All I Want for Christmas is “The Road to Serfdom”?


Happy December! ‘Tis officially the season to participate in the capitalist creation that is Christmas time.

Before anyone freaks out on me for saying that, let’s acknowledge the obvious. Christmas is supposed to be a whole lot more than buying and getting presents. It’s supposed to be about spending quality time with loved ones and, even more importantly, celebrating exactly how much God loves us.

Neither gift should ever be taken lightly. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Admittedly, acknowledging the obvious makes for a really awkward transition. However, here goes anyway…

It’s a fact that people go a little or even a ton overboard when it comes to showing their appreciation for family and friends this time of year. Their… ummm… “enthusiasm” makes for a retailer’s dreamscape and a first-world economic marvel that takes tons of business from sustainable to truly worthwhile for the year.

This talk about capitalism, buying and selling might have you thinking we’re revisiting our business book-writing or personal finance book-writing categories as we wind down the year.

If so, it’s an understandable mistake considering the connections. Really though, we’re delving into a topic that technically covers them both.

In other words, this week, we’re fully focused on writing a book on economics.

Why could writing a book on economics be a good use of your intellectual time?

F.A. Hayek, author of The Road to Serfdom, could perhaps best answer that question for you. But since he’s dead, I’ll take the liberty of taking a stab at it first.

Economics Books:

It’s amazing how nuanced or expansive you can get by exploring a topic. For example, this week, we’re moving past the business genre and finance and money genre to what could be considered a subset or expansion of either: the economics genre.

According to Dictionary.com, economics is “the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.” So if you’re writing an economics book, you’re exploring the hows and whys of all that.

This makes writing a book on economics a multifaceted study:

  • You’re at least acknowledging, if not analyzing and explaining, human nature.

  • You’re at least acknowledging, if not analyzing and explaining, politics.

  • You’re at least acknowledging, if not analyzing and explaining, social and societal interactions.

  • You’re at least acknowledging, if not analyzing and explaining, philosophy.

So if you’re writing a book on economics, you’re acknowledging, if not analyzing and explaining, a lot.

If you want a worthwhile influence while writing a book on economics, I give you the aforementioned F.A. Hayek.

Arguably the most notable economics book writer of all time, his The Road to Serfdom is an utterly fascinating critique of and proposed solution to word wars, since World War II was even then playing out.

The Road to Serfdom deliberately and noticeably explores historical events, philosophical trends, political movements and so much more in order to explain the economic structure Hayek wanted to promote.

For the record, that economic structure was capitalism, which you may or may not agree with. Also for the record, you are more than welcome to write an economics book that promotes socialism, something in between the two, or something completely different.

Again, economics is a diverse and wide-ranging subject.

But – and this is where a “but” is allowed – you can still learn a lot from Hayek’s attempt to comprehensively cover as much of the economic sphere as possible to support his thesis.

And isn’t supporting and promoting your thesis the whole point of writing a book on economics?

Thursday’s Writing Challenge would argue yes.

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