Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quote Of The Day, I

"The British prime minister was well acquainted with what she called 'the remarkable success of the Chilean economy', describing it as 'a striking example of economic reform from which we can learn many lessons'. Yet despite her admiration for Pinochet, when Hayek first suggested that she emulate his shock therapy policies, Thatcher was far from convinced. In February 1982, the prime minister bluntly explained the problem in a private letter to her intellectual guru: 'I am sure you will agree that, in Britain with our democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent, some of the measures adopted in Chile are quite unacceptable. Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow." -
Naomi Klein, 'The Shock Doctrine', Page 131.
The letter is apparently dated 17/02/1982, and is contained box 101, folder 26 of the Hayek Collection, Hoover Institution Archive, Palo Alto, Ca.
It would be interesting to see it, to determine whether or not Thatcher considered that the Chileans were entitled to a high degree of consent before - nah, they just got murdered by Pinochet's secret police.
Friedrich von Hayek was a Mitteleuropan hack scribbler who saw the British Establishment coming, rubbing his hands at its rapaciousness; a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for men in Savile Row suits. Thatcher's reported senility means that she will not have to answer any questions about her attraction to his ideas, which, like so much else of Mitteleuropan origin, seemed to need the spilling of blood to become a reality - but we can make her followers and her political heirs in the Conservative Party fidget a little.


Blogger James Higham said...

You're not a Maggie fan?

24 September, 2009 22:29  

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