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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 75 of William Easterly’s excellent 2013 book, The Tyranny of Experts (footnote deleted):

In 1944 [John Bell] Condliffe received a book to review that would crystallize further what he had observed in China. Reviewing Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, he observed that “the essential condition of effective planning is that the planners must be prepared to dragoon those who do not fit into their plans.” Planners could not allow individual rights, because the plan could only work if individuals followed the plan. Condliffe joined Hayek against the idea “that in some mysterious fashion the concentration of all power, political and economic, in the hands of those who control the State machinery will endow them with wisdom to direct the affairs of men better than they can direct them for themselves.” Condliffe understood that unchecked state power was one of the root causes of poverty, not one of the solutions. He closed his review by mocking the new bureaucratic machinery of the World Bank and other postwar international organizations, which offer “the apocalyptic vision of a new heaven and a new earth by reason of the apotheosis of the bureaucrat, as a result of which all the troubles which now vex us will pass away.”

DBx: Economist John Bell Condliffe (1891-1981, pictured here) reviewed The Road to Serfdom in the December 1944 issue of Think. I cannot find this review on-line.

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