We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
--condensed stages of Frederick Hayek's The Road to Serfdom:
National emergency such as war or financial collapse "forces national planning".
To permit total mobilization of your
country's economy, you gladly surrender
many freedoms. You know regimentation
was forced by your country's national emergency.
Many want "planning" to stay....
Arguments for "production boards" and other planning commissions are heard before the 'national emergency' ends. "Emergency planners" want to stay in power and encourage these ideas.
The "Planners" promise Utopias....
A rosy plan for farmers goes well in rural
areas, a plan for industrial works is
popular in cities -and so on. Many new
"planners" are elected to office...
...but they can't agree on ONE utopia, so although the emergency is now characterized as "stable", when a new legislature meets the emergency's unity is gone. The "planners" argue and seem to be unable to come to compromise agreements. Factions form around pet plans,
and soon citizens can't agree either.
When the "planners" finally patch up a
temporary plan months later, citizens in
turn disagree on the elements. What the farmer likes, the factory worker doesn't, and so on, inevitably and seemingly indefinitely.
"Planners" hate to force agreement...
(most "national planners" are well-meaning
idealists and balk at any use of force. They
hope for some miracle of public agreement
as to their patchwork plan)
...so they try to "sell" the plan to all...
In an unsuccessful effort to educate people
to uniform views, "planners" establish a
giant propaganda machine—which the coming
dictator will find handy!
The gullible may be finding agreement...
but meanwhile, growing national confusion
leads to protest meetings. The least
educated, and most easily thrilled and convinced by fiery orators, form a party in alliance with those who have never before been interested or active in politics.
Confidence in "planners" fades...
The more "planners" improvise, the
greater the disturbance to normalcy.
Everybody suffers. People now feel—rightly
—that planners can't get things done.
A "strong man" is given power...
In desperation, "planners" authorize the
new party leader to hammer out a plan
and force its obedience. Later, they'll
dispense with him — or so they think.
The party takes over the country...
By now, confusion is so great that
obedience to the new leader must be
obtained at all costs. Maybe you join the
party yourself to aid national unity.
A 'negative aim' welds party unity...
Early step of all dictators is to inflame the
majority in common cause against some
scapegoat minority. In Germany, the
negative aim was the Anti-Semitism.
No one opposes the leader's plan...
It would be suicide by now; new secret police are
ruthless. Ability to force obedience as always
becomes the No. 1 virtue in the "planned
state." Now all freedom is gone.
Your profession is "planned"...
The wider job choice promised by now
defunct "planners" turns out to be a tragic
farce. Forgotten or buried is the fact that "planners" never have delivered and
never will be able to.
Your wages are "planned"...
Divisions of the wage scale must be
arbitrary and rigid. Running a "planned
state" from central headquarters is
clumsy, unfair, inefficient.
Your thinking is "planned"...
In the dictatorship, unintentionally created
by the planners, there is no reoom for
difference of opinion. Posters, radio, press
—all tell you the same lies!
Your recreation is "planned"...
It is no coincidence that sports and
amusements have been carefully
"planned" in all regimented nations. Once
started, "planners" can't stop.
Your disciplining is "planned"...
If you're fired from your job, it's apt to be
by a firing squad. What used to be an
error has now become a crime against the
state. Thus ends the road to serfdom!
A decent prostitute offers sexual favors for money. A decent client pays for the service. It has an "ick" factor but it's at least straightforward between the parties. Congressional whores are far dirtier, far less honest than streetwalkers. They use other people's money to buy favors that the ones paying will never enjoy. They're more like muggers or beggars who use their ill-gotten funds to pay hookers and then, often enough, beat the hookers.