Secretary Ray Lahood, Meet Friedrich Hayek

The federal bureaucrat who intends to "coerce people out of their cars" needs to read Friedrich August von Hayek and be tutored in government coercion.

As noted in the American Thinker yesterday,

Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood told a group of reporters at the National Press Club on Thursday that he wants to "coerce people out of their cars."

In his book The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Friedrich Hayek mentions the sort of coercion Lahood promises.

"The question then is how to secure the greatest possible freedom for all. This can be secured by uniformly restricting the freedom of all by abstract rules that preclude arbitrary or discriminatory coercion by or of other people, that prevent any from invading the free sphere of any other. In short, common concrete ends are replaced by common abstract rules. Government is needed only to enforce those abstract rules, and thereby to protect the individual against coercion, or invasion of his free sphere by others. Whereas enforced obedience to common concrete ends is tantamount to slavery, obedience to common abstract rules (however burdensome they may still feel) provides scope for the most extraordinary freedom and diversity although it is sometimes supposed that such diversity brings chaos threatening the relative order that we also associate with civilization, it turns out that greater diversity brings greater order." (pp. 63-64)

Unbeknownst to Secretary Lahood, he works in a federal government tasked by the Constitution to protect citizens from coercion, not to "coerce people out of their cars."  The scope of Secretary Lahood's ignorance concerning the government's role reference coercion is absolutely breathtaking.

So, from many of us to you, sir, this message: You will have to pry our steering wheels loose from our cold, dead hands.

[Hat tip: Charlton Heston] 


The federal bureaucrat who intends to "coerce people out of their cars" needs to read Friedrich August von Hayek and be tutored in government coercion.

As noted in the American Thinker yesterday,

Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood told a group of reporters at the National Press Club on Thursday that he wants to "coerce people out of their cars."

In his book The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Friedrich Hayek mentions the sort of coercion Lahood promises.

"The question then is how to secure the greatest possible freedom for all. This can be secured by uniformly restricting the freedom of all by abstract rules that preclude arbitrary or discriminatory coercion by or of other people, that prevent any from invading the free sphere of any other. In short, common concrete ends are replaced by common abstract rules. Government is needed only to enforce those abstract rules, and thereby to protect the individual against coercion, or invasion of his free sphere by others. Whereas enforced obedience to common concrete ends is tantamount to slavery, obedience to common abstract rules (however burdensome they may still feel) provides scope for the most extraordinary freedom and diversity although it is sometimes supposed that such diversity brings chaos threatening the relative order that we also associate with civilization, it turns out that greater diversity brings greater order." (pp. 63-64)

Unbeknownst to Secretary Lahood, he works in a federal government tasked by the Constitution to protect citizens from coercion, not to "coerce people out of their cars."  The scope of Secretary Lahood's ignorance concerning the government's role reference coercion is absolutely breathtaking.

So, from many of us to you, sir, this message: You will have to pry our steering wheels loose from our cold, dead hands.

[Hat tip: Charlton Heston]