Socialism as Primitivism
By Arnold Kling
Hayek told his rapt audience that the old values of the hunting band still had their allure, including the urge to share everything when value could not be stored…
Members of the audience actually gasped when Hayek referred to Socialism as ‘atavistic’ – the reversion to an older, more primitive form. Many of the students had thought that Socialism was modern and scientific, and could perhaps bring rational order to a chaotic and unjust world. Now here was Hayek equating it with a primitive instinct, inferior to the learned rules which had enabled human society to develop.
“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” is actually a slogan for a primitive tribe. “From each according to his comparative advantage, to each according to his tastes” would be a better description of the vast, decentralized market economy.
For Discussion. In what ways do political beliefs reflect behavior in a family or tribal setting?