The death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on Friday should remind us of the dangerously evil ideas that caused the deaths and suffering of millions. Leftist intellectuals developed the bad idea of socialism and continue to defend it notwithstanding its practical failures and moral shortcomings. Socialism is not just a wrong and ineffective economic and political system; it’s a direct threat to human life, liberty and property.
George Santayana wrote in 1905 that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. But many of our public intellectuals and politicians continue to still advocate socialist ideas in public policy without regard to 1) historical thinkers who demolished it intellectually a long time ago; and 2) the failure of almost every global regime that tried to adhere to it. Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) was probably the best articulator of the sharp contrast between two opposing principals – individualism vs. collectivism. Civilization was successfully built up over the centuries by Christian, Roman and Greek philosophers on the notion of individualism.
Collectivism is a historically recent abandonment of this basis of Western civilization. It resulted in the horrors of World War II, mass slaughter of Russian people and Fidel Castro’s brutal regime. Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom (1944) is a full frontal assault against the idea of collectivism. He cogently explains why communism and socialism are morally and philosophically inferior to capitalism. Fascism and communism are not opposite political poles – they both derive from forcible collectivism. They have different ideal end goals but the method used to implement the policies are the same: State coercion and economic slavery. Collectivism will always result in a ruthless dictator like Stalin, Hitler or Castro. Let’s drive our War Chest deeper into the pages of F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom in the coming weeks so we can rest assured that our life, liberty and property are safe. Because that’s what the Estate Planning War Chest is here to do.