“Under socialism, production is entirely directed by the orders of the central board of production management,” explained Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), sociologist, philosopher and Austrian School economist.
Under central planning, intrinsically, the few do the planning while the many are required to become cogs in what Mises called an “industrial army,” a herd of individuals without authentic individuality who are well-trained to be yielding and unimaginative, “bound to obey his superior’s orders.”
The problem, aside from this lack of freedom and power for the majority, is the limited knowledge, an inescapable shortcoming, among the planners and societal designers.
As F. A. Hayek explained in his book The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”
We see, for instance, how little the central planners really knew over the past half century about the military victories and nation building they imagined they could centrally design in Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
We saw, too, how Hillary Clinton in 1993, with a severe case of fatal conceit, self-importantly imagined how she could successfully redesign the entire American healthcare system by holding a series of closed-door meetings with a small cadre of Ivy League academics who had basically no medical knowledge, limited business experience, and no real appreciation of the central role that individual incentives and personal sovereignty play in a free and decentralized society, for both healthcare providers and healthcare consumers.
The resulting health reform plan was a top-down, command-and-control system, simultaneously coercive, punitive, complex, politically naïve and economically destructive, the core of which was a mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage for all their employees, regardless of their ability of pay.
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