Reading Frederick Hayek

I have heard mention of that name many, many times. People seem to have worshipped his writings of hated them. His writings seem to be semi-quoted all the time about the processes of Government. According to what I have read, he wrote a famous tome called ‘The Road to Serfdom”.

After a struggle, I managed to find a PDF reproduction of ‘The Road to Serfdom’ and started to read it. I am 50 pages into around 250 pages.

As is usual with such tomes, the information is quite dense. It is not easy reading. What makes things worse is that it was written in 1943.

Here is the URL:

You should note the word ‘Philosophy’ in the link. That word is a bit misleading. Hayek was not noted as a philosopher – he was first and foremost an economist.

What has struck me, in the first few pages, is the similarity to ‘The Gulag Archipelago’. I do not mean the incarceration of ‘refