F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom is one of the great modern works of political and social theory. British MP Daniel Hannan's The New Road to Serfdom won't achieve the same level of greatness, but for the next few generations it's far more urgent. Hayek predicted the Western democracies would gradually give up freedom in exchange for government control and "security"; Hannan shows how the European nations are already there, and warns Americans not to follow.
Individual states in the U. S., he observes, have more actual political power than whole countries in the Eurpean Union, but they still have less sovereignty than they once did. What makes America different from other nations is that almost all its inhabitants (or their ancestors) chose to become citizens. This legacy of personal choice is what led the Founders to predicate our democratic republic on ideals of freedom, collective decision-making, and independence.
Some of his assertions are suprising coming from an outsider—Americans believe them, but we don't really think anyone else does, especially when we get such a bad rep in the international media. Like his chapter "American Democracy Works," a claim even many Americans are questioning, which is exactly why Hannan wrote this book. If we don't turn from our path of European imitation it won't be long before that path broadens to a road that leads only to truncated liberties and State-slavery.
In the illuminating final chapter, he admits a Brit writing in praise of the country that broke from his motherland is odd, but goes on to say that the liberties he wants America to preserve and cherish are exactly the ones the people of England had enjoyed. British political thinking has a long and venerable past, and the Isles have often been the experimental laboratory of Western nations, the place where theories become policy and are tested on the population. America was such an experiment; how can we let it die, stifled in the incubator of socialist collectivism and vanished freedoms?