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Many Roads to Serfdom

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Unlike many excellent articles approved for postings at progressive Web sites, Julian Edney's "The Libertarian Threat", OpEdNews.com (June 27, 2006) is an example of how anyone can claim to be a progressive, libertarian, conservative, liberal, or any other political label. Obviously, progressives do not have a monopoly on brilliant political analyses. Hopefully, Julian Edney will write a sequel "The Progressive Threat".

In 1944, George Orwell wrote a book review of Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and of K. Zilliacus' The Mirror of the Past. Orwell noted that the important lesson to be learned from these authors from opposite ends of the political spectrum is that there is more than one road to slavery. Orwell, who fought for the communists in the Spanish Civil War, wrote Homage to Catalonia to explain how different political groups used lies in their pursuit of totalitarian power. Orwell left communist groups and regarded himself as a democratic socialist. However, Orwell understood that totalitarians can join and take over democratic socialist parties, too.
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek The Mirror of the Past by K. Zilliacus
Taken together, these two books give grounds for dismay. The first of them is an eloquent defence of laissez-faire capitalism, the other is an even more vehement denunciation of it. They cover to some extent the same ground, they frequently quote the same authorities, and they even start out with the same premise, since each of them assumes that Western civilization depends on the sanctity of the individual. Yet each writer is convinced that the other's policy leads directly to slavery, and the alarming thing is that they may both be right....
Between them these two books sum up our present predicament. Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can somehow be combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics.
Both of these writers are aware of this, more or less; but since they can show no practicable way of bringing it about the combined effect of their books is a depressing one.
Observer, 9 April 1944

While Julian Edney noted briefly that true libertarians do not support neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) or objectivists, his article created the impression that libertarians are a threat. Does the threat include the libertarian left? Edney failed to name or to cite even one true libertarian. Edney failed to praise those on the libertarian right who have exposed and have opposed the totalitarian objectives of the neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites).

The neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) are not capitalists. They are supporters of Trotsky who aided President Reagan to seek to cause the collapse of the communist leaders who inherited the totalitarian state from Stalin. Irving Kristol did write Two Cheers for Capitalism. However, many of the neo-conservatives support the totalitarian takeover of countries, including of Iran by the Iranian Communist MEK (Rajavi Cult or Pol Pot of Iran). Apparently, the neo-conservatives are only anti-Stalin, not anti-communist or anti-totalitarian.

The neo-conservatives are not religious, unless you count worshiping at the altar of Machiavelli. See Michael Ledeen's book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago. Of course, the chickenhawk neoconservative cowards have no objections to evangelical Christian soldiers marching off to war to achieve their ungodly goals.
Professor Claes Ryn, in his book America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire, classified the neoconservatives as similar to the Jacobins of the French Revolution (and counter to the values of the American Revolution). On page 145, Ryn noted the usage of "democratic capitalism" to have a meaning very different from capitalism. Does Julian Edney regard Communist China's totalitarian model with some free market elements as communist or as capitalist?

Paul A. Lindahl has claimed to be both a neoconservative and a capitalist. However, he has rejected any suggestion that neoconservatives are Social Darwinists. http://www-tech.mit.edu/v105/n10/lindah.10o.html
Edney needs to support his Social Darwinism claim.

Edney noted correctly that the objectivists are not true libertarians. Ayn Rand was a philosopher, not an economist, whose vague writings can be used to support even totalitarians. For details of the philosophy of objectivism, see The Ayn Rand Institute's Web site: http://www.aynrand.org/

Claiming to be a capitalist does not make one a capitalist: http://www.capitalism.org/ . How does capitalism lead by extension to "Israel is Moral"? http://www.israelismoral.com/

A good researcher would have found the writings of Murray Rothbard about the neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) and about the objectivists. Justin Raimondo's book, An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard, would be a good starting point for Edney's future research. He could continue by reviewing the large number of excellent articles by Justin Raimondo on the neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) and on the Iranian Communist MEK (Rajavi Cult or Pol Pot of Iran) posted at http://www.antiwar.com/justin . Justin Raimondo is a former Libertarian Party and Republican Party candidate for public offices. Can anyone name even one progressive who has done more than Justin Raimondo to oppose the neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites), the Iranian Communist MEK (Rajavi Cult or Pol Pot of Iran), and war?

Edney explained poorly also the divisions within the Libertarian Party. There is a big difference between libertarians (left and right) and Libertarian Party factions: http://www.lp.org/ Some members of the Libertarian Party believe that the only way to win elections is to copy the big tent approaches of the Democratic and Republican parties. Other members of the Libertarian Party believe the way to win elections is to be a party of principles.

Edney can attempt to explain how it is possible for both Carol Moore and Neal Boortz to attend Libertarian Party conventions together.

Carol Moore has been a tireless campaigner for peace. Her Web groups include those who are attempting to stop a war with Iran. She has demonstrated against the Iranian Communist MEK (Rajavi Cult or Pol Pot of Iran) terrorists. http://www.carolmoore.net/

By contrast, Edney can research the positions of Neal Boortz on the Iraq War and on other issues. http://boortz.com/

In March 2006, I attended a stop war on Iran presentation in Los Angeles by Ardeshir Ommani, a Workers World Party activist (http://www.workers.org). Ommani quoted favorably only one member of Congress: Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican (and former Libertarian Party candidate for President). Ommani opposed the neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) and the Iranian Communist MEK (Rajavi Cult or Pol Pot of Iran). While many who claim to be progressives support Democrats, who else on the left has been honest enough to admit that libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul is one of the very few members of Congress worth re-electing?

The more than 6,000 signers of the Stop War on Iran Statement include:

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Detroit Archdiocese*, Founding President, Pax Christi*
The Most Rev. Filipe C Teixeira, OFSJC, Diocesan Bishop, Diocese of Saint Francis of Assisi, CCA
Michael Parenti, author
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Howard Zinn, author, historian
George Galloway, MP, Britain
Tony Benn, MP, Britain
Denis J. Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary-General
Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature
Margarita Papandreou, former First Lady of Greece
Ardeshir Ommani, co-founder of American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)
Ervand Abrahamian, Prof. ME History, Author, Between Two Revolutions
David N. Rahni, Professor and scholar, NY
David Sole, President UAW, Local 2334*, Detroit
Steve Gillis, President, USWA Local 8751*
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY
Thomas Koppel and Annisette, of the Scandinavian Popular Music Band Savage Rose

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Professor, California State University, Fullerton

After marriage to an Iranian lady in Tehran, Iran in 1968, I returned to Tehran in the summer of 1970 to work at the American Embassy. After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, I (more...)

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