A variation of a totalitarism theory

Hayek gives a monocausal explanation for the emergence of totalitarian regimes. He assumes that governmental intervention leads unavoidlably to a totalitarian regime. As with other central notions used by Hayek, freedom, governmental intervention, he never defined what he understands by a totalitarian regime and he never specify exactly a concrete historical situation his description can be compared with, see Warning about planned economies.

In general a distinction is made between a pure authoritarian regime and a totalitarian regime, although the transitions are fluid. The distinction was first made by Hannah Arendt, The origins of Totalitarism. Totalitarian regimes demand an active suport of the regime and not only the lack of resistance. From a psychological point of view this is something very different. If someone is obliged to do things which are incompatible with his convictions, it is more probably that he will end up to resolve this interior conflict by sharing the ideology, because that make life easier for him. If he only has to fear consequences in case of active resitance, the pressure is lower.

To give an example: The famous "Hitlergruß" which substituted the normal german form of greeting (Guten Tag), required from the individual that he publicly supports the system. Not using it could had severe consequences. It is a well known psychological phenomenon that people will try to resolve by different means a conflict between their convictions and their obligations.

Totalitarian regimes penetrate in all spheres of social live, education, culture, art, sports, mass media and leave no room for privacy.

We don't know if totalitarian regimes use these techniques to strenghten their power or if they really believe in their ideology, but it is obvious that a regime is more stable if people not only not resist, but support it actively.

However it is not very plausible that the logic of Hayek applies to totalitarian systems. Beside the fact that there is no historical evidence for the theses that governmental intervention in the economy leads to a totalitarian regime, it is not logical either. A government that socialises industries considered of crucial importance, for instance energy plants, might be wrong from an economic point of view, but it is hard to see why it should intervene as well in the cultural live.

It is true that the more a government controls the economy, the bigger its possibilities to control society and the fewer the possibilities to resist. The problem with the theory of Hayek is, that totalitarian regimes don't need economic power to control the society. They control the society through the police, the military and the legal system. If Hayek believed that the Nazi Regime exerced its power through economic pressure, he had no clue what he was talking about. Very few economic resources are needed to control the society with guns.

The strange assumptions that governmental interventions lead to totalitarism has another strange side effect. Normal people would say that democracy is a good protection against totalitarian or authoritarian governments, because democracy limits automatically power in time. If the elections are really free and no party is hindered in its electoral campaign, the authoritarian or totalitarian regime has to find a majority in order to stay in power. To find a majority, it has to make compromises, because a majority formed of individuals that share the same opinions about the distribution of income, religion, sexual preferences and their legal status, immigration, language policy, status of regions etc. etc. doesn't exist or at least we have never seen something like that throughout history.

It is much easier for a dictator to form majorities than for a political party in a democracy. A dictator can decide who is the minority and can mobilize the majority at the expense of the minority. A dictator for instance can restrict the access to certain professions for, incidentally, moslems. The majority would benefit, it would be easier for them to get a job. In a democracy this is more complicated. The moslems would vote for the competing party.

The problem a political party is confronted with is the fact that by putting some issues on the agenda they will lose some voters and get others and they have to find the optimum. Every issue will be put on the agenda if it is to presume that they can get that way more voters than they lose.

If we assume that governmental intervention leads to totalitarism we get to completely different results. Then we get to the result, as Hayek actually did, that a dictator that guarantees economic freedom is preferable to a democracy that intervenes in the economy, because that would, following Hayek, lead to a totalitarian state.

Hayek didn't mention not even one time the basic characteristic of a democracy, power for a limited time, but very often he mentions the government of the majority, considered by him as a problem. There are therefore two problems. The first problem is, that parliamentary majorities doesn't exist by nature, as he assumes, but they are formed by political parties. The second problem is, that the rule of the parliamentary majority is one characteristic of democracy. The other, equally important, is that in democracies power is limited in time.

The mere fact that the majority rules is not enough. Majorities as well as dictators, kings and minorities can err. The point is, that in democracies there is a systematic way to correct these errors.

Democracies are kind of an exploring process. Someone makes a proposition to resolve a problem and provided that he gets a majority, he can put it in practice. If it works, he has a good chance to be reelected, if not, other possible solutions will be tried. Therefore Karl Popper considers democracies as kind of an experiment, similar to an experiment in science.

The next argument of Hayek is very strange. He wants the majority be bound to inalterable norms, because if there is no limit, majority will tend to abuse of its power, something difficult to imagine, see arguments above, but that is not the main problem. The main problem is, that he doesn't refer to any concrete constitution of a concrete democracy, because any constitution has this kind of inalterable norms. Normally something similar to the human right declaration of the United Nations. It can be argued that democracies didn't feel bound to their constitution or international agreements, but historical evidence shows that democracies shows that there are less infringements in democracies than in dictatorships.

Beside that in the real world, something Hayek didn't care about, the situation is very different. Due to intransparency very small minorities or lobbygroups can influence the governmental at the expense of the majority. That explains for instance the customer duty on sugar. Thes duties benefit the producers of sugar, are very small group, at the expense of the vaste majority, the consumer of sugar. Phenomenons like that can be explained. A single consumer of sugar won't oppose these duties, because the possible benefit, the abolition of this duty, is not worth the effort. There is someone neede to organise the opposition, but there is nobody who actually benefits and therefore there is no opposition. The situation of the producers of sugar is different. They benefit a lot, if foreign competitors were hindered to enter the national market.

To put it short: All that Hayeks tells us is completely nonsense, from an empirical point of view as well as from a logical point of view.

Beside that there is another fundamental error. Hayek reduces democracy to the act of voting. However democracy is much more than that. Democracy is a exchange of ideas, learning process, transparency. It is not possible to reduce democracy to the act of voting. Only if there is a change to make a rational decision voting makes sense. In other words, the facts and the theory that allows to evaluate a situation has to be accessible, otherwise throw dice would lead to the same results. Democracy only works, if the framework, the educational system and the administration plays an active role in supplying the needed information either voluntarily or obliged by laws like the freedom information act.

Hayek assumes that democracies already contains the seed of totalitarism. At the one hand majority will ask for more governmental intervention and at the other side the government is willing to meet this demand because it strengthen its powers. Perhaps there is even a grain of truth in this statement, but the only alternative presented by Hayek is dictatorship and it is hard to see why a dictator will interfere less. It is more probably, that an authoritarian regime becomes a totalitarian regime than a more liberal dictatorship.

