Let's engage in some abstract thinking, an exercise which escapes most progressives and liberals.

While reading an abridged version of Friedrich Hayek's book, "The Road to Serfdom," I learned his definition of democracy and socialism pointed out the two have one word in common: "Equality." However, the difference in meaning between the two is immense.

Hayek's definition of democracy provides for "equality in liberty." You could expand it to mean our Republican democracy, which embraces liberty and freedom.

His definition of socialism establishes "equality in restraint and servitude." In other words, misery and oppression. Bondage. Slavery.

As socialism made its promise of equality, it had to redefine freedom.

Socialism promises economic freedom without giving up political freedom. Something we know isn't true by our personal experience with the political circumstances of today, and by our knowledge of the history of nations, which have tried socialism in the past. All have failed.

Once upon a time, freedom meant freedom from coercion and the capricious power of other men.

Today, it means freedom from want; freedom from the "compulsion of the circumstances, which inevitably limit the range of choice for all of us." In broad terms, you could say this definition of freedom is nothing more than an excuse for the government to redistribute the wealth. Isn't that the theme of our current administration?

Hayek's book was published in 1944, only 12 years after Franklin Roosevelt, our 32nd president, embarked on his Keynesian plan of "economic freedom." Our nation hasn't recovered from the damage done by FDR's path to political and economic serfdom under the guise of "economic freedom."

So ... think about it. Which form of equality do you want? Equality of freedom or equality of slavery? The choice is yours.

Don Kennedy



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