Favor of the Mighty


The ancient Goddess of justice is blindfolded for a reason. In a competitive economic system it is impossible to predict who will succeed and who will fail.  Success depends only on ability, work and luck, not on one person’s view of who should get what.  Under collectivism, economic success is dependent on the favor of the mighty.  A central authority decides what group or persons to favor.


Chapter 8 of F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) thoroughly explains why that’s bad.  First, it is clear that transferring all property to the State is not just transferring power. It’s creating a new power that wasn’t there before.  And this new power to distribute would change everything and not just because it is always abused.  When fortunes are imposed by impersonal competition the dignity of the poor and unsuccessful is preserved.  When success is determined by authority, it’s a whole new ball game.  People can accept suffering when it can hit anyone but not when they know it’s by intentional design.


The insurmountable problem of socialism is who plans whom; who directs and dominates whom. The State can impose distributive justice but there is no guiding principle to follow.  The only clear principle might be complete and absolute equality among everyone.  But that will obviously not work.  The alternative then is that “greater equality” should be the goal, which is not really a goal.  It’s just a dislike of the current state of affairs.


There is no moral principle that can determine a fair wage or a just price. Hayek quotes John Stuart Mill’s belief that a handful of humans should weigh everybody and give more to some and less to others in their sole judgment would never be acceptable unless that handful were more than human with supernatural powers.   Leftist thinkers assert nonetheless that education and knowledge will light the way.  But thousands of years of philosophy should have taught us by now that knowledge cannot create new moral values.  The eggheads who advocate collectivism do so because they think their education and training entitle them to be part of the directing class. Social justice is not produced by creating a directing class; rather, arrogant, self-interested oppression is the result of Leftist ideas.  We need none of that in our Estate Planning War Chest. We need never rely on the favor of the mighty.


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