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"We are in a new phase of a very old war."

This is part of the opening quote for the counterjihad website Gates of Vienna, which I don't keep up with as well as I used to...anyway, it is also a good introduction for F.A. Hayek's classic The Road to Serfdom, which I am very late in coming to. I did read the LIFE cartoon version, which is now available on the web, but while that's a good introduction, it doesn't do justice to the incredibly dense and yet quite readable original.

Perhaps the best thing about Hayek's treatise on socialism and where it can lead societies is that it delves relentlessly into the past and lays out the whole wretched history of socialism, starting with the German reaction against the ideals of the French Revolution. To some extent, Jonah Goldberg echoes this in his history of "progressivism", Liberal Fascism, but Goldberg is focusing strictly on American politics, while Hayek is discussing the rise of socialism in Britain and where it came from, which is a more complicated matter. Even though I'm only three chapters into The Road to Serfdom, I would go so far as to say that the full horror of Goldberg's book isn't really apparent until you read Hayek and find out where all these progressive yoyos got their bright ideas. I'd go so far as to argue that Hayek's book is a better deal as well since editor Bruce Caldwell helpfully explains in the footnotes who all these 18th and 19th century philosophers and economists were, and why they're important.

Anyway, go read Hayek. It is very clearly and simply written, in a way that most academics these days simply can't manage, and is well worth your time. I'm reading a borrowed paperback copy, but I think I'll be getting this for my Kindle.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
harvey_rrit
Jun. 12th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
*GASP*

Are you speaking against the magnificent ideal of a socialist nation led by a nonsmoking vegetarian environmentalist?

Wait.

Bad example.
wombat_socho
Jun. 12th, 2013 10:56 pm (UTC)
The icon should have answered that question, but not enough people are up to speed on the winning side of the Spanish Civil War, aside from the dumb recurring joke on SNL.
harvey_rrit
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
Unless I've misunderstood you, apparently I'm not up to speed on Bahamonde. I was talking about the guy with all the rugged blond troops with such great fashion sense.
wombat_socho
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
And the really Boss uniforms? No, not down with that guy at all. (Cool tanks and airplanes, though, to say nothing of that half-track motorcycle. :))

I think you did misunderstand, but I'm used to everyone confusing the Falangists with the Nazis and Fascists by now. It's annoying, but all you can do is fix peoples' ignorance and move on.
harvey_rrit
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:01 am (UTC)
On a side note:

I cannot be the only person to notice that a bunch of guys who made a point of persecuting homosexuals dressed so *F*A*B*U*L*O*U*S*.
wombat_socho
Jun. 13th, 2013 07:22 am (UTC)
Not at all. In fact, Hans Hellmut Kirst did a novel whose plot revolved around an extremely closeted (and homicidal)gay SS officer, The Hero In The Tower. Maybe not as good as the Gunner Asch tetralogy, but still pretty good historical fiction.
harvey_rrit
Jun. 13th, 2013 08:50 am (UTC)
Note much further to the side:

I slipped in a reference to that Saturday Night Live joke in my story LEFTOVERS. It's in Man-Kzin Wars XIV, which comes out December 3.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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