A Book Review By DICK MORRIS of The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America by Daniel Hannan
From the clutches of European Socialism comes the warning cry of Dan Hannan, a Conservative member of the European Parliament from Britain. Hannan, who achieved celebrity in the United States for his pithy denunciations of statism, celebrates what is magnificent in the American example and warns us against letting it be subsumed by a growing government and Obama-esque socialism.
He takes the issues we wrestle with every day and points out how the Obama Administration is leading us down the primrose path to the extinction of the free market/free enterprise system. Playing off the seminal work The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek, published in the 1940s, he puts our current battles with Obama into the context of the overall need to defend freedom.
But Hannan does a lot more. He reminds us how unique America is. He describes how our optimism, hard work, thrift, ambition, flexibility, and adaptability is without parallel in the world. He itemizes our exceptionalism and warns against the leveling impulse of those who, like our President, neither perceive it nor want to preserve it
From across the ocean, Hannan really offers a modern day version not only of Hayek’s work but of de Tocqueville’s Democracy In America, his portrait of the early nineteenth century United States. Just as de Tocqueville could use his European frame of reference to articulate what was special about the United States, so does Hannan. The result is a book that reminds us that what we take for granted, we should not.
He underscores how socialism aims not just to change our economy, but to change us. It seeks to make us into a timid, pessimistic, frightened, dependent people only to eager to sign away their ambition and freedom in return for three square meals a day and a roof over our heads. He warns that socialism conditions us to be guilty and to rein in all that makes us, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “the last best hope of Earth.”
Next week, we go to the polls to determine if Hannan’s fears are justified. A reading of his book between now and then will make it crystal clear to everyone who touches his volume what it is that we are fighting for.