Hayke's Arguments For Individualism Against Collectivism

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Hayke argues that a collectivist system is inherently incompatible with democracy rooted in an individualist liberalism tradition, regardless of the intention of the planner. Collectivism, Hayke points out, defends central planning by a "unitary end" (63) that conforms to the "general welfare" (64). To define the common end in a particular social context requires a single standard that ranks individual preferences. Due to the lack of a comprehensive system of "ethical code" (64) with universal consensus, however, such ranking is impossible, and so is a measurement of "the welfare and the happiness of millions" that alone can justify collectivism (64). As a result, other than a limited set of social ends unanimously deemed desirable, for …show more content…
First, although it is indisputable that a "complete" ethics system does not exist, within a social structure there can be, and almost always are, institutionalized social norms that, when internalized, inform individual actions to some degree. The construction of ethic code does not occur in an atomistic manner by simply ranking individual preferences as Hayke may have suggested. Indeed, later in chapter 9 where he talks about how the deliberate protection of security within one sector will harm the opportunities available to outsiders, Hayke mentions that "socialist teaching" under restrictive measures has shaped the value of a new generation that steers away from freedom (144). Crucially, here the young people 's preference for safety over entrepreneurship is not solely out of practically consideration: Hayke specifically denounces the "school and press" for presenting "the spirit of commercial enterprise" as "disreputable" and "the making of profit immoral" (144). But if a collectivist social structure has the power to preach some of its not-so-laudable moral into the society not through positive and negative sanctions only, why Hayke does not give any credit to the potential of the same structure to construct a more positive value

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