Thursday , October 1 2020
Home / David Henderson /Two 1930s Political Leaders Agree About Complexity

Two 1930s Political Leaders Agree About Complexity

Summary:
Two major political leaders in the 1930s agreed that increasing complexity required bigger government than otherwise. Friedrich Hayek, in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, argued that precisely the opposite is true: The more complex a society, the more difficult it is for government to plan an economy. Probably more than two leaders believed this. But I found a particularly clear statement of the belief in the words of two leaders. Here’s one: We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become. Here’s the other: Instinctively we recognized a deeper need—the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the

Topics:
David Henderson considers the following as important: , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

David Henderson writes A Key Characteristic of a Banana Republic

David Henderson writes A Hole in the Market

Scott Sumner writes The problem with court packing

David Henderson writes Intro to My September 12, 2011 Speech at Western Kentucky University

Two major political leaders in the 1930s agreed that increasing complexity required bigger government than otherwise. Friedrich Hayek, in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, argued that precisely the opposite is true: The more complex a society, the more difficult it is for government to plan an economy.

Probably more than two leaders believed this. But I found a particularly clear statement of the belief in the words of two leaders.

Here’s one:

We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become.

Here’s the other:

Instinctively we recognized a deeper need—the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization.

Without googling, try to guess who the two leaders were and which one said which. You need not share your guesses, although you truly do not google, but simply guess, I would be interested.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *