Government Lies

F.A. Hayek explains in The Road to Serfdom in a chapter entitled “Why the Worst Get on Top,” those who seek power and dominion over others, i.e., those who wish to use legal plunder to reward their friends and punish their enemies, are most likely to seek positions that make that power possible:

“Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans, so the totalitarian leader would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism.”

Furthermore, “(The leader) must gain the support of the docile and gullible, who have no strong convictions of their own but are ready to accept a ready-made system of values if it is only drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently. It will be those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who will thus swell the ranks of the totalitarian party.”

The lies will continue as long as we have a system that perversely encourages the worst among us to rise to positions of power. As long as the government monopoly on education continues, the lies of the State will continue to be drilled into the soft, mushy heads of our nation’s youth. No tactic will be considered verboten as long as it seeks legitimacy among the “docile and gullible.”

The wisest course of action for the independent thinker is to constantly question authority, to assume that anything he hears from the mouth of a politician or bureaucrat is unadulterated bullshit, and to recognize that the worst will always make it to the top. And because the worst among us always believe the ends justify the means, lying will always be a hallmark of their modus operandi.

The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents–The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek) (Volume 2)

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