it may well persist in some form under a totalitarian regime. A true "dictatorship of the proletariat," even if democratic in form, if it undertook centrally to direct the economic system, would probably destroy personal freedom as completely as any autocracy has ever done.

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Thought for the day, if-you-thought-Madoff-was-bad edition

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Jim Lindgren, writing at the lawblog The Volokh Conspiracy:

A welfare state is in one sense a big Ponzi scheme. Without increasing numbers of people entering the scheme, there is no money to pay the people receiving the money.


This in reference to a recent editorial in Canada's Financial Post which argued for a global one-child policy to "save the planet" or whatever.

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 may well be true that our generation talks and thinks too much of democracy and too little of the values which it serves. It cannot be said of democracy, as Lord Acton truly said of liberty, that it "is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required, but for the security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life." Democracy is essentially a means, a utilitarian device for safeguarding internal peace and individual freedom. As such it is by no means infallible or certain.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.

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 now said that democracy will not tolerate "capitalism." If "capitalism" means here a competitive system based on free disposal over private property, it is far more important to realize that only within this system is democracy possible. When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.

Excerpted under Fair Use for purposes of non-commercial education, discussion and comment. Any transcription or typographical errors are mine.

UPDATE: I mis-posted yesterday's TFTD as today's as well, and just now noticed. Mea culpa. My bad.