Friday, May 28, 2010

The New Freedom

The subtle change in meaning to which the word "freedom" was subjected in order that this argument should sound plausible is important.  To the great apostles of political freedom the word had meant freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men, release from the ties which left the individual no choice but obedience to the orders of a superior to whom he was attached.  The new freedom promised, however, was to be a freedom from necessity, release from the compulsion of the circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us, although for some very much more than for others.  Before man could be truly free, the "despotism of physical want" had to be broken, the "restrains of the economic system" relaxed.
F.A. Hayek (1944, Road to Serfdom)

No comments:

Post a Comment