In honor of F.A. Hayek’s birthday, I thought I’d share this video, which is a five-minute cartoon summary of his excellent book The Road to Serfdom (more about the book below).
This book (available as a free download here), written near the end of World War II, warns that the policies being proposed by many of the allied nations ran the risk of destroying everything they’d been fighting for in their opposition to Hitler. Many economists (such as John Maynard Keynes) were suggesting that after the war, the governments should continue planning all economic activity, just as they had during the war. Keynes, on the other hand, argued that this type of central planning would NOT lead to economic prosperity, but would instead destroy individual freedoms and result in the same type of totalitarianism the world had just seen in Germany.
It was the Keynesian view of economics that prevailed in the 1930’s and 40’s, but time has given more credence to Hayek’s views. The economic debate between Hayek & Keynes has been termed the “Fight of the Century”, and dramatized in two fantastic hip-hop videos (you heard that right) that I posted last year.
Do yourself a favor and read up on economics. Hayek is a great place to start, as is Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (my review).