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The International Road to Serfdom

The International Road to Serfdom

When a global governing body is the ultimate authority, rather than multiple sovereign nations serving as checks and balances to each other the opportunity for abuse is ripe.

In the previous chapter of The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek spelled out his concerns for the problems facing America in the aftermath of WWII. Moving away from discussing domestic policy, in chapter 15, “The Prospects of International Order” Hayek discusses the grave problems associated with global governance. 

Making no effort to downplay the topic of foreign policy, Hayek says:

In no other field has the world yet paid so dearly for the abandonment of nineteenth-century liberalism as in the field where the retreat began: in international relations.”

Hayek has dedicated the majority of his book to explaining why planned economies on a national scale are bound to fail. You can understand his frustration then, when in the wake of World War II there was a bigger push for international governance.

Global Governance Is Not the Answer

As is understandable, there was an overwhelming desire to make sure the atrocities of WWII were never allowed to happen again. Since Germany’s nationalist sentiment had isolated it from the rest of the world prior to WWII, there was a sense that forced globalization would provide the necessary safeguard.

Hayek writes:

That there is little hope of international order or lasting peace so long as every country is free to employ whatever measures it thinks desirable in its own immediate interest, however damaging they may be to others, needs little emphasis now.”

It was easy, after all, for the Third Reich to take full control of the Germany’s economy when all outside influences were cut off.

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