2004年11月11日

The United States: A Hayekian Solution

[http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/hayekiansolution.html]



Hayek had in mind a system not of force or poverty, but one compatible with the classical liberal spirit: people in their own historic community governing themselves. Let Hayek speak:



Decentralisation need neither mean a Germany partitioned by the victors, which in the course of time would almost certainly produce a new wave of virulent nationalism, nor a Germany condemned to lasting poverty; it would, on the contrary, make it easier to give the Germans a chance to regain economic standards which in a centrallyorganised Germany would appear as a threat to her neighbours. Instead of building up a central German administration, the Allies should tell the Germans…their only but certain path to independence is through developing representative governments in the individual German states, which will be freed from Allied control as they succeed in establishing stable democratic institutions. This process would have to be gradual, with the Allies retaining in the end no more control over the individual state than corresponds to the minimum powers of a federal government.



And yet it is not enough to merely restore these historic institutions:



To be successful such a policy would need to be supplemented by the enforcement of complete free trade, external and internal, for all these German states. This not only would be necessary to prevent those deleterious economic effects which the opponents of decentralisation fear, but it would also constitute the most effective economic control, which would make it impossible for Germany to become again dangerous without preventing her from regaining prosperity. Under free trade Germany could never achieve that degree of industrial and agricultural selfsufficiency on which her economic warpotential rested; she would be driven to a high degree of specialization in the fields where she could make the greatest contribution to the prosperity of the world, and at the same time become dependent for her own prosperity on the continued exchange with other countries. There would, in fact, be hardly any other economic controls required, while this one essential control is also the only kind of control which could not be secretly evaded.



Try to appreciate the genius of this insight. Then and today, it is generally assumed that prosperity goes together with centralization and consolidated government. Hayek was arguing that, despite appearances, the opposite is more likely true. Many governments trading with each other create a kind of peaceful dependency so that autarky is no longer possible. Each region would depend on the other for its well being and yet no central state would gain power to dominate others. Also, there would be no political pressure for protectionism or attempted national selfsufficiency – this was a main demand of Hitler – because such a thing would be obviously unviable.


posted by libertarian at 19:51| F.A.HAYEK | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする