Sunday, May 31, 2015
George Orwell on a socialist economy
George Orwell, no slouch when it came to recognizing creeping authoritarianism. “In the negative part of Professor Hayek’s thesis there is a great deal of truth,” he wrote. “Collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of.” But he added, “Professor Hayek . . . does not see, or will not admit, that a return to ‘free’ competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State. The trouble with competitions is that somebody wins them. Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led, and since the vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment, the drift towards collectivism is bound to continue if popular opinion has any say in the matter.”
Wapshott, Nicholas (2011-10-11). Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (p. 202). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.