If we assume that dictators and political parties have the same ambitions, to get more and more power, it is to assume that democracies are more liberal. The argumentation of Hayek is based on the assumption that a democratic elected party abolishes democracy, but this argumentation is absurd, because in this case it is not a democracy any more.

What he wants to tell us in the next paragraph is clear. The government intervenes more and more in the economy and restricts economic freedom. Due to the fact that economic freedom is the basis for personal freedom, personal freedom is restricted.

However this statement is based on a lot of assumptions. The first assumption is, that people earn less if the government intervenes. A thesis that can be questioned at different levels. Expansive fiscal policy for instance can increase national income. Everybody earns more and nobody less, see Keynes. Beside that there are services, for instance water supply, that the government, given that water supply is a natural monopoly, can offer at lower prices. In other words: The theory of Hayek is based on assumptions that can be questioned and it would be useful to discuss first if the underlying assumptions are true, instead of directly drawing conclusions of these assumptions. If the assumptions are wrong already, the conclusions drawn from these assumptions will be wrong as well.

[Beside that there is another, more philosophical problem. Sistemic control through the market mechanisms assumes kind of a worst case scenario or in other words, this system works even in this worst case scenario. It is not needed that people have any moral or ethical values. It is enough that they react on incentives, in other words, that they pursue only their own happiness what means normally, that they maximise their profits. That doesn't exclude that people have moral values and behave in way, that doesn't maximise their personal benefit. However in the theory of Hayek we have a kind of idealisation of the free market. Maximising profits becomes a fight for liberty. That's exaggerated. It may be true, that people con only be motivated by concrete personal incentives, but that's not the ideal we should necessarily strive after.]


Es ist leider vollkommen unbegründet, wenn Leute sich von dem Glauben in Sicherheit wiegen lassen, dass die Beherrschung des Wirtschaftsektors von untergeordneter Bedeutung sei, einem Glauben, der sie die Gefährdung unserer wirtschaftlichen Freiheit leicht nehmen lässt. Er ist weitgehend auf die irrtümliche Meinung zurückzuführen, dass es rein ökonomische Ziele gibt, die von den übrigen völlig zu trennen sind. Doch sowas existiert nur in dem pathologischen Fall des Geizhalses. Die letzten Ziele, die vernunftbegabte Wesen durch ihre Tätigkeit zu erreichen suchen, sind niemals ökonomischer Art. Streng genommen gibt es "kein wirtschaftliches Motiv", sondern nur wirtschaftliche Faktoren, die die Voraussetzungen für unser Streben nach anderen Zielen schaffen. Was gemeinhin in irreführender Weise das "wirtschaftliche Motiv" genannt wird, bedeutet nichts anderes als das Verlangen nach allgemeiner Bewegungsfreiheit, den Wunsch nach der Möglichkeit, beliebige Ziele zu verwirklichen. Wenn wir nach dem Besitz von Geld streben, so deshalb, weil es uns die meisten Möglichkeiten bietet, die Frucht unserer Arbeit zu genießen. Da wir in der modernen Gesellschaft die Beschränkungen, die uns unsere relative Armut noch immer auferlegt, an unserem begrenztem Geldeinkommen spüren, haben sich viele dazu verleiten lassen, das Geld als das Symbol dieser Beschränkungen zu hassen. Das heißt aber soviel, wie das Mittel durch das eine Kraft sich bemerkbar macht, für ihre Ursache halten. Dem wahren Sachverhalt entspräche es weit mehr, wenn man das Geld als eines der großartigsten Werkzeuge der Freiheit, die der Mensch je erfunden hat, bezeichnen würde.

Friedrich Hayek, Weg zur Knechtschaft, München 2011, page 120

Unfortunaly it is completely unfounded if people are lulled in the belief that a dominant position in the economic sphere is a minor issue and that they are therefore tempted to disregard the endangering of economic freedom. This is due to the misleading idea that mere economic issues can be separated from others. However that only exists in the pathological case of a scrooge. The ultimate goals rational beings strive after by their activities are always non economic goals. Actually something like an economic goal doesn't exist. Economic goals are only the condition for other goals. What is called in a misleading way an "economic goal" is nothing else than the desire for more freedom, the desire to reach just any goal. The reason we strive after the possession of money is that money allows us to enjoy the fruits of our labour. Due to the fact that in modern societies we feel the still existing restrictions by our limited income in the form of money, money is hated as a symbol of this restrictions. This is like saying that the effect of a cause is the cause. It would be closer to reality if money would be considered as the most wonderful means of freedom man has ever invented.

The problem with that paragraph is the same we have with all texts of Hayek. If they make sense or not depend on the concrete situation they refer to. If we have no unemployment, labour is scarce and well paid and anybody can find at any time a job he likes and is well paid, it is unquestionable that an interference of the government would be an infringement of freedom.

The situation changes if we have a very unequal distribution of income, fortune and means of production, there is no free access to schooling, unemployment is high etc.. After the fall of the wall in Berlin the germans from East-Germany where suddenly very free, but only in theory. Their possibility to travel for instance were very reduced by a lack of money. Fortunately nobody followed the advises of Hayek. Through massive social transfers it was possible to stabilise former East-Germany. Without that transfer, we would had get a revolution and assumedly a very unpleasant one. In a situation like that Hayek is in favour of dictatorship provided that it guarantees economic freedom hoping that this dictatorship wouldn't last long time. It is to assumed that it would last eternally.

When is comes to reality, some abstract "philosophical" statements are meaningless, but this is perhaps intended by Hayek. With the simple logic free markets = freedom there is no further need to discuss the question whether free markets leads to equilibrium an efficiency, as the classical theory assumes or about the distribution of income and equal opportunities. That's simplifies a little bit the discussion. Even in the case that a market economy is less efficient it is the guarantor for freedom and freedom becomes an absolute value. In an ricardian world the workers have for instance the freedom to starve and that is, following Hayek, much better than a governmental intervention that sets, for instance, a marginal wage, although it is possible and probable that the workers in this kind of situation don't share the opinion of Hayek.

Hayek assumes that governmental intervention is motivated by an "ideology", socialism and everything he assumes to be socialism. The author assumes that Hayek had no real working experience with bureaucracies. Bureaucracies tends to interfere and expand completely independently from the political convictions of the government or the public employees. Parkinsons Law's are valid independently from any political orientation.

Entrepreneurs, political parties or bureaucracies will try to maximise their benefit. The point is, that the first ones have only one choice to do that. Deliver the best product and services at the best price. There is an objective and strong control through the market mechanisms.

