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Dissent

Most people have no trouble understanding that increasing government control imperils individual freedoms, including freedom of expression. Sandy Ikeda discusses this linkage in “Dissent Under Socialism,” which inevitably means suppression and oppression.

First, to the degree that the State undertakes central planning of the resources it controls it can’t allow any person to interfere with or oppose the plan. Or, as Hayek puts it, “If the state is precisely to foresee the incidence of its actions, it means that it can leave those affected no choice.”

Second, the more resources the State controls, the wider the scope and more detailed its planning necessarily becomes so that delay in any part of the system becomes intolerable. There is little room for unresponsiveness, let alone dissent.

Statists and radical egalitarians harbor a naive belief that their goals for society, and for “social justice,” can be achieved by collective action. That belief is naive on several levels. In practical terms, government is incapable of achieving complex social goals, and it will botch the effort. Even more ominous is that police power must always stand behind the effort. That police power will be brought to bear on a wider range of issues seems to surprise collectivists, as illustrated by the following quote used by Ikeda:

“Fascist states stop people demonstrating against wars—it is beyond belief that French Socialists are following their example.”

Really not too surprising.