Socialism versus the welfare state

This from a post at Powerline and it is something said by Hayek:

The current situation has greatly altered the task of the defender of liberty and made it much more difficult.  So long as the danger came from socialism of the frankly collectivist kind, it was possible to argue that the tenets of the socialists were simply false: that socialism would not achieve what the socialists wanted and that it would produce other consequences which they would not like.  We cannot argue similarly against the welfare state, for this term does not designate a definite system.  What goes under that name is a conglomerate of so many diverse and even contradictory elements that, while some of them may make a free society more attractive, others are incompatible with it or may at least constitute potential threats to existence.

The welfare state is such a hodgepodge of stupid ideas that no one can tell where things have gone wrong unless you understand how a market works. These are from the comments:

We can never adequately define what the hell Leftists are doing to the country because it’s not really communism but it is definitely not American. That’s what makes it really hard to convince people of the evil nature of what these Leftists are doing. You can’t rebel against something you can’t adequately define.

The phony leftism of modern democrats is not honest leftism of the “frankly collectivist” kind. It’s worse. It’s the worst of all worlds; the excesses of capitalism combined with the destructive bullying of big government. Billionaires set public policy on things like climate and energy, even if it ruins the average worker. Monster corporations are allowed to monopolize market segments and use their monopoly to crush dissent and cancel competitors, as long as it’s in cooperation with the ruling Party. Trillions are taxed, borrowed, and spent to help the little guy, yet somehow all the little guy ends up is an endlessly inflating cost of living and a crash in his retirement account.

Under capitalism, the wealthy become powerful. Under socialism, the powerful become wealthy.

This is the post:

Thought for the Day: Hayek’s Warning

1 thought on “Socialism versus the welfare state

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