Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Labour's fixation is strangling everyone

Labour's controlling, centralising, mistrustful approach has left huge numbers of former supporters feeling sullen, impotent and resentful. [...] This is a disenchantment that comes from the experience of living with Labour's ideas about how society should be organised, and finding them mean and thin. [...] Labour's fundamental mistake has been to manage the country, its people and its institutions as if it were running nothing more than a collection of factories and businesses. [...] A mother from Somerset is one of many voter whose loyalty to Labour has snapped over its extension of state power into areas that should be matters of choice. [...] "By putting the state in the middle of everything, we're destroying society," she says.

Jenni Russell, Labour's big fixation is strangling everyone (The Sunday Times, 03/01/2010)

Russell's warning in The Sunday Times is the ever-repeating issue with socialism: people who vote for further central planning of the society don't realise that their ideas will end up making government do things they were not prepared to accept initially. The unintended consecuences for the freedom of the people caused by the practice of well-meaning socialist ideas are far worse (at least in the mind of those who love their freedom) than the injustice they intend to solve.

Hayek explained in his "Road to Serfdom" (obviously dedicated "To the socialists of all parties") that management of a centrally-planned society leads to bureaucrats gaining discretionary powers and the dismantling of the free market system and this may end in the destruction of all individual economic and personal freedom.

Socialists think that their claim that that state planning does not lead, deterministically, towards the constraint of social and political freedom is enough to rebut Hayek's proposition. First, that claim is not enough counter-argument; second, reality shows that the more state planning exists, the more individual freedom is constrained. This can be seen anywhere from Labour's UK to the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Cambodia, through Chavez's Venezuela or Barroso's EU: they are all in the slippery slope of communism.

By the way, I just noticed the similarity of Hayek's slippery slope to the last stage of Plato's 5 Regime cycle. Interesting!

Love and freedom.

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