A Planned Society and the Rule of Law

To say that in a planned society the Rule of Law cannot hold is, therefore, not to say that the actions of the government will not be legal or that such a society will necessarily be lawless. It means only that the use of the government’s coercive powers will no longer be limited and determined by pre-established rules. The law can, and to make a central direction of economic activity possible must, legalize what to all intents and purposes remains arbitrary action. If the law says that such a board or authority may do what it pleases, anything that board or authority does is legal – but its actions are certainly not subject to the Rule of Law.F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom.

Health Choices Commissioner, “pay czars”, the Kelo decision, bail outs! To this layperson all of it seem so, well, arbitrary. It’s as if we in the U.S. are moving toward a system where just about anything can be justified because some government official says that it should be so. It’s all for the greater good, right? What are pesky little things like individuals and predictable rules in the face of all that wonderful greater goodness?