Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hayek on Grillo?

While re-reading Hayek I could not help but thinking of the new political forces emerging in European politics such as the Grillo Movement in Italy and Piraten Partei in Germany. Here's what Hayek says in the Road to Serfdom (Ch. 8): 'The resentment of the lower middle class, from which fascism and National Socialism recruited so large a proportion of their supporters, was intensified by the fact that their education and training had in many instances made them aspire to directing positions and that they regarded themselves as entitled to be members of the directing class.' According to Hayek, frustration of their ambition led them to embrace fascism. There are some interesting parallels in that both Piraten Partei and Grillo Movement have many supporters with university degrees. This is speculation, but many of them may feel cheated by the fact that today a university degree does not guarantee a privileged social or economic position anymore. Moreover, these movements have very little by way of an actual political program. Their main impetus is that they dislike the status quo (which is denying them the recognition they think they deserve) and that they want to send the current political elites packing (presumably to take up the privileged positions thus vacated). Often these movements are described as closer to the left than to the right. But I wonder if that is actually true.

See also this earlier post.

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