Henry Farrell spells "Hitler" thus: "Hilter!!!!". It is actually: "Hilter!!1!". The "1" is very important here...
Judt and Hayek — Crooked Timber: A few months ago, Tyler Cowen argued that Tony Judt had been unfair to Hayek in his final book.
it doesn’t show Judt in such an overwhelmingly favorable light. He is cranky, unfair to his intellectual opponents, and he repeatedly misrepresents thinkers such as Hayek on some fairly simple points. … One does not have to agree with Hayek’s Road to Serfdom to find this an unfair characterization:
Hayek is quite explicit on this count: if you begin with welfare policies of any sort — directing individuals, taxing for social ends, engineering the outcomes of market relationships — you will end up with Hitler.
But is that actually so unfair?… I re-read Hayek’s own introduction to the US edition…. [Hayek] very explicitly claims that the paternalist welfare state is creating the conditions under which (unless the policy is changed or reversed) totalitarianism will blossom, reducing the populace (as described in the bit of Tocqueville that Hayek quotes) into a “flock of timid and industrial animals, of which government is the shepherd,” which will surely sooner or later come under the control of “any group of ruffians.”
More tersely: Welfare Statism=Inevitable Long Term Moral Decline=Hilter! ! ! !
Hayek surely had his moments of brilliant insight, but this wasn’t one of them – for all his protestations of anti-conservatism it’s a fundamentally conservative, and rather idiotic claim. I don’t think that Judt was being unfair at all.