Lately I have found myself reflecting on the classic, The Road to Serfdom, where economist Friedrich Hayek wrote a fascinating chapter called, Why the Worst Get on Top. In it, he asserts that benevolent dictatorships exist only in theory because authoritarian regimes with positions of power and control tend to attract people who desire power and control, e.g., Hitler and Stalin. Why should that concern Americans? Our government is based on limited governmental control and individual liberty. We are in no danger of becoming a totalitarian country, or at least most of us didn’t think so until recently.
Unfortunately, a republic can quickly find itself swimming in fascism, socialism, etc. if the current is just right. The plandemic has been the perfect opportunity for the government to centralize power (all of course for the good of the community). In order to protect us from the virus, the government had to assume control of our businesses as well as our social and religious activities – not to mention any kind of communication that disagreed with the government narrative. In a little over a year, the government has assumed tremendous power over our lives, all in the name of safety: power that it will not likely be willing to relinquish without a fight.
According to Hayek, “Yet while there is little that is likely to induce men who are good by our standards to aspire to leading positions in the totalitarian machine, and much to deter them, there will be special opportunities for the ruthless and unscrupulous. There will be jobs to be done about the badness of which taken by themselves nobody has any doubt, but which have to be done in the service of some higher end, and which have to be executed with the same expertness and efficiency as any others. And as there will be need for actions which are bad in themselves, and which all those still influenced by traditional morals will be reluctant to perform, the readiness to do bad things becomes a path to promotion and power.” This is why governmental positions of power attract the most ruthless and why decentralized power is the only solution.
And so while we fret and fuss about electing men and women of good moral character and limited political ambition, perhaps we should be more concerned about the nature of our government. What kinds of people does it now attract and why?