The Road to Serfdom




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I want to start in 1945. The guns had finally drawn silent in Western Europe. The bombs had stopped falling. The skies above were no longer filled with the scream of fighter planes. The invasions and battles were no more. The Allied forces had won, and World War II was over. But this was far from the end. Another, perhaps even more important war, was just beginning. Europe was decimated both politically and structurally and faced the daunting task of starting over from scratch.

America had just come off a Great Depression many believed was caused by the evil, greedy capitalist system. The question that loomed largest over many countries around the entire globe: What do we do from here? Should we risk another economic collapse, or should we let government control the economy?

The eventual deciding factor in the 'war after the war' came from a very unlikely source: A little known economist, originally from Vienna, named Friedrich A. Hayek. We are in a similar war today, but if you don't know history, you probably aren't even aware of it.

Starting in the early 1940's, Hayek began writing a little book called "The Road to Serfdom." The book clearly and logically explained how any form of central government planning eventually leads to serfdom (or servitude) and extinguishes freedom. He didn't think he would gain any notoriety or fortune from the book, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Material like this was banned in Germany and elsewhere. He was only writing it because he considered it "a duty which I must not evade." See, there was a real possibility that Europe and even America would move in that direction. After all, England had been in with the Fabian socialists.

Who were the Fabian socialists? People like George Bernard Shaw, who we showed you in our documentary, "The Revolutionary Holocaust." He was a Fabian socialist, give you a little taste of what they believed. Here he is:

(BEGIN CLIP)

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: I don't want to punish anybody. But there are an extraordinary number of people whom i want to kill… but it must be evident to all of you… you must all know half a dozen people at least who are of no use in this world… who are more trouble than they are worth.

(END CLIP)

Hayek couldn't live with himself if he didn't write what he was thinking. He initially wrote the book for the Brits, because he could see who they were in bed with. He could see the road they were traveling down. He had no earthly idea it would take off like it did. And boy, did it take off. After initially not being able to find a publisher, the first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. American publishers were skeptical. They didn't think it'd work. Ironically, they tried to get progressive icon Walter Lippman to do the foreword for the book, noting that it'd sell thousands if he did, maybe 900 if he didn't. Lippman wasn't able to write it.

The book went through six impressions in the first 16 months, was translated into numerous foreign languages, and circulated both openly in the free world and underground in the emerging iron curtain. It absolutely took off after Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book in 1945. The Reader's Digest had a circulation at the time of more the 5 million copies, and the little journal was provided to each American serviceman, at home and abroad.

What did people so love about this book? People understood it — Hayek's claims such as: "Man does not and cannot know everything, and when he acts as if he does, disaster follows," make good, common sense. Hayek explained that capitalism is the only system of economics compatible with human dignity, prosperity, and liberty. He demonstrated that planned economies that tried to control the nature of man through administrative rules was impossible, and could only lead to one outcome: Serfdom.

And the message spread like a ripple on a pond. Soon, terms like "collectivism" were erased from political debate, and anyone defending government central planning was discredited.

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.

I have to admit, the first time I saw this book I made fun of it. I've read the roots of modern liberalism by Woodrow Wilson — that's enough to want to make you hang yourself — I wasn't about to put myself through the "Road to Serfdom." But there's a reason this book was banned in places like Germany and the Soviet Union.

I'm about to talk to someone who lived this. He read this book at the risk of seven years in prison. If you were caught giving this book out you'd get 12 years hard labor — a certain death sentence. Why didn't they want people to read it? They know if the people caught on to what these tyrants were doing, it'd be over.

Now, we're not banning books and dishing out hard labor sentences, but I want to show you something we are doing that to me is pretty shocking. Here's a publisher selling copies of the Constitution. But look at what comes along with it: "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today...Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work."

There's a war for the future of this country. It's being waged right now. The questions of the future can always be answered with the information, glories, and mistakes of the past. Let's give you the other option today — besides capitalism is bad, let's go on to global governance and control through a giant progressive monolith. If you don't learn the things no one is willing to teach today… there will be more than a disclaimer on the Constitution.

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?