It’s puzzling, because these people are smart. Friedrich von Hayek, one of my most admired people, an economist, among the places he taught was the University of Chicago. He was a free market capitalist. His Road to Serfdom, great book. The Constitution of Liberty is a great book. George Will asked Friedrich Von Hayek in 1975, “Professor von Hayek…?” I’m paraphrasing. “Professor von Hayek, how do you explain that so many intellectuals and particularly economists do not see right in front of them the success and bounties of capitalism, and want to do away with it?” And von Hayek says, “I have troubled over this for years, and the only thing I can conclude is that for intellectuals, the excitement is in controlling things — and you don’t control things in capitalism. You control things in socialism.”
Friedrich von Hayek brilliantly laid it right out. It’s all about power. It’s all about control, and that’s what Obama’s about. And anybody paying half attention for the past two years and looking at Obama’s associations and his votes, would have to conclude that he is a man mostly at odds with his public pronouncements. Now for Mr. Brooks to say, well, I’m just figuring out here three weeks or so ago? My God!
transcript: “Mr. Brooks and the Czars of Obama.” Rush Limbaugh, Feb. 25, 2009.
Limbaugh is paraphrasing this exchange:
George Will: “Dr. von Hayek, capitalism and particularly American capitalism is seemed to have a good record at giving people a rising standard of living. Why are so many intellectuals, and particularly so many economists, skeptical about and even hostile to capitalism?”
Friedrich Hayek: “Well, I’ve been puzzling about it for a long time, particularly about the economists who ought to understand better. It’s very difficult to know why they don’t. Ah.. I think it’s a attraction of a system which you can…an intellectual attraction of a system you can deliberately control, which is fascinating to the intellectual.”
UPDATE: From Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC address, Feb. 28, 2009:
.. what worries me is that this administration, the Barack Obama administration is actively seeking to expand the welfare state in this country because he wants to control it. George Will once asked Dr. Friedrich Von Hayek, tremendous classical economist, great man, 1975, George Will, Dr. Von Hayek, why is it that intellectuals, supposed smartest people in the room, why is it that intellectuals can look right out their windows, their own homes and cars and look at their universities and not see the bounties and the growth and the greatness of capitalism? And Von Hayek said: I’ve troubled over this for years and I’ve finally concluded that for intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, and all liberals, it’s about control. It’s not about raising revenue. You think Obama has any intention of paying for all this spending? Folks, if he had any intention of paying for it, he wouldn’t do 90% of it because we don’t have the money.