Concerning the later ones there is no inherent and automatic control for several reasons. First of all the public never knows how much resources are actually used by the bureauscracies and still less if these resources were needed to comply a certain goal.

Second the goal can be adapted to the workforce disposable. If a bureaucracy is in charge to control whether the hygienic regulations are respected or not, they can control all the restaurants any two years or twice a year. Therefore the superintendent has always the possbility to ask for more people and the probability that he will do that is 100 per cent. Same thing for judges, police, armee etc..

In order to control them, data were needed. For instance if the hygieny in restaurants improves with the amount of people employed in the health department and obviously data of this kind are never available, but at any moment the health department have the possibility to suggest to the public that the hygieny in restaurants is a big problem and that therefore more employees are needed to resolve the problem.

The same thing happens with judges. They can always argue, and they actually do this, that more judges are needed, because otherwise the quality of the sentences will decrease due to overwork of the judges. If we assume that judges behave rationally, they will do that and they do that, see for instance Overwork’ hitting morale of judges says retiring chief. If they behave rational and given that their wage is fixed, they will try to reduce the workload. Given the fact that it is only possible in theory to controll their work, they are in a good position to influence the public, although everybody who has some experience in this sector knows that most of the cases are completely trivial an can be handled in half of the time judges actually needs.

Hayek assumes, without proving it anywhere, that the main problem are the goals pursued by the government, but it is equally possible, that the problem are not the goals, but the vaste of resources. In the real world it might be difficult to agree on the goals, but it is easy to agree on a rational use of resources.

In theory even a public employee is in favour of a rational use of resources, because as a tax payer he pays the bill. Only as far he benefits from a vaste of resources, he is in favour of a vaste of resources and therefore we can assume, that democracies lead to a rational use of resources provided that we have transparency. This is the relevant issue concerning this topic, see preliminaries.

Political parties will always agree on expanding bureaucracies, whatever their political "convictions". There may be a difference concerning the amount of social transfers, but there will be never a difference concerning the bureaucracy needed to regulate this social transfer.

Indepedently from the amount of social transfers, the public employees employed in the respective bureaucracies, employement office, social security office, health insurance will always be the same or increase.

It is well possible, that a regional or national institution is in part substituted by an international institution, in Europe for instance some social transfers are based on European laws and regulations. That means that first it is needed to decide how much money the respective member states have to contribute to the common budget, the member states have to collect the money an transfere it to the respective Organisation of the EU, in a lot of commissions and in endless discussions it will be decided how to distribute the money over hundreds of programms, then it will be decided how much money gets the respective member state and so on and so on. The result is that even ridiculous projects like tree house in a nursery school are financed by the European Commission. [This is an example taken from the real world.] The expenditure for the administration of the money is much higher than the money paid for the final purpose.

It is not possible here to discuss the problem in detail, given that the situation differs slightly from one country to the other, but in some countries, for instance Germany, all kind of social problems could be resolved by simplifying the social welfare system. With a simplified system, something similar to what is proposed by Milton Friedman, see Negative Income Tax. This would allow to any person who depends on social transfers to get 1800 euros. That's almost the double they get now.

[The advantages Milton Friedman mentioned can be questioned. The point is, that this system is very simple. No further bureaucracy needed. In some countries social welfare regulation is the most complex legal system, almost as complicated as the tax legislation.]

If a dictatorship has "by nature" different political convictions as a democratic party can be questioned. We have seen all kind of dictatorships. Hayek prefers a dicatorship, because he believes that "majorities" won't follow his programm. This is actually true. Pinochet, his idol, had never the support of the majority.

However it is to assume that democratic parties will always be less extreme than dictators, because political parties need to form majorities and majorities are heterogeneous groups.

Furthermore there will be more transparency in democracies, because at least the opposition parties have an interest to reveal a waste of resources. At least as long as they are not involved themselves.

At a certain degree in democracies there is as well a certain demand for information, because people can improve their situation by knowing the facts. It is well possible that benefit to inform oneself is minimal, but if the costs and effort needed to inform oneself are minimal, they will do it.

In general the supply for information will be higher as well in democracies. First of all because there is a demand for information and second it is less risky to get information and supply them.

[We don't deny completely that in certain circumstances a dictatorship can be better. Most of the iranians for instance who were opposed to the regime of Shah Reza Pahlewi in Iran, now would prefer his regime to the ayatollah regime. In the case that it is predictible that the overthrow of one dictatorship would only lead to an even worse dictatorship, the less bad dictatorship is obviously preferable. But whenever the democratic rules are accepted, democracy if preferable. The elimination of minorities, the problem mentioned by Hayek, is not compatible with democracy, because it is not compatible with democracies to eliminate the opposition.]

The sentence "What is called in a misleading way an 'economic goal' is nothing else than the desire for more freedom, the desire to reach just any goal" is a typical Hayek sentence. It is meaningless. Obviously there is no freedom without money, but that is not the question. The question is whether we need governmental intervention and which kind of governmental intervention.

After world war II government intervention in any industrialised country was much higher than before world war II and economic growth much higher. It seems that the basic assumptions of Hayek doesn't fit with the data.

His assumption is that more government intervention leads to less income and less income to a reduction of personal freedom. First of all he should have distinguished between absolutely less income, less economic growth, and redistribution of income. In theory we can have a situation where economic development is indeed lower due to the government intervention but the income is more equally distributed and to a certain degree a more balanced distribution is normally considered better.

It is even possible that a more balanced distribution of income promotes economic growth, because a very unequal distribution of income lead to high saving rates. If the savings are to high, they can't be absorbed any more by investments. We will return on the topic in the chapter about Keynes.

Actually it is impossible to discuss about the thesis of Hayek, because he doesn't refer to a concrete situation. His monocausal argumentation is meaningless when it comes to discuss about concrete problems.

The pension system of some countries, for instance Norway, depends on its income from its export of petrol. A privatisation wouldn't lead to higher economic growth, but to a more unequal distribution. Government intervention in Germany is higher than in England, but the GPD per capita is higher in Germany. The problem with Hayek is that his whole "theory" or "philosophical" statements are based on a monocausal explanation of economic growth. It seems that he feels any need to discuss economic problems.

It is hard to imagine that in democracy the income can be completely independent from the performance. In order to attract more and more resources the government has to pay its employees more than what they would earn in the private economy. The more overpaid public employees there are, the bigger will be the protest. In a democracy that would trigger a change.

