The Road to Serfdom
Chapter 11: The End of Truth
By F. A. Hayek (First published in 1944)
whole world is under the sway of the evil one." 1 John 5:19
"...the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." 1 John 5:19
"The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that the people should come to regard them as their own ends."[p.171]
"Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individuals as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants. If the feeling of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian governments succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to."[p.171]
"....all propaganda serves the same goal—that all the instruments of propaganda are coordinated to influence the individuals in the same direction.... The skillful propagandist then has power to mold their minds in any direction he chooses, and even the most intelligent and independent people cannot entirely escape that influence if they are long isolated from all other sources of information. [p.171-172]
"...even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality—an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order—and that most of the humanitarian elements of our morals, the respect for human life, for the weak, and for the individual generally, will disappear....
"The moral consequences of totalitarian propaganda which we must now consider are, however, of an even more profound kind. They are destructive of all morals because theyundermine one of the foundations of all morals: the sense of and the respect for truth.
"...in order to induce people to accept the official values, these must be justified, or shown to be connected with the values already held by the people, which usually will involve assertions about causal connections between means and ends. ...people must be brought to agree not only with the ultimate aims but also with the views about the facts and possibilities on which the particular measures are based.[p.172]
"We have seen that agreement on that complete ethical code, that all-comprehensive system of values which is implicit in an economic plan, does not exist in a free society but would have to be created....
"And while the planning authority will constantly have to decide issues on merits about which there exist no definite moral rules [apart from the Bible], it will have to justify its decisions to the people—or, at least, have somehow to make the people believe that they are the right decisions....
"This process of creating a 'myth' to justify his action need not be conscious. ... So [the totalitarian leader] will readily embrace theories which seem to provide a rational justification for the prejudices which he shares with many of his fellows. Thus a pseudoscientific theory becomes part of the official creed which to a greater or lesser degree directs everybody’s action. [p.173]
"The need for such official doctrines... has been clearly foreseen by the various theoreticians of the totalitarian system.... They are all necessarily based on particular views about facts which are then elaborated into scientific theories in order to justify a preconceived opinion.
"The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they... have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognized.... The people are made to transfer their allegiance from the old gods to the new under the pretense that the new gods really are what their sound instinct had always told them but what before they had only dimly seen. And the most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are ... so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language....
"The worst sufferer in this respect is, of course, the word 'liberty.' It is a word used as freely in totalitarian states as elsewhere.... Dr. Karl Mannheim... warns us that 'a conception of freedom modeled on the preceding age is an obstacle to any real understanding of the problem. But his use of the word freedom is as misleading it is in the mouth of totalitarian politicians. Like their freedom, the 'collective freedom' he offers us is not the freedom of the members of society but the unlimited freedom of the planner to do with society what he pleases....[pps.174-175]
"In this particular case the perversion of the meaning of the word has, of course, been well prepared .... by many of the theoreticians of socialism. But 'freedom' or 'liberty' are by no means the only words whose meaning has been changed into their opposites to make them serve as instruments of totalitarian propaganda. We have already seen how the same happens to 'justice' and “law,' 'right' and 'equality.' The list could be extended until it includes almost all moral and political terms in general use.
"... the confusion becomes worse because this change of meaning of the words describing political ideals is not a single event but a continuous process, a technique employed consciously or unconsciously to direct the people....
"It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced. ... Since many parts of this code will never be explicitly stated... every act of the government, must become sacrosanct and exempt from criticism. If the people are to support the common effort without hesitation, they must be convinced that not only the end aimed at but also the means chosen are the right ones."[p.175]
"Facts and theories must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge—the schools and the press, radio and motion picture—will be used exclusively of to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cause doubt or hesitation will be withheld."[p.176]
(See endnote #38 in Saving the Earth)
This applies even to fields apparently most remote from any political interests and particularly to all the sciences, even the most abstract. That in the disciplines dealing directly with human affairs and therefore most immediately affecting political views, such as history, law or economics, the disinterested search for truth cannot be allowed.... These disciplines have, indeed, in all totalitarian countries become the most fertile factories of the official myths which the rulers use to guide the minds and wills of their subjects...." [p.176]
. The doctrines of the Positive Religion are now taught in the schools as a science which Comte called sociology. Sociology was to be the ruler science over all the other sciences and also the science of managing the world.... In a country that is supposed to be free,
"...we must yet be on our a guard not to dismiss .[these aberrations] as mere accidental by-products which have nothing to do with the essential character of a planned or totalitarian system....They are a direct result of that same desire to see everything directed by a 'unitary conception of the whole.'...
"Once science has to serve, not truth, but the interests of a class, a community or a state.... As the Nazi minister of justice has explained, the question which every new scientific theory must ask itself is: 'Do I serve National Socialism for the greatest benefit of all?'
"The word 'truth' itself ceases to have its old meaning. ...it becomes something to be laid down by authority, something which has to be believed in the interest of the unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.
"The general intellectual climate which this produces, the spirit of complete cynicism as regards truth which it engenders, the loss of the sense of even the meaning of truth, the disappearance of the spirit of independent inquiry.... Perhaps the most alarming fact is that contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith and who are acclaimed as intellectual leaders even in countries still under a liberal regime.
"Not only is even the worst oppression condoned if it is committed in the name of socialism, and the creation of a totalitarian system openly advocated by people who pretend to speak for the scientists of liberal countries; intolerance, too, is openly extolled...." [p.178]
"This view is, of course, practically indistinguishable from the views which led the Nazis to the persecution of men of science, the burning of scientific books, and the systematic eradication of the intelligentsia of the subjected people.
"The desire to force upon the people a creed which is regarded as salutary for them is, of course, not a thing that is new or peculiar to our time. New, however, is the argument by which many of our intellectuals try to justify such attempts." [p.179]
The tragedy of collectivist thought is that, while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason...."[p.180]
“...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth..." Ephesians 6:12-14
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See also Brainwashing and "Education Reform" | Communist Psychological Warfare
Smiling at Socialism & Scorning the Bible | Brainwashing in America