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How about the following from his speech The Pretense of Knowledge. It's long but brilliant in my not so humble opinion:
"If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants. There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, "dizzy with success", to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society - a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals."

Here's my favorite...

"The problem is thus in no way solved if we can show that all the facts, if they were known to a single mind (as we hypothetically assume them to be given to the observing economist), would uniquely determine the solution; instead we must show how a solution is produced by the interactions of people each of whom possesses only partial knowledge. To assume all the knowledge to be given to a single mind in the same manner in which we assume it to be given to us as the explaining economists is to assume the problem away and to disregard everything that is important and significant in the real world."

Man is as much a rule-following animal as a purpose-seeking one.

— F. A. Hayek

I share a favorite with Pete:

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

One of my favorites as well Greg.

Hayek: So long as it is legitimate for government to use force to effect redistribution of material benefits – and this is the heart of socialism – there can be no curb on the rapacious instincts of all groups who want more for themselves.

Didn't keep track of where the quote came from, sorry.

I'll have to paraphrase because I don't have a copy of Fatal Conceit. He wrote something like this:

"Intelligence is highly overrated, especially by intelligent people."

I believe the first one is from LLL 2, ch.9.

“While an equality of rights under a limited government is possible and an essential condition of individual freedom, a claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.”

'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.

So many favourites, but my latest (admittedly quite lengthy) is as follows:

'This conception that all should be allowed to try has been largely replaced by the altogether different conception that all must be assured an equal start and the same prospects. This means little less than the government, instead of providing the same circumstances for all, should aim at controlling all conditions relevant to a particular individual's prospects and so adjust them to his capacities as to assure him of the same prospects as everybody else.


When we inquire into the justification of these demands, we find that they rest on the discontent that the success of some people often produces in those that are less successful, or, to put it bluntly, on envy. ... Recently an attempt was made to base these demands on the argument that it ought to be the aim of politics to remove all sources of discontent. This would, of course, necessarily mean that it is the responsibility of government to see that nobody is healthier or possesses a happier temperament, a better suited spouse or more prospering children, than anybody else. If really all unfulfilled desires have claim on the community, individual responsibility is at an end.'

McKinney, Steve is correct for your first quotation, p. 150:

For your second quotation, a number of Google hits attribute it to The Fatal Conceit, but I electronically borrowed it from and couldn't find it with searches on "highly" and "overrated":
(will ask for your Open Library login)

Will anyone deny that a world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the already powerful can acquire wealth?

"The more civilized we become, the more relatively ignorant must each individual be of the facts on which the working of his civilization depends. The very division of knowledge increases the necessary ignorance of the individual of most of this knowledge". Constitution of Liberty (I think pp.29)

The credit which the apparent conformity with recognized scientific standards can gain for seemingly simple but false theories may, as the present instance shows, have grave consequences.
I like the 'Emergencies' one as well.

An interesting, maybe unorthodox quote from Hayek comes from the oral history book of the University of California( While speaking on limitations on the governmental powers, he says:

“After all, there have been good dictators in the past; it's very unlikely that it will ever arise. But there may be one or two experiments where a dictator restores freedom, individual freedom.” (p. 165)

Unfortunately, Hayek does not elaborate on this very much. The only thing he says is that “(…) it will never be called a dictatorship; it may be a one-party system. (…) A kindly system and a one-party system. A dictator says, ‘I have 90 percent support among the people.’ " (p. 166)

I think this idea of dictatorship emerged in Hayek's thought in the late 70’s and early 80’s. There are two more interviews of Hayek dating back to 1981 where he mentions dictatorships. But again he does not go into further detail. What did he actually mean by this “kindly one-party system”? His use of the word “experiment” creates an air of uneasiness. Did he really think that transforming a dictatorship into some kind of “one-party system” would also transform its true nature? I don’t think he was so naïve to think that it would.

What Mark Blaug writes in his article “Hayek Revisited” may be relevant in this context:

“(…) why did his interest in the concept of spontaneous order and the history of the doctrine of unintended social consequences undergo very little development after the 1960s? All of his political writings are in fact amazingly repetitious, exploring a small number of big themes which, however, are not further refined or extended in new contexts. As organizing concepts, Hayek himself failed to realize them.” (p. 53)

I agree with Blaug that Hayek did become repetitious after 1960s. Although some of his writings on these issues are not articles in the ordinary sense but lectures, we can still notice repeating themes. For example, his “Economic Freedom and Representative Government” and “Whither Democracy?” are definitively the same in context. But again, why did he become repetitive?