In Germany for instance some public employees, especially teacher in higher education and judges, are actually overpaid and the protest is growing.

Beside that inequality in income are only useful if they lead to higher efficiency. Without differences in the income there would be no incentive to adapt onself to changes in the productive structure, for instance to qualify for another job. However some income has little or nothing to do with performance. Someone for instance can inherit land without any value, but this land can became building land and then it has a big value. If the income derived from this land is redistributed or not, has no impact on efficiency.

If we take keynesian theory seriously, we can even say that income that derived from savings, actually money, has nothing to do with personal performance, see interest rates.

Hayek assumes that once the government intervenes, he will attract more and more resources. The problem is, that this doesn't fit with the data. In almost all industrial countries the ratio of public spending to GNP is between 45 and 50 percent. The poorer a country, the lower this ratio. It is crystal clear that some isolated facts doesn't prove anything, but the the general thesis of Hayek is far away from beeing proved.

Hayek is normally considered as an economist, but actually he is more a social philosopher. He takes some simple monocausal relationships for granted and upon this basis he constructs his social philosophy. The problem is, that he has no training in social science, nor history, nor philosophy.

The author of these lines is indeed in favour of considering economics as a transversal science, see preliminaries, however there should exist a possibility to test the thesis against reality or at least there should be some historical / empirical evidence for a theory.

Concerning economic issues he has some ultra simple ideas. Actually it is nothing else than Adam Smith, although he changed the goal. For Adam Smith the market economy is the most efficient system to allocate resources. For Hayek the free market is the guarantor of freedom and any government intervention is an attack on personal freedom.

However when it comes to discuss real problems, things are more complicated and the simple logic government intervention => less economic growth => less freedom is meaningless. The Three Gorges Dam, a project initiated by the government of China will lead to economic growth, but is an infringement to the liberty of the people living in that region. There we have the constellation government intervention => more economic growth => less personal freedom.

There is no doubt that the advantages of market economies has to be taken into account in any government intervention, but it is only one, although important, criteria. Some general annotations about "cooperation without coercion", see Milton Friedman, the lessons of the pencil, are not helpful, when ist comes to discuss real world problems.

It is crystal clear that governmental intervention is always an infringement in someones liberty, otherwise it wouldn't be necessary, because people would do alone what the government wants them to do. All people negatively effected by government intervention will therefore complain and consider governmental intervention as a "Road to Serfdom". That explains the success of the book. There are always a lot of people unhappy with the government.

It is well possible, obviously, that cooperation without coercion is the best solution, but if that solution is not possible, the second best solution is the compromise and that's what democracies are about. Dictatorship, the best solution for Hayek if the majority doesn't share his opinion, is only a solution if democratic elections will lead to dictatorship. In this case it doesn't make a big difference. The writings of Hayeks risks to undermine democratic values.

The second problem are his interpretations of historical events and situations, see next paragraph. Until know he told us that in democracies the majority tends to oppress the minority. In the next paragraph, it is the opposite. A minority oppresses the majority. Beside that there is the theory that a government that attracts more and more economic resources is the oppressor. In other words, his theories are completely confusing and have very little to do with the historical situation.

The next paragraph can refer in the vague description to two historical situations. It can refer to the March to Rome of Benito Mussolini in 1922 or to nazis in the Republic of Weimar and even to spanish Falange in the time of the Second Republic of Spain. These three mouvements were indeed organised like a military organisation (Uniforms, organised hierarchically, no internal democracy).

The italian fascists, the german nazis and, not mentioned by Hayek, the spanish falange were for him a "socialist" mouvement. A line of thinking that believed that a planned economy works better than a market economy, something he considers a fatal conceit. Beside the fact that there are enormous differences between the different lines of thinking who struggled for more "social justice", there is nothing like a fatal conceit in mouvements like the nazis, fascists or falange. They simple strive for power and therefore at one hand they have to distinguish themselves from the communists or socialists and on the other hand to make an offer to the majority. There is no economic concept behind. The story is much simpler and these parties simply tried to vanish the conflicts by stressing nationalism. Hitler, Mussolini and Primo de Rivera suffered indeed from a fatal conceit, but if it had been of the type described by Hayek, it wouldn't had been any problem.

We don't know actually to which concrete historical situation the following paragraph refers two. The term "mitteleuropäische Länder", countries of central europe, would exclude Italy and Spain, but include Switzerland, Polen, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania. All countries where mouvements of this type were never relevant political forces, before world war II. During world war II appeared mouvements like for instance the Arrow Cross Party in Hungary or the Iron Garde in Rumania, but these groups came to power with the help of the nazi Germany. To keep it short: It is completely unclear what Hayek is talking about and it is to presume, that he didn't know it either.

Wir müssen uns hier für einen Augenblick in die Zeit unmittelbar vor der Unterdrückung der Demokratie und der Einführung des totalitären Regimes zurückversetzen. Diese Stadium wird beherrscht von dem allgemeinen Verlangen nach schnellem und entschlossenem Handeln der Regierung und von der Unzufriedenheit mit dem langsamen und schwerfälligen demokratischen Geschäftsgang, was dazu führt, dass ein Handeln unter allen Umständen gefordert wird. In einem solchen Augenblicke übt der Mann oder die Partei, die stark und entschieden genug zu sein scheinen, um durchzugreifen, die größte Anziehungskraft aus, und stark in diesem Sinne bedeutet nicht nur eine zahlenmäßige Mehrheit - es ist ja gerade die Sterilität des parlamentarischen Mehrheitsprinzips, womit das Volk unzufrieden ist. Wonach sie suchen, ist eine Persönlichkeit, hinter der genug steht, damit man ihr die Durchführung jeder Aufgabe zutraut. An diesem Punkt taucht nun der neue Typus der militärisch organisierten Partei auf.

In den mitteleuropäischen Ländern hatten die sozialistischen Parteien die Massen an politische Organisationen halbmilitärischen Charakters gewöhnt, in denen ein möglichst großer Teil des Privatlebens ihrer Mitglieder aufgehen sollte. Um einer einzelnen Gruppe überwältigende Macht zu verleihen, brauchte man dasselbe Prinzip nur weiter auszubauen und die Macht statt auf die Stimmen breiter Massen, auf die man bei gelegentlichen Wahlen rechnen konnte, auf die uneingeschränkte Unterstützung einer kleineren, aber um so fester organisierten Gruppe zu gründen. Ob ein Führer im Stande ist, einem ganzen Volk ein totalitäres Regime aufzuwingen, hängt davon ab, dass er zunächst eine Gruppe um sich schart, die bereit ist, sich jener totalitären Disziplin freiwillig zu unterwerfen, die sie dann dem übrigen Volk gewaltsam auferlegt.

