Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hayek on hatred of the enemy

From The Road to Serfdom, Chapter Ten:
It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program--on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off--than on any positive task. The contrast between the "we" and the "they," the common fight against those outside the group, seems to be an essential ingredient in any creed which will solidly knit together a group for common action. It is consequently always employed by those who seek, not merely support of a policy, but the unreserved allegiance of huge masses. From their point of view it has the great advantage of leaving them greater freedom of action than almost any positive program.
Makes you think about our own political attitudes, doesn't it? Perhaps I should include the next sentence for impact:
The enemy, whether be internal, like the "Jew" or the "kulak," or external, seems to be an indispensable requisite in the armory of a totalitarian leader.
The road to serfdom is paved with hatred.

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