On The Road to Serfdom

It is time to dust off your copy of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek and begin praying, as one of the most egregious threats to our freedoms heads to court this week.

Hayek, a Nobel Prize winning economist, wrote the book during the Second World War as a warning against Socialism and its cousins Fascism, National Socialism (Nazism), and Communism. As a European citizen he had watched as 18 of the 28 European democracies in place at the end of the First World War had lost their freedoms to become authoritarian or totalitarian nations. He identified the processes by which freedom was lost, calling it The Road to Serfdom. These processes are still as work today, threatening our freedoms even in America.

The slippery slope to slavery begins with good intentions to meet demands for justice, fairness, or some other good cause. Democracies, being messy and slow to act, begin to turn over their legislative functions to bureaucrats who are believed to be wiser and more efficient. It then falls to unelected government officials to pick winners and losers. And to limit individual freedoms to force compliance with their rulings. In the end the government eliminates constitutional limits on its power, shutting out democratic input and eliminating individual rights.

We are witnessing such a drama play out with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week. Originally conceived as a “Good idea”, it was given dictatorial powers when organized. Almost immediately the CFPB began making rulings in areas prohibited by its organizing statute, claiming that it was not accountable to the U.S. Congress. Now the head of the CFPB is claiming that he can appoint an interim director in defiance of Presidential authority. If the counts agree, the CFPB will not be answerable to the Congress, the President, or the courts. In effect we will have a dictator who can control the entire American economy.

When the people of ancient Israel wanted a king to solve their problems, God warned them against the abuses of authoritarian government (1 Samuel 8:11-17). Samuel spoke to them about abuse of power, economic cronyism, high taxes, and, 3000 years before Hayek, the end result of slavery. The Israelites marched down the Road to Serfdom because they had rejected God as their King (1 Samuel 8:7), and America is in great danger of following that same path to tyranny.

Let us pray that our courts will protect us from dictatorial government power and our Congress will take back its constitutional authority to make our laws. We also pray that the eyes of our people will be opened to the threats to our freedom, and that they will repent and return to the Author of our freedom.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” –John 8:31-32

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