Friedrich Hayek, Weg zur Knechtschaft, München 2011, page 176

We have to get back for a moment to the time immediately before the suppression of democracy and the introduction of totalitarian regimes. In that time there was a widespread dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome procedures of democracy and a common claim for fast and determined acting of the government, leading to a demand for governmental intervention. In a moment like this any man or party who seems to be strong and determined enough to estblish order is the most attractive and strong in this sense doesn't refer to that it presents the majority, given that it is the sterility of the majority principle people are unsatisfied with. What people want is a personality backed by enough power to comply just any taks. This is the moment where the new type of the military organised party appears.

In the countries of central europe the masses were already accustomed to the semi military character of the socialist parties where a big part of the private lives of their members was controled by the party. In order to give extraordinary power to a single group it is only necessary to extend this principle and to base this power instead of the vote of large masses needed in elections on the support of a small, but well organised group. If a leader is able to establish a totalitarian regime depends on his ability to form first a group disposed to submit to the totalitarian discipline that afterwards will be imposed on all people.

The paragraph is completely confusing. The only thing that is more or less true is the description of these kind of parties, but a description is not an explanation. It is indeed true, that these parties were organised like an armee and that tight organisation is attractive for some people, for whatever reason. There are people as well who feel confortable in the armee.

There are actually thousand of studies about parties of this kind from any perspective, social, psychological, economic, historical. The reader will have no problem to find any amount of information about the topic. A more psychological approach is Germany: Jekyll and Hyde: An Eyewitness Analysis of Nazi Germany. The really stunning fact is that the nonsense of Hayek had become so famous.

Sentences like this "If a leader is able to establish a totalitarian regime depends on his ability to form first a group disposed to submit to the totalitarian discipline that afterwards will be imposed on all people" are complete nonsense. If a party of this type can get to power depends on the ability of the democratic forces to defend themselves and on the concrete circunstances. The only thing we can say, is that high unemployment rates and a government that can't guarantee any more minimal living standards through social transfers is a climate where these kind of parties can flourish and prosper.

Hayek would obviously try to convince people who starve that they have to vote for a party that guarantees economic freedom, but it is to assume that in a situation like that he won't convince anybody. This would induce Hayek to call for a dictator, but the dictator woundn't resolve the problems either. In cases like this compromises are needed, in other words a democratic public discussion how to cope with the problems.

The statement "...In that time there was a widespread dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome procedures of democracy and a common claim for fast and determined acting of the government, ..." is the opinion of the opponents of democracy. It is strange that Hayek took the propaganda of the nazis for true.

It is a widespread opinion of historians that the Republic of Weimar, we assume that Hayek referes to the Republic of Weimar, was a democracy without democrats, but no historian would say that this explains the failure of the Republic of Weimar and beside that it is unclear what Hayek wants to tell us with this statement and which conclusion we should draw from that.

In the long run historical evidence proves that democracies are more stable than any other kind of political order. The historical proces is normaly this. A monarchy or dictatorship is not able to find a compromise between the different interests of the different social groups and is overthrown by another authoritarian regime or, in more recent times, by a democratic regime. These new democracies are in generally instable and very often not able to resolve the problems what leads once again to a dictatorship and the cycle start again until people have learned that only a compromise can lead to a solution or a democracy is actually able to resolve the problems. Europe learned this lessons before world war II, South America after world war II, the arab world is learning it right know and Africa has still a long way to go. If these lessons are learned, democracies are very stable.

Unfortunately it seems that there is no way to "teach" democracy. Everything must be learned the hard way. People expect from democracies the concrete solutions of concrete problems, something that they cannot provide. In very instable "democracies" like Afghanistan people should understand, that a parliamentary majority doesn't necessarily find the solution, but there is a way to get rid of it and that in the long run the best possible compromise under given conditions can be found. In a democracy minorities are most of all voter and any political party will try to integrate them in the majority. In any democracy where the minorities have the right to vote, their special interests, for instance the special interests of a specific language group, are taken into account.

For Hayek any kind of "socialist" mouvements is collectivism, see paragraph below. He never defines really what he understands by socialism, but parties like the german SPD, the french PS, the spanish PSOE and the communists, fascists, nazis etc. are all socialists. The book Road to Serfdom is dedicated to the "The socialists of all parties". We can more or less assume what he means by socialist. Everything that should be steered should be steered by the market and what cannot be steered by the market, shouldn't be steered at all. In other words: Any kind of governmental interventions is a "Road to Serfdom" organised by "socialists". It is therefore logical, that in any political party there are socialists, because a political party that does strictly nothing is a contradiction in itself. Hayek criticises democracies because there is the risk that a democracy attracts more and more economic resources ristricting therefore personal freedom, but it seems the underlying logic is much simpler. Hayek simply doesn't see any need for a democratic decision process, because everything that should be steered, is steered by the market mechanisms.

Hayek is not really a theory. It is more a collection of vague associations clued together by some basic aversions. It is therefore difficult to discuss about that theory. However we will mention some basic problems.

The first problem is the term collectivism. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism, however both terms are abstractions and doesn't exist in reality. At a certain degree any individual is formed by the circunstances and accepts consciously or uncounsciously the values, beliefs, feelings, moral, behaviour of his surroundings. This is the problem addressed by John Stuart Mill, see liberalism. However in order to discuss this problem seriously a very good knowledge of philosophy is required, that Hayek didn't have. (We will touch the problem in the chapter about Adorno.)

Milton Friedman uses the term coercion instead of collectivism. This im more concret. Coercion means that some people are forced to do something. The tax payer for instance has to pay taxes. However it is clear that any kind of government exerces some kind of coercion. If that wouldn't be necessary, we would need a government. If people do always by themselves what the government wants them to do, we don't need a goverment. For logical reasons democracies were looking for compromises, but even in a case of a compromise some people has to do things they wouldn't do by themselves. The term coercion is less complicated, although the idea that markets are cooperation without coercion is pure ideology. It is easy to imagine a situation where the single individuum is as powerless in a market system as he is in a dictatorship. The most powerful tool against powerlessness is education and training and this can be provided best by the government.

