The Road to Totalitarianism by Henry Hazlitt

In spite of the obvious ultimate objective of the masters of Russia to communize and conquer the world, and in spite of the frightful power which such weapons as guided missiles and atomic and hydrogen bombs may put in their hands, the greatest threat to American liberty today comes from within. It is the threat of a growing and spreading totalitarian ideology.

Totalitarianism in its final form is the doctrine that the government, the state, must exercise total control over the individual. The American College Dictionary, closely following Webster’s Collegiate, defines totalitarianism as “pertaining to a centralized form of government in which those in control grant neither recognition nor tolerance to parties of different opinion.”

Now I should describe this failure to grant tolerance to other parties not as the essence of totalitarianism, but rather as one of its consequences or corollaries. The essence of totalitarianism is that the group in power must exercise total control. Its original purpose (as in communism) may be merely to exercise total control over “the economy.” But “the state” (the imposing name for the clique in power) can exercise total control over the economy only if it exercises complete control over imports and exports, over prices and interest rates and wages, over production and consumption, over buying and selling, over the earning and spending of income, over jobs, over occupations, over workers — over what they do and what they get and where they go — and finally, over what they say and even what they think.

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Health Premiums Up 50 Percent From 2003 to 2010 – Report By Sophie Quinton

Health insurance premiums rose by an average of 50 percent nationwide from 2003 to 2010, the Commonwealth Fund found in a report released on Thursday. And costs went up even more for people covered at work—employee contributions to annual premiums increased by 63 percent, the report found.

The average family health insurance plan cost an average of $13,871 a year in 2010, the report found. Annual premiums rose in every state over the seven years from 33 percent in Idaho to 70 percent in Mississippi.

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Today’s Toon

Michigan county exec feeds seniors slop to pay enormous severance packages

Quote of the Day 11/26/11

“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist