Think about the World Wide Web. The establishments of the world did not think in 1990 that anything like this would be possible. The basic communications technology existed, but until Tim Berners-Lee developed a system for setting up addresses on the Internet, the World Wide Web did not exist. The Web now is undermining establishments all over the world. Yet there are people who are convinced that the Web is itself a conspiracy, and the conspirators are somehow using the Web to gain control over the population. I realize that there are not many of these people, but I do get e-mails from time to time telling me that the Web is capable of being used effectively by the conspiracies against defenders of truth, justice, and the American way.
The problem is not the conspiracies; the problem is the corruption in the hearts of the people. The fact that the voters would allow and even promote the creation of the modern welfare state is indicative of the fact that larceny is in their hearts. It does no good to replace one conspiracy with another conspiracy if you leave the system intact that enables the conspiracies to gain power.
This goes back to the famous chapter 10 in F. A. Hayek’s book, The Road to Serfdom. The chapter is titled, “Why the Worst Get on Top.” Hayek argued that the modern socialist state, meaning the modern welfare state, encourages the worst people to get on top, because the worst people are the most successful in seeking and maintaining power.
Because central economic planning centralizes power, it grants to the state the right to confiscate the wealth of the public. We should not expect kindly people to be successful in the pursuit of power within such a system. We will find, and what we have found, is that the most ruthless people seek out the levers of power, precisely because the levers of power enable them to achieve their goal: control over other people.
. . . it is a moral obligation to preach and teach against the welfare state, because the welfare state is based on the principle of theft. It is based on the principle of the right of one group legally to extract wealth from another group. The moral foundation of the welfare state is corrupt.