Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hayek on Zimbabwe

Posted by Simon Halliday | Friday, August 01, 2008 | Category: , , |

I have been reading Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, which I found in a bookshop in Florence the other day. I have been intending to read it for some time and was going to buy it in London in a few weeks until happening upon it at The Paperback Exchange.

Hayek says the following,
The whole system will tend towards that plebiscitarian dictatorship in which the head of government is from time to time confirmed in his position by popular vote, but where he has all the powers at his command to make certain that the vote will go in the direction of his desires.
Hayek, 2007: 109 of course that The Road to Serfdom was first published in 1944 and its main case study was Germany.

I know that Zim isn't meant to be a dictatorship, it is meant to be a democracy. However, that it is not a de facto democracy could be indicative of the fact that greater and greater centralization of power around one individual, around a presidency, or around one big man is not good for a country, nor for its democratic roots. It is by this centralization that, little by little, the democratic and liberal powers of the individual are taken away. This I would say, is typical Zimbabwe, straight up Bob Mugabe. This, I hope, is not what will happen in South Africa, even though Mbeki has focused more power in the presidency and the presidency itself is soon to be up for grabs...

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. Great analysis. I fear that South Africa is also on the road to serfdom, slowly but surely.