Uddrag af Hayeks ‘Vejen til trældom’

Kasper Planeta Kepp, lektor, ph.d., biokemiker

I denne klumme er gengivet en række relevante citater fra Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, som danske politikere måske bør komme i hu. Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), som var økonom i Østrig i 20’erne og bosatte sig i England under nazismen, skrev Road of Serfdom 1940-1943 som en kritik af totalitære systemer, både nationalsocialismen, som han flygtede fra, og kommunismen.

Han var en af de første der beskrev, hvordan fascisme og kommunisme begge er totalitære systemer (hvor mange mente, at fascismen var en kapitalistisk reaktion imod socialismen) og demonstrerede i Road to Serfdom, hvordan alle socialistiske samfund med øget centralisering og planlægning før eller siden bliver totalitære.

Hans kritik var indflydelsesrig dengang, men gik tabt under marxismens fremtog blandt historieløse akademikere i 70erne, der først indså Hayeks pointer, da USSR brød sammen. Blandt de, der ikke dengang havde læst og forstået Hayek, er mange af vore nuværende politikere.

Også i dag har mange historieløse tilhængere af socialisme og centralplanlægning desværre glemt totalitarisme-kritikken fra Anden Verdenskrig, og disse personer, som tæller politikere og meningsdannere i stort set alle de gamle partier i Folketinget, prøver endnu engang ved hjælp af planlægning og centralisering af magt at gøre vores samfund bedre på forkerte forudsætninger.

Derfor er Road to Serfdom om muligt endnu mere relevant i dag end da den blev skrevet, fordi den i dag kan minde os om totalitarismen inden den er udkrystalliseret fuldstændigt, hvorimod totalitarismen allerede havde ført til verdenskrig, da Hayek oprindeligt skrev bogen.

Nedenfor følger nogle af de vigtigste uddrag (fra den korte version fra 1945), som er særdeles relevante i dag, og som måske burde få danske politikere på begge fløje til at tænke over, hvorvidt deres midler er de rigtige til at nå målet, det bedst mulige samfund.

Om planlæggernes fejlslutning (The “Pick the Winner” fallism):
“The claim that a planned economy would produce a substantially larger output than the competitive system is being progressively abandoned by most students of the problem. Yet it is this false hope as much as anything which drives us along the road to planning.”

Centralplanlægning ville aldrig have skabt det vestlige industrielle system:
“It is no exaggeration to say that if we had had to rely on central planning for the growth of our industrial system, it would never have reached the degree of differentiation and flexibility it has attained.

Centralisering af magt er mere absolut magt, taget fra borgerne:
“To decentralize power is to reduce the absolute amount of power, and the competitive system is the only system designed to minimize the power exercised by man over man.”

Centralplanlægning fører til diktatur:
“The cry for an economic dictator is a characteristic stage in the movement toward planning.”

Om penge og frihed (henvendt til dem, der gør “kapitalismen” til syndebuk):
“[…] money is one of the greatest instruments of freedom ever invented by man.”

Om, at den frie konkurrence øger alles frihed:
“It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.”

Om planlægningen af borgernes liv (smagsdommere og livstilseksperter) som baner vejen for fascismen:
“It was the socialists who first insisted that the party member should distinguish himself from others by the modes of greeting and the forms of address. It was they who, by their organization of ‘cells’ and devices for the permanent supervision of private life, created the prototype of the totalitarian party. By the time Hitler came to power, liberalism was dead in Germany. And it was socialism that had killed it.”

Om den socialistiske fejlslutning, og socialismens ligheder med fascismen:
“To many who have watched the transition from socialism to fascism at close quarters the connection between the two systems has become increasingly obvious, but in the democracies the majority of people still believe that socialism and freedom can be combined.”

Om socialkonservatismen, som baner vejen for totalitarismen:
“‘Conservative socialism’ was the slogan under which a large number of writers prepared the atmosphere in which National Socialism succeeded.”

Om betydningen af massernes fordummelse (DR og TV2):
“[…] the largest group of people whose values are very similar [to the collectivists’] are the people with low standards. Second, since this group is not large enough to give sufficient weight to the leader’s endeavours, he will have to increase their numbers by converting more to the same simple creed.”

Om Nysprog og substansens destruktion:
“Collectivism means the end of truth […] the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as this complete perversion of language.”

Om den ydre eller indre fjende som syndebuk før indførelse af totalitær lovgivning:
“The contrast between the ‘we’ and the ‘they’ is consequently always employed by those who seek the allegiance of huge masses. The enemy may be internal, like the ‘Jew’ in Germany or the ‘kulak’ in Russia, or he may be external. In any case, this technique has the great advantage of leaving the leader greater freedom of action than would almost any positive programme.”

Om “Målet helliger midlet”:
“The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves ‘the good of the whole’, because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.”

“For Fællesskabet”:
“Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation, most of those features of totalitarianism which horrify us follow of necessity.”

De nævnte processer leder ifølge Hayek til det totalitære samfund. Hans analyse passede glimrende på den nationalsocialisme, han kritiserede, og han fik ret med hensyn til Sovjetunionen. Desværre havde mange danske politikere ikke læst Hayek i 70erne, og måtte vente til 1990 før de indså betydningen af hans analyser.

Spørgsmålet er, om han får ret endnu engang.

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