By kind permission of Sean Corrigan, we make available the September edition of his Resource Ruminations “Superhighway to Serfdom”:
“The danger of modern liberty is that, absorbed in the enjoyment of our private independence, and in the pursuit of our particular interests, we should surrender our right to share in political power too easily. The holders of authority are only too anxious to encourage us to do so. They are so ready to spare us all sort of troubles, except those of obeying and paying! They will say to us: what, in the end, is the aim of your efforts, the motive of your labours, the object of all your hopes? Is it not happiness? Well, leave this happiness to us and we shall give it to you. No, Sirs, we must not leave it to them. No matter how touching such a tender commitment may be, let us ask the authorities to keep within their limits. Let them confine themselves to being just. We shall assume the responsibility of being happy for ourselves”
Benjamin Constant, ‘The Liberty of Ancients Compared with that of Moderns’, 1816
Imagine, if you will, that we stand today at a cross-roads and that we see to our right a minor road which branches away to climb rapidly upward in an ultra- (even a hyper-) inflationary surge to ruin. On our left, we find a trackway which twists downward, descending rapidly into a Slough of Despond after threading its way past the rusting ironwork, boarded windows, and unfinished building work of a renewed financial crisis and after jolting its users horribly about in the ruts and potholes of further, poor political decision-making as they motor to their doom.
In all likelihood, however, our state-employed bus driver will avoid these two offshoots and will rather stick steadfastly to the busy highway along which we are currently speeding, a broad Road of Good Intentions along whose dreary verges we see an army of labourers sweating over the construction of an ever more ramshackle confusion of governmental props, buttresses, and scaffolding as they try manfully to shore up the crumbling Babel of bad debt and faltering businesses to be found there, at least beyond the next election date.
Read the full report.