“The tragedy of collectivist thought is that while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason because it misconceives the process on which the growth of reason depends. It may indeed be said that it is the paradox of all collectivist doctrine and its demand for the “conscious” control or “conscious” planning that they necessarily lead to the demand that the mind of some individual should rule supreme — while only the individualist approach to social phenomena makes us recognise the super-individual forces which guide the growth of reason. Individualism is thus an attitude of humility before this social process and of tolerance to other opinions, and is the exact opposite of that intellectual hubris which is at the root of the demand for comprehensive direction of the social process.”
The Road to Serfdom. Friedrich August von Hayek. He was born on this day in 1899. Happy birthday, dear Prof Hayek.
Prof Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University is an American institution himself. He is arguably one of the finest contemporary intellectuals. An economist by training, his output of books and articles is prodigious. A brilliant mind and an indefatigable warrior against the forces of unreason, ignorance, bigotry, tyranny, the controlling state, and so on and on.
Here are a few quotes from Dr Sowell. Continue reading
“The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills.”
Ludwig von Mises. “Bureaucracy”. Page 4. Yale University Press. New Haven. 1944.
Shantanu Bhagwat has a post at his Reclaiming India blog at The Times of India website in which he states that Indians must not stand as neutral observers in the upcoming general elections because the UPA is “an existential threat to India” and therefore it must go. At the start of the post Shantanu recalls a recent conversation he had with Rajesh Jain. Rajesh made his point through a quote attributed to Dante. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality”. Shantanu explains why he will not be neutral and is firmly committed to supporting Narendra Modi. Me too. Indeed, Shantanu quotes yours truly in his post. As you may know, I am not one to shy away from taking sides in the good fight.
Mahmood Madani, the general secretary of some Islamic outfit called Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind is reported to have told a private TV channel that some Muslims have voted for Narendra Modi and the BJP in the recent Gujarat state elections. Madani is quoted as saying:
If you thought that I was about to quote Alexis de Toqueville, you were wrong. I quote H. L. Mencken. “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”