Book Review: The Open Society and Its Enemies, 60 Yale Law Journal 1443 (1951)
DURING the Years of the Cold War it is well to remember the ancient
Chinese proverb: the first result of any war is that the adversaries adopt
each other's vices.
Today when the Open Society and its Enemies are locked in a bitter struggle,
it is painful to record how, step by step, each antagonist takes on the worst
features of its adversary. The Communist totalitarians who once denounced
capitalism for its huge expenditures on armaments, for its imperial control
of "backward" areas, for its long working hours, for its government control
of labor unions, and for the wide disparities in its income structure, now
copy each of the vices they once denounced. And the champions of the Open
Society so quickly forget how they once denounced the totalitarianism of
peace-time conscription, state control of wages and prices, government by
executive order, iron curtains blocking the once-free movement of human
beings across national boundaries, and all the techniques that have been
developed since the Inquisition and the Star Chamber to eradicate what the
Japanese Government used to call Dangerous Thoughts.
Date of Authorship for this Version
government, communism, capitalism
Cohen, Felix S., "Book Review: The Open Society and Its Enemies" (1951). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4365.