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Glenn Beck sends Road to Serfdom onto bestseller lists

the-road-to-serfdomGlenn Beck, the right-wing commentator, doesn’t usually influence book sales at AbeBooks. We don’t really share the same audience but yesterday was a huge exception. Beck’s extensive discussion of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Heyek meant AbeBooks enjoyed a huge scramble for copies yesterday. This influential economics book, published in 1944, argues against centrally-planned economies. It’s been translated many times and sold millions of copies over the years. Milton Friedman, who wrote the introduction to the 50th anniversary edition, was one of the book’s biggest supporters.

Beck seems to think that America is back in a situation very similiar to Europe in the 1940s with a government prepared to take control of many parts of the economy. Beck says….

This book was like a Mike Tyson (in his prime) right hook to socialism in Western Europe and in the United States. But its influence didn’t stop there. It has inspired political and economic leaders for decades since — most famously Ronald Reagan. Reagan often praised Hayek when he talked about people waking up to the dangers of big government. That brings us to today.

We were on the right track, but clearly we’ve fallen off the wagon. A few years ago I started asking, how’d we get here? How did this happen to us? No one had answers. I started reading history, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that we’d completely disconnected ourselves from history, making us incredibly vulnerable to repeating the mistakes of the past. And look at what we’re doing! We have a government car company, government banks, we’re talking about government oil companies, government is hiring all the workers. We are there, gang! And as Hayek so clearly demonstrated, this road only leads to one destination.

And that’s serfdom apparently!

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