The Road to Serfdom

abrogard
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The Road to Serfdom

Postby abrogard » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:13 am

The Road To Serfdom
F.A.Hayek
George Routledge and Sons 1944

A book on politics, essentially the politics of communism or socialism and why they cannot work.

I haven't finished it. Bit hard to read. No spaces between the paragraphs. Long compound sentences - might take up a whole para. Not simple concepts.

He does the whole thing off the cuff so to speak. No stopping and proving a point, it seems to me, or even arguing a point, he just states this is the case and that is the case. This will lead to that, then the other will follow, in the end this.

And like that all the time.

So it needs careful reading and absorption, digestion and then consideration of his points and claims one after the other.

The language and style make a cake out of something simple I suspect. I think perhaps the whole thing could be re written in a much simplified manner. One would have to do that in one's own mind in order to come to grips with it.

Here's an example para taken completely at random:

"There is an infinite number of good things, which we all agree are highly desirable as well as possible, but of which we cannot hope to achieve more than a few within our lifetime, or which we can hope to achieve only very imperfectly. "

See? 'Infinite' wouldn't be right. It is hyperbole. '..all agree..' would be contentious, there's very little we 'all agree' on. And then we can start disputing what's possible and what's not. And it would be a matter of opinion - a multitude of opinions - what can be hoped to be achieved within a lifetime.

So it needs unravelling and the essence got out of it as pertains to his subject.

And I'd surmise that essence is something like: ' We can't have everything we want '. That's all.

So he needs careful reading. This book, his thought, has apparently become a classic, it is very influential to this very day. And the main thing he's saying (I think, I'm only 2/3 through a first reading) is that socialism is impossible. Impossible. He won't countenance it at all. I think.

So. Needs reading.

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