The author’s main argument is to show the reader how the World War II brought out positive effects to the people who survived the war and the nation, Britain because their lives changed positively on contrary to what they were experiencing before the war.
Hayek supports his main argument by giving different examples; he states that the unpleasant memories of the war were wiped away by a romance patina shown to the natives, which was extraordinary. Besides, the war provided a strong purpose and meaning, whereby even though the people were subjected to a lot of suffering in the hands of the external identifiable enemy, their intentions of the enemy turned out to be a whole nation overriding purpose to thwart. Additionally, Hayek writes that a preeminent and unified national goal gave respite from the peacetime cacophony of social division, bickering, and complaint as well as national privation that was positively received by the survivors of the war. On top of this, the author states that the war had instantaneously developed a nostalgia with a transcendent and unity purpose that was prevailing during those years, with the population physically enough to question on the kind of the mood that prevailed in to peace that came after, showing that after the war peace was experienced by the residents of the nation (Hayek, 12).
Furthermore, the author says that according to the Beveridge Report that stated that, they want for the people could have undergone an abolishment in Britain before the start of the war that the British people available income will be ample for the natives desirable goals purpose through dividing the income cake of the nation into many equal slices by redistributive taxation means thus through the war the will of people was achieved and politics was developed creating a way for achieving the peoples wish, hence every individual worry on the effects of creation of wealth or in any case any other form of adverse effects was wiped away as a result of World War II. Moreover, the writing by Gorge Orwell, which was published just before the report of Beveridge, stated that all matters facing the nation and the people were uniformly straightforward. For instance, “Socialism” described as a common production means of ownership, as well as “crudely” defined as the state, a whole nation representation, owning everything, and everyone was made an employee of a state (Hayek, 11). Hence, during and after the war socialism was seen as a way of solving national problems of consumption and production through simply calculating the goods that were required and putting national efforts in producing them, with production being limited on the number of raw materials and labor available. Overall, all the given evidence showed that unity prevailed after the war.
Most importantly, as depicted by the author, a few equally easy means helped in bringing a better more equitable and just society compared to what was experienced before the war, for example, there was nationalization of major industries, banks, railways, mines, and land as well as incomes limitation on a defined scale whereby the highest income earner did not show a great margin in regards to the lowest. Besides, there was an educational system reform through democratic lines by prohibiting private education thus learners received similar education. Thus the war brought about uniform treatment on the people who survived it.
I disagree with Hayek on his argument that the World War II resulted to positive effects because he states that by the time Orwell published his work, his philosophy on collectivist, which was against the exaggerations painted on the positive effects of the outcomes of the World War II as an intellectual orthodoxy that any Britain would dissent, different arguments and evidences were given by other writers like Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw, on their incontrovertible acceptance that was obviously true that poverty turned out to be the inescapable consequence of the war and that “one person’s wealth was another individual’s destitution.” In addition, John Ruskin had developed his argument stating that a labor market was both a misery and unnecessary production arguing that various wages were set in reference to an abstract meaning that all the wages were determined by the job value conception resulting to irrational, unjust, and often harsh variations that the people were exposed to (Hayek, 44).
Additionally, in proving that the war did not bring out positive effects, Ruskin wrote that there are still jobs with wages that a fixed by an estimated moral appropriateness notion. For example, Ruskin observed that the United States president salary is not usually set in reference to the labor market vagaries, nor set according to the number of candidates for the post, which sometimes results to the wage being doubled or halved, showing that the wages in the United States are not fixed and have not until today ceased to be the determining factor (Hayek, 23). Through this way, the economy is being demonetized, with the impersonal money medium being taken in the services and goods allocation through political connection and personal influence.
According to Hayek, he thought he had noticed a very important change with the British people’s character. For example, he noticed a shift in the moral concerns of the people. Additionally in his view, he explained that it was the world as a whole or the state of society that absorbed the moral passion and not their personal conduct. However, it is with a lot of doubt whether the approach of 50 years in relation to collectivism has led to higher moral standards or if the change stated has been directed to the opposite direction, he explains. For example, it is the city council’s duty to ensure the cities are kept clean and therefore, my personal actions towards this responsibility is considered morally irrelevant. He included the sense of irony and it caused inheritance of limitations of people’s existence. From Hayek’s description of the British, one can tell that they have sadly changed. All they want is uniformity according to him and in case of anything they are ready to impose informally.
Hayek, Friedrich August. The road to serfdom: Text and documents: The definitive edition. Routledge, 2014.
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