The second problem is his use of the term socialism. That would require a detailed analysis of the different lines of thinking inside the social mouvements based on historical facts, but history in general is not the strength of economists and still less of Hayek. Concerning crucial charateristics of the economic order, private property, central planning, taxation, social systems etc. etc. there are very big differences between communist parties and social democrats. Concerning mouvements like the nazis it is hard to see any resemblance. If the mere founding of a public health care system is collectivism, than Otto von Bismarck and Barack Obama are communists.

Theories of totalitarism, for instance Hanna Arendt, saw indeed a resemblance between the communist Soviet Union under Stalin and Germany under Hitler. However she stressed that for the constitution of a totalitarian regime the ideology is completely irrelevant. Hayek assumes that a certain concept of the ideal economic order led to these totalitarian regimes. That's completely nonsense. Totalitarian regimes are characterised by the total suppression of any kind of private sphere and they ask for an active support of the regime and not only, like a mere authoritarian regime, a passive sufferance. In this sense religion can be as well the basis of a totalitarian regime. Socialism and Fascism are actually, in theory and practice, opposed systems, but they were similar concerning the techniques used to stay in power.

If we want to understand these kind of systems it is completely useless, as Karl Popper did, to study the ideology. That distracts from the really relevant issues. Assuming that the theory of Karl Marx had any importance for a member of the secret police of the now vanished East-Germany is mad. If we want to understand phenomenon of this kind we have to study the social environment of these people, the awards they got and the incentives or things like that.

The philosophical statements of Hayek have a bigger potential to be the basis of a new ideology, market-radikalism, than to contribute something that could prevent totalitarian thinking. There is a world wide tendency to criticise government intervention as a Road to Serfdom instead of criticising a concret government measure, something obviously legitimate, and that way of arguing is ideological. Instead of saying that a measure infringes legitime or illegitme personal interest, it is argued with a "higher" principle. That's how ideologies work.

We can find easily thousands of articles on the net trying to prove that Hayek was a democrat and others who try to prove the opposite, most of them written in a style as abstract and philosophical as the writings of Hayek. However the basic problem is at the basis of his philosophy. All kind of coordination should be organised by the market and if this is not possible, it is coercion. There is actually no place for democratic decision making and Hayek gives us a lot of examples about the risks of democracies, but he doesn't explain us what a government can and should do, beside maintaining the intensity of competition high enough, and giving his underlying economic theory, Adam Smith, it is hard to imagine what a democracy could possibly do.

Any "big" question societies are confronted with, unemployment, pension system, public health care, schooling, defense, jurisprudence, police etc.. requires governmental intervention and if Hayek assumes that these problem can be resolved on a private basis, we need concret propositions how to resolve these problems on a private basis. That is what distinguishes Hayek from Milton Friedman. Milton Friedman makes concrete proposition how to resolve a problem on a private basis, see for instance Free to Choose Part 6: What's Wrong With Our Schools Featuring Milton Friedman. He applies his basic principles to concrete problems. There is no need to agree with him, but there is something concrete to discuss about. We will return on the issue in the chapter about Milton Friedman.

[In this video for instance a student puts the right question. Are the poor really free? See Milton Friedman Schools Young Idealist - 2 (Stanford). The answer of Milton Friedman is obviously wrong. It is not true historically that the free market led to the biggest economic growth, because after world war II the economic order in almost all industrialised countries is very far away from the Adam Smith version of a market economy. Beside that there is no empirical evidence that private schools are better than public schools. It this is the case in the United States, it is to assume that they have another problem. What is actually sure is this: With the "solutions" of Milton Friedman we would had a second revolution in Germany after the fall of the wall in 1989 or kind of a civil war. It is, by the way, not true that mobility is enormous. The statistics say the opposite, at least in Germany, and without government intervention in the schooling system it would be still less.]

This speech may be true, Doug French - Why Democracy Doesn't Work, but it is largely irrelevant that politicians lie, strive only for power, etc. etc.. There is no reason to presume that they behave otherwise than the rest of the human beings. The question is, as in a market economies, whether there are effective mecanisms of control. In other words, if there is transparency or more precise, whether there is a supply and a demand for information, see preliminaries. Transparency, together with the arguments already mentiones, see as well warning about planned economies, has the the same effect as the market mechanisms, although it is true that control doesn't work in a democracy doesn't exist automatically, as in the market. It depends on the willingness of the people to supply and demand information. This is more complicated than the supply and demand in the market. For supplying information a business concept is needed and the demand for information depends on the benefit people can get from them, see warning against planned economies.

The underlying assumption of the whole philosphy of Hayek is that the market left alone will lead automatically to the full and best use of the resources. This can be questioned, see the little book downloadable from the start site of this website. If in some situations only the government can lead the economy back on track, than the whole Hayek philosphy is wrong. The problem is that Hayek never questions his assumptions, he takes them for given facts.

Finally the whole neoclassical theory, at least in the version we find nowadays in modern textbooks, is very similar to central planning. If the equilibrium is reached through central planning or if eternally valid "economic" laws lead to equilibrium doesn't make a big difference, see methodological approach. In both cases there is no "freedom", no space for human decision. If he attacks the "socialists" for their belief in central planning, he can attack the neoclassical theory as well.

To keep it short: Hayek is nonsense from the beginning to the end.

In the next paragraph he commits the same error that characterises all of his writings. We and he don't know what are "collective" systems and still less we and he knows why all the socialists are adepts of collectivism and most of all we and he know if they have the same goal. If he actually is talking about totalitarism, we would say that totalitarian regimes have only one goal: to stay in power. To say that totalitarian regimes need a justification for attracting more and more economic resouces is as logic as to say that a bank robber needs a justification to rob a bank. Attracting more and more resources was an EFFECT of their strive for power, but not the CAUSE.

We have no intentions to analyse here the nazi ideology, but it is a widespread opinion between historians that the nazi programm played almost no role in practise, especially because they wouldn't had got the financial support from the industry with their anticapitalistic rhetoric. The only fix point in the program was its antisemistism as pointed out by Daniel Goldhagen.

Hayek states that "collectivist" regimes, whatever that is, want to organise labour for a well defined social goal. Actually any kind of economic order want to organise labour in order to reach a social goal. This is not the question. The question is, how this goal is achieved best. It is furthermore doubtful that the "collectiviste" regimes believe that our "nowaday's" economic order is missing a goal. The goal is very clear. Use the economic resources the best way posible. The point is that market economies, something that not even in the time of writing the book, 1940 - 1943, existed in pure form, care little about distribution. Socialism and fascist mouvements, that what he understands by "collectivist" regimes, at the other hand, don't care about the steering mechanisms. Socialism never questioned the mechanisms of a market economy. It simply ignored the problem. There is not even a single sentence in the three thick volumes of The Capital where this issue is addressed.

