NEW: F. A. Hayek, “Planning, Science and Freedom”

F. A. Hayek, “Planning, Science and Freedom”, Nature, Nov. 15, 1941, Vol. 148, pp. 580-584.


The reasons why the adoption of a system of central planning necessarily produces a totalitarian system are fairly simple. Whoever controls the means must decide which ends they are to serve. As under modern conditions control of economic activity means control of the material means for practically all our ends, it means control over nearly all our activities. The nature of the detailed scale of values which must guide the planning makes it impossible that it should be determined by anything like democratic means. The director of the planned system would have to impose his scale of values, his hierarchy of ends, which, if it is to be sufficient to determine the plan, must include a definite order of rank in which the status of each person is laid down. If the plan is to succeed or the planner to appear successful, the people must be made to believe that the objectives chosen are the right ones. Every criticism of the plan or the ideology underlying it must be treated as sabotage. There can be no freedom of thought, no freedom of the Press, where it is necessary that everything should be governed by a single system of thought. In theory Socialism may wish to enhance freedom, but in practice every kind of collectivism consistently carried through must produce the characteristic features which Fascism, Nazism and Communism have in common. Totalitarianism is nothing but consistent collectivism, the ruthless execution of the principle that ‘the whole comes before the individual’ and the direction of .all members of society by a single will supposed to represent the ‘whole’.

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The basis assumption underlying the belief that man has achieved mastery of his surroundings mainly through his capacity for logical deduction from explicit premises is factually false. — F. A. Hayek

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