Benito Mussolini and Franklin D. Roosevelt

I gave two quotes last week and asked who said them. There were a number of answers and two people got both right.

Those who got it right were:

Steve Fritzinger

Steve Horwitz

The first quote was from Mussolini, the second from Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Now here’s why I asked. I hear people say often that the more complex a society, the more we need government to plan. As I wrote in the original post, Hayek argued that the opposite is true. I agree with Hayek.

I had seen the Mussolini quote many times. Indeed, the first place I saw it was at the start of a chapter of The Road to Serfdom. The chapter is titled “The ‘Inevitability’ of Planning.” Even if you don’t read or reread the whole book, I recommend reading that chapter to see Hayek’s argument.

Here’s part of Hayek’s argument:

Far from being appropriate only to comparatively simple conditions, it is the very complexity of the division of labor under modern conditions which makes competition the only method by which such coordination can be adequately brought about.

I hadn’t known of the FDR quote until someone suggested on Facebook that I read FDR’s 2nd inaugural address. That’s where I found the quote.


In researching this, I found someone on the Daily Kos admitting, and being troubled by, FDR’s admiration for Mussolini.



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Coming soon, to a country near you

But let’s start with the UK: The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen 96% since the peak of the pandemic, official data reveals. Hospital staff are now treating just 700 coronavirus patients a day in England, compared to about 17,000 a day during the middle of April, according to NHS England. Last […]

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Monday assorted links

1. How safe is it to fly? (Bloomberg) 2. What is the share of the population with preexisting immunity?  Recommended. 3. And excellent David Wallace-Wells piece on the spread of herd immunity ideas and T-cell immunity (as more significant than had been thought) throughout the scientific community.  Also recommended. 4. Obesity and corruption. 5. Male […]

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