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"The Road To Serfdom" Essay

1208 words - 5 pages

The Value of value of human dignity in any society can never be emphasized enough, for this is recognized as a necessary condition for true advancement; and as such, every society must endeavor towards achieving this. We have seen in history how failing to observe this led many devastating outcomes. In his book "The Road to Serfdom," Hayek points out the value of limiting powers of the state, as past events such as the Nazi atrocities occurred only by the absence of this. Also, this helped in the rise of the totalitarian regime that almost wiped out an entire group of people. However, the most important thing to note is the significance of a strong constitution the absence of which can significantly blur the line between liberal regimes and a totalitarian tyranny.
Following their defeat in WWI, the Germans were already felt like they were a defeated people, along with that the man economic problems the people were facing, left them discouraged. Soon after, the leader of the Nazi party emerged as the leader that German’s believed would be able to lead them out of their desperate condition. As the leader and, head of the state, he had absolute power and served as the peoples moral guide. Having absolute power meant, that he could ultimately determine almost every aspect of the affairs of the state and on the lives of his people. All of these are conditions that can lead to totalitarianism as Hayek points out. From this absolute power, we see how individual liberty was gradually lost, along with the lives of many Jews.
The holocaust, where the Nazi regime organized a state-sponsored killing of Jews, who were considered to a threat to German progress; in addition, as a people were considered Inferior. Although, German’s found a way to justify all the atrocities that were taking place, one must not fail to see the big picture. Anyone in a position of authority naturally enjoys the power that they possess, especially the power over others; therefore to maintain the position of power, it becomes important that such individuals are able to control as much as they can all affairs in society. One way in particular that the authority can ensure that this power over all maintained, is by creating a system of differentiation amongst different groups; giving one group more significance than the other; as a way to gain unifying support from the preferred group. This is what we see with the totalitarian regime of the Nazi party, where the Jews were made out to be the inferior group. By successfully creating an enemy out of the Jews, Germans could now unify themselves in eliminating this common enemy. This according to Hayek is a necessary for a dictator in maintaining his power over the rest, meanwhile the rest are made to believe that their common hatred for Jews was necessary for the good of the whole. According to Hayek, “That the desire to organize social life according to a unitary plan itself springs largely from a desire for power. It is even...

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