Ronald Reagan, Friedrich Hayek and Ed Feulner.

Heritage President Ed Feulner, right, meets with Ronald Reagan and Friedrich Hayek.

More than six decades ago, an Austrian economist named Friedrich Hayek issued a grave warning to Europe and America about the dangers of economic central planning.

His book on these dangers, “The Road to Serfdom,” has proved alarmingly prescient. That’s why The Heritage Foundation recently mailed abridged copies to hundreds of thousands of our members.

Writing in the Washington Times, Wes Vernon reviews the book:

The Heritage Foundation has distilled Hayek’s 67-year-old classic “The Road to Serfdom” into an “abridged” version that reads as if it had been written in 2011. His concerns of another era bear a remarkable resemblance to those of many Americans that their current president is taking them down a path that will ultimately lead to tyranny.

An excess of governmental planning, the Nobel prize-winning scholar writes, leads to dictatorship “because dictatorship is the most effective instrument of coercion and as such, is essential if [public-sector] central planning on a large scale is to be possible.” For that reason, he prefers private-sector economic planning with a minimum of government interference.

It is folly, Hayek warns, to assume that “if such [governmental] power is conferred by democratic procedure it cannot be arbitrary.”

Hayek, who later won the Nobel prize in economics, has inspired generations of conservative leaders, including Ronald Reagan and many Heritage scholars.

“Perhaps,” Vernon suggests in conclusion, “this abbreviated version of Hayek’s work will serve to counteract contrary messages in many of America’s classrooms.”

To order additional copies of Heritage’s 48-page abridged version of “The Road to Serfdom,” please call (800) 426-1357.

Comments (3)

Ken Simon - December 12, 2011

Copies of this booklet should be made available at cost to all valid “TeaParty” groups for distribution to their supporters.

DeWitt Silvers - December 18, 2011

Should be interesting reading.

davidivey - February 19, 2012

Very helpful for introducing these concepts to people not familiar with these economic principles. I would love to introduce dental students (one of the last cottage industries) to this basic concept.

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