The texts of Hayek are so vague and imprecise that it is actually imposible to discuss them.

Die allen kollektivistischen Systemen gemeinsamen Merkmale können mit einer Formel, die sich bei den Sozialisten aller Richtungen großer Beliebtheit erfreut, als die bewusste Organisierung der Arbeit in einem Gesellschaftssystem zu einem bestimmten sozialen Zweck definiert werden. Es war immer einer der Hauptpunkte der sozialistischen Kritik, das unsere heutige Gesellschaftsordnung solch eine bewusste Ausrichtung auf ein Ziel fehle und dass die Wirtschaftsakte von den vielfachen Launen verantwortungsloser Individuen abhingen.

Friedrich Hayek, Wege zur Knechtschaft, München 2011, page 82

The common characteristics of all collectivist systems can be summarised with a formula very popular among socialists of all tendencies. Labour has to be organised inside a social system in order to reach a well defined goal. It was always the main socialist criticism that our today's social order is missing a conscious orientation to a goal and that the economic activity depends on the moods of unresponsible individuals.

What happens is this. Hayek has his spontaneous order in mind, in other words, an order where some rule are established spontaneously, but the the result is open. This is the ideal for him and he states that socialists questione that this can work. There are two problems with that theory. The first problem is, that all socialist parties, the french PS, the german SPD, the spanish PSOE and so on never questioned the market economy and the communists don't question the mechanism of the market, they simply ignore them. Communists believe that the main problem is the distribution of income and that the income distribution im more equal, when the means of production belong to "the people". To keep it short. Social democrats believe, that a market economy is so much more efficient than a planned economy, that even in the case that the income distribution is very unequal, the poor a richer than the poor in a socialist state. In other words, that there is more to redistribute, see social market economy. Communists pay very little attention to efficiency, but that is nothing really extraordinary. What we find in moder textbook on microeconomics is a complet refutation of the market economy, see methodological approach. Hayek is actually obsessed by socialism. His spontaneous order is questioned much more by neoclassical theory, especiall Léon Walras, than by "socialism".

Unfortunately Hayek doesn't tell us who exactly affirms that our today's economic order doesn't have a defined goal. What we can say is that in marxism, see Karl Marx, labour doesn't have ANY GOAL, because any time a commodity has some labour incorportated and has a certain exchange value. The demand, in other words what we consider normally as the goal of labour, is almost irrelevant in marxism. That is the problem. There is no goal at all for labour in marxism. Hayek refute a thesis that is affirmed by nobody.

The problem with Hayek is that sus texts fluctuate between sociolocy, philosophy, psychology, history and political science and none of them he had really studied. During his lifetime he picked up some concepts that he believes to fit with his intuitions.

We are indeed in favour of considering economics as a transversal science, but not this way. The right approach is described by Alfred Marshall, although one only understand what Alfred Marshall meant by reading a text like the ones of Hayek. First we have to analyse a phenomenon isolately and then we have to put things together, see Alfred Marshall, methodological approach.

Hayek doesn't belong either to the group of german intelectuals who became famous after world war II, in other words people like Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Ernst Bloch, Hanna Arendt etc.. It can be said that he wasn't an intellectual at all. His texts are completely confusing and contradictory, full of terms he never defines.

What is still more stunning is the fact that Hayek uses the same rhetoric as the nazis. The nazis as well didn't distinguish between the communists and the socialdemocrats.

But actually the stunning phenomenon is not really that the whole text of Hayek is a big nonsense. The stunning phenomenon is there are thousand of conferences, articles and discussion papers about that nonsense. (If we put Friedrich Hayek in youtube we get 6800 results). This is stunning, because it is pure "philosophy" without any relevance when it comes to resolve practical problems.

The useful ideas when it comes to analyse concrete problems, can already be found in Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith.

The next paragraph is a little bit about german history and therefore irrelevant for a reader whose mother tongue is english. We mention it anyway, because concerning the statements about history it is actually mad. We would say that Hayek was mad. He mentions as ancestors of the nazi mouvement people who died at least fifty years before the nazi party showed up for the first time. (Beside the fact, that there is actually no relationship between these people and the nazi mouvement concerning the theory, political orientation, ethical values, philosphical background or whatever.)

Sozialismus und Nationalsozialismus standen in Deutschland von Anfang an in enger Verbindung. Bezeichnenderweise sind die wichtigsten Vorläufer des Nationalsozialismus - Fichte, Rodbertus und Lasalle - gleichzeitig anerkannte Ahnen des Sozialismus. Solange der theoretische Sozialismus marxistischer Prägung die deutsche Arbeiterbewegung dirigierte, trat das autoritäre und nationalsozialistische Element für einige Zeit in den den Hintergrund. Aber nicht für lange. Seit 1914 erstand aus den Reihen des marxistischen Sozialismus ein Verkünder nach dem anderen, der dem Nationalsozialismus zwar nicht die Konservativen und die Reaktionären zuführte, wohl aber die Werktätigen und die idealistische Jugend. Erst danach schwoll die Flut des nationalistischen Sozialismus eigentlich an und verwandelte sich dann rasch in die Lehre Hitlers. Die Kriegshysterie von 1914, die gerade infolg der Niederlage niemals ganz ausgeheilt war, bedeutet den Beginn der modernen Entwicklung, die zum Nationalsozialismus geführt hat, und sein Aufstieg während dieser Zeit vollzog sich weitgehend mit der Unterstützung alter Sozialisten.

aus: Friedrich Hayek, Wege zur Knechtschaft, München 2011, page 212

Socialism and nationalsocialism had a very close relationship still from the very beginning. Significantly the most important ancestors of national socialism - Fichte, Rodbertus and Lasalle - were at the same time well known ancestors of socialism. As long as the german labour mouvement was led by the theoretical socialismus of the marxist style the national socialist element receded into the background, although not for a long time. Since 1914 more and more prophets from the socialism of the marxist type appeared who didn't convinced the conservatives and reactionaries to join the national socialism mouvement, but the workers and the idealistic youth. It is only from this moment on the nationalsocialism started growing as a flood and became the hitler doctrin. The war hystery of 1914, never really completely cured because of the defeat, was the beginning of this modern development that leads to the national socialism and old socialists played a big part in its ascendance.

