If you have a rose-colored belief in the certainty of the progress of humanity, The Road to Serfdom is an unsettling read. In it, Friedrich Hayek offers guidance in recognizing and undoing our errors that enable tyranny. To undo our mistakes, we first must be aware of the error-filled road we are traveling. You can’t undo what you are not willing to see.
If we are willing, Hayek helps us undo our denial of the principles of freedom under which human beings flourish. Freedom from coercion puts the “power of choice” in the hands of individuals and is essential to human progress.
If we are to preserve freedom from coercion, individuals must bear the risk and responsibility of the choices they make. The “power of choice” must not be removed by the arbitrary acts of government. Hayek writes,