"The principle that the end justifies the means is
in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals.
In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
The Road to Serfdom (1944)
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- jim k, austin      
Editor, thank you. This quote is really a definitive separation between the Constitutional Republic's founders and today's ruling mentality.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    It is hard enough for one person to become wise much less the collective. Generally the collective is dumb -- very dumb -- and will buy any promise thrown to them if they think it will benefit them financially. That is why a free country is held together not by the government but by the principles of the People themselves. But each coming generation must learn these lessons or else pay the price. Those that wish to rule us will not teach us how to avoid their snares.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    I suspect collectivist ethics is either an extremely shallow subject or an oxymoron.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
  • 2
    Which ethics is of the higher good. I often sense the use of this strategem from individuals, hell look at the last election, all those means used to get elected now McCain is buddy, buddy with the guy he called a socialist and terrorist sypathizer. Since the means did not work and Obama got elected any way what the heck might as well be friends with the guy you lied about!
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 3
    So, Waffler, you believe that socialism believes that the end justifies the means?
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 1
    Characteristically, human beings are Virtuous individually, not collectively, though a truly exemplary example supplied by one can become a source of inspiration for the many, since the most sublime possible instructor is a Virtuous example.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
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