Normally nobody would care about a text like that. If it were written by a 16 year old high school student we would simply say he was not already able to map out the facts. Not a big problem at that age. But this is a book which had been sold 600 000 times and that is actually stunning.

The text sound like the hallucinations of a paranoiac. How there could be a relationship between national socialism and "socialisme" FROM THE BEGINNING is an enigma.

If we date the beginning of socialism in a very arbitrarly but in any case very late date we can say that it starts with the communist manifesto of Karl Marx in 1848 (!!). That really very late, there were "socialist" mouvements much earlier, but let's be generous with Hayek.

If we date the national socialisme to a very early period we could say it was the year of founding of national socialist party in Germany in 1920.

Therefore even if we date the beginning of "socialism" as late as possible and the beginning of national socialism as early as possible there are 100 years in between. Beside all other problems, and there are a lot of other problems, the statement that there was a very close relationship between "socialism" and national socialism from the very beginning is questionable.

Completely absurd is the statement that Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Ferdinand Lasalle and Karl Rodbertus where 'ancestors' of the nazis. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762 - 1814) was a german philosopher, Ferdinand Lasalle (1825 - 1864) was the founder of the SPD, the german social democrats, and Karl Rodbertus (1805 - 1875) was a german economist, but it is completely unclear why they were 'ancestors' of the nazis.

(By the way, Ferdinand Lasalle was a Jew and it is really, but really very difficult to believe that a Jew was one of the ancestors of the nazis. Antisemitism is the only really stable characteristic of the nazi ideology. Concerning the political order, Lassalle was against revolution. He favored a model where the workers become slowly and through a more easy access to credits the owner of the means of production. Actually similar to the ideas of John Stuart Mill.)

The author is not sure that it is really worth to discuss about Hayek, because there is not much to discuss about seriously and when it comes to the interpretation of historical situations the statements are the result of mad mind. Mad in a real clinical sense. His mistakes cant be explained by total ignorance of the historical facts. At least Ferdinand Lasalle and Johann Gottlieb Fichte are well known figures at least in german speaking countries.

(Fichte was indeed used by the Nazi for his antisemitic rethoric, but the antisemitism, actually the crucial characteristic of the nazi ideology, plays almost no role for Hayek and concerning this point there are hundred of others, Arthur de Gobineau, Alfred Rosenberg, Houston Stewart Chamberlain etc. etc..)

His actually obsessed by his simple idea 'governmental intervention' => 'infringement of personal freedom' and any political mouvement is exclusively seen under this perspective. The whole complexity of a real life situation is reduced to this aspect. This is kind of an obsession.

This basic obsession induced him to criticise totalitarian regimes, a term he never defines, by its content. He assumes, as Karl Popper, that a totalitarian regime can be criticised by its content. That the basic mistake of this kind of regimes is an error in thinking, that they have a vision of an ideal state and that they feel therefore no need to submit their vision to a democratic confirmation.

There are two problems with this position. The first problems is that Hayek has a very clear vision of the optimal economic order and he prefers a dictatorship who imposes this economic order to a democracy. His flirt with Pinochet is not only the confusion of an old man who didn't understand what is going on. It is a logical consequence of his philosophy.

The second problem is, that he doesn't see that totalitarian regimes have only one interest, to stay in power. The interesting point of totalitarian regimes is not the oficial ideology and the rhetoric, but the mechanisms used to stay in power. It is true, that the more resources are atracted by the government, the more power it has. Someone whose job depends on the government will think twice before oppose against the government. However to force people to a dependency from the government is not the result of an "ideal" vision of society, but the result of the strive for power.

Modern totalitarism theories, as the one of Hanna Arendt, don't focus on the content, but on the mechanism that allows to penetrate all social spheres of the society and to gain total control over the society. That can happen by brute force, as in 1984 by George Orwell or by seducing, as in Brave new world by Aldous Huxley. (In both novels the "content" of the ideology is completely irrelevant.)

Simple conception about the economic order from the Hayek type, the market resolves everything, have a good chance to end up not in a totalitarian state, but in a authoritarian state, as it is illustrated by the sympathy of Hayek for Pinochet. If the income distribution is very unequal, the economy, in other words the owner of the companies, will depend completely on the government that oppresses any kind of social unrest by force. This will lead to a situation, where the dictator can't simply resign, because he would be made responsable for this suppression. Pinochet escaped this fate because before resigning he passed a law that preventing any kind of prosecution commited during his time of governing. (What didn't impede the Spanish jugde Garzón to prosecute them.)

Hayek errs therefore twice. First he saw a close similarity between "socialism" of any kind and national socialism, that actually doesn't exist, and second he assumes, that the idea of an "ideal" world to be imposed by force is the cause of totalitarian systems. Both is completely wrong and has nothing to do with the historical facts.

But this is not the interesting point actually. The interesting point is that such a bundle of confused concept clued together by a primitive idea about the economic order was sold 600 000 times. This is indeed a problem for democracy. In democracies the government has to take an active part in the education of the students and this is a prove that at least 600 000 times this education failed.

Hayek informs us that

Nos informa Hayek "que desde 1914 surgió de las filas del socialismo marxista un propagandista después del otro que no llevó al campo nacionalsocialista los conservadores y reaccionarios, pero los obreros y la juventud idealista." En la frase anterior el marxismo era todavía internacionalista, "... el elemento nacionalsocialista jugaba un papel inferior para un cierto tiempo..", pero por magia y sin que precise esta tesis de repente es nacionalista. Históricamente habían realmente algunas figuras dentro del partido nacionalista con conceptos "socialistas", para ser más concreto, que se expresaron en favor de una nacionalisación de las grandes industrias y de los bancos. Pero este ramo del partido nacionalsocialista, guiado por Georg Strasser, fue eliminado en 1934 y estas figuras nunca formaron parte de la KPD. Aunque se tome los hechos más irrelevantes para una confirmación de las interpretaciones históricas curiosas de Hayek, abstrayendo por completo de los programas de los distintos partidos, del personal, del desarollo histórico, no se encuentra nada que pudiese corroborar las "tesis" de Hayek.

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the paranoia of collectivism

Subsuming all "socialist" mouvements including social democrats and fascims under the term collectivism is nonsense from a historical point of view given that there are no similarities nor concerning the content, nor concerning the personal involved, nor concerning the historical development.

Reading the text of Hayek one can have the impression that a subject like "history of economic thinking" would be useful. Economists have no clue of history and historians have no clue of economy, what leads to a lot of problems illustrated by the texts of Hayek.

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