Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Road to Serfdom

This book by F. A. Hayek is quite a diverting read, if one gets carried away by abstract political and economic reasoning. Hayek, who is one of the most influential "free-market" economists and political thinkers of the last century, wrote this book during WWII when fascism and socialism seemed like the Next Big Thing(s). Hayek first exposes weaknesses in these systems and why they nevertheless gain prominence, and then lays out a more favorable system. That is to say, the entire book is about why libertarianism is pretty neat and other stuff is not quite as stellar.

Although my gushing previous paragraph makes the book sound rather dry, it was rife with great insights, many of them especially apposite in today's political climate. I marked about a dozen quotations to share with you (because I know that is what you were hoping for!), but I mistakenly returned the book already. So, I will paraphrase a bit: "don't be a socialist."

While I thought the book was excellent, I would not recommend it to anybody who is not seriously examining their political and economic stances. It is a little difficult to keep momentum while reading it, and if one did not have powerful motivations to do so, it would perhaps be difficult to finish.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Your review was entertaining and interesting, even though the book doesn't sound very much of either!