Are thoughts experiments experiments at all? Or something else? And do they help us think clearly about ethics or not?
The Road to Serfdom Is Still the Best Indictment of Centralized Power
It isn’t often that a social science book sells hundreds of thousands copies and is read by millions around the world, even decades after it was first published. It’s even less common if the author is, according to mainstream accounts, an obscure Austrian economics professor. Yet Friedrich August von Hayek, against seemingly all odds, got it done with his most famous work, The Road to Serfdom, now considered a classic of the 20th century.
This month, Road to Serfdom celebrates its 75th anniversary. Dedicated “to the socialists of all parties,” over 350,000 copies were sold from its release in 1944 through 2007, and it reached Amazon’s bestseller rankings again at the height of the Tea Party movement in 2010. The shorter Reader’s Digest version was handed out by the millions and made Hayek an international phenom overnight.
While prohibited even in West Germany up until 1947 for its anti-Soviet leanings, the book has been most successful in the U.S. In an age when conservatism is in many ways in disarray, there is no better time than now to return to The Road to Serfdom and see how it still resonates.
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