Friday, September 21, 2007

From Spencer's 1884 to Orwell's 1984 By Henry Hazlitt

This is a wonderful read... From Hazlitt's article:

"But any open-minded person who takes the trouble today to read or reread The Man Versus The State will probably be startled by two things. The first is the uncanny clairvoyance with which Spencer foresaw what the future encroachments of the State were likely to be on individual liberty, above all in the economic realm. The second is the extent to which these encroachments had already occurred in 1884, the year in which he was writing.

...Yet whatever reservations or qualifications we may have, we are deeply indebted to Herbert Spencer for recognizing with a sharper eye than any of his contemporaries, and warning them against, "the coming slavery" toward which the State of their own time was drifting, and toward which we are more swiftly drifting today.

It is more than a grim coincidence that Spencer was warning of the coming slavery in 1884, and that George Orwell, in our time, has predicted that the full consummation of this slavery will be reached in 1984, exactly one century later."

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