George, My paraphrase was quite bad. I finally had time this morning to search for it and here's the real thing:

"The influence of rationalism has indeed been so profound and pervasive that, in general, the more intelligent an educated person is, the more likely he or she now is not only to be a rationalist, but also to hold socialist views (regardless of whether he or she is sufficiently doctrinal to attach to his or her viewsany label, including `socialist'). The higher we climb up the ladder of intelligence, the more we talk with intellectuals, the more likely we areto encounter socialist convictions. Rationalists tend to be intelligent andintellectual; and intelligent intellectuals tend to be socialists….

"One’s initial surprise at finding that intelligent people tend to be socialists diminishes when one realises that, of course, intelligent people overvalue intelligence, and suppose that we must owe all the advantages and opportunities that our civilisation offers to deliberate design…"..ather than to following traditional rules, and likewise to suppose that we can, by exercising our reason, eliminate any remaining undesired features by still more intelligent reflection, and stillmore appropriate design and `rational coordination' of our undertakings. This leads one to be favourably disposed to the central economic planning and control that lie at the heart of socialism. Of course intellectuals will demand explanations for everything they are expectedto do, and will be reluctant to accept practices just because they happen to govern the communities into which they happen to have been born; and this will lead them into conflict with, or at least to a low opinion of, those who quietly accept prevailing rules of conduct. Moreover, they also understandably will want to align themselves with science and reason, and with the extraordinary progress made by the physical sciences during the past several centuries, and since they have been taught that constructivism and scientism are what science and the useof reason are all about, they find it hard to believe that there can exist any useful knowledge that did not originate in deliberate experimentation, or to accept the validity of any tradition apart from their own tradition of reason. Thus a distinguished historian has written in this vein: Tradition is almost by definition reprehensible, something to be mocked and deplored' (Seton-Watson, 1983:1270). pages 52-54

"The real question, therefore, is not whether man is, or ought to be, guided by selfish motives but whether we can allow him to be guided in his actions by those immediate consequences which we can know and care for or whether he ought to be made to do what seems appropriate to somebody else who is supposed to possess a fuller comprehension of the significance of these actions to society as a whole."

IEO p. 14

Alberto Mingardi has penned a nice piece in the Weekend Wall Street Journal in honor of the 20th anniversary of Hayek's death.

I post a different Hayek quote about every day on my FriedrichHayek Twitter feed:

Kudos, Greg, for all your efforts on behalf of Hayek.

Thanks Jerry.

Greg Ransom,
for how long have studied hayek and his works? you seem to know them like the back of your hand.

"If we were to apply the unmodified, uncurbed, rules of the micro-cosmos (i.e., of the small band or troop, or of, say, our families) to the macro-cosmos (our wider civilization), as our instincts and sentimental yearnings often make us wish to do, we would destroy it. Yet if we were always to apply the rules of the extended order to our more intimate groupings, we would crush them. So we must learn to live in two sorts of worlds at once." – The Fatal Conceit

I wish I knew, but I was puzzeled by the time, in fact I did not believe it would succeed so much so. That, while I spent a year analyzing in great detail his earlier book "The Treatries on Money", and then only to hear by the time that second part of my critic was published, "Whell I no longer believe in all that". I did not want to invest more time in critisyzing the General Theory, whose success is still a puzzle to me. Because it reverted to very primitive ideas which were refuted in the 19th century, that there is a single relation in agregate demand and total level of unemployment.

Another of my faves, Troy. In fact, it's the theme of my still-in-progress book on classical liberalism and the family.

From _The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism_ pp. 103-4:

Under government patronage the monetary system has grown to great complexity, but so little private experimentation and selection among alternative means has ever been permitted that we still do not quite know what good money could be--or how good it could be. Nor is such interference and monopoly a recent creation: it occurred almost as soon as coinage was adopted as a generally accepted medium of exchange. Though an indispensable requirement for the functioning of an extensive order of cooperation of free people, money has almost from its first appearance been so shamelessly abused by governments that it has become the prime source of disturbance of all self-ordering processes in the extended order of human cooperation. The history of government management of money has, except for a few short happy periods, been one of incessant fraud and deception. In this respect, governments have proven far more immoral than any private agency suuplying distinct kinds of money in competition possibly could have been.

"woodenheaded laissez-faire" :)

Page 1 of Chapter 1 of Individualism and Economic Order -- the very first sentence:
"To advocate any clear-cut principles of social order is today an almost certain way to incur the stigma of being an unpractical doctrinaire."

Plus one I find a little more humorous but still very true:
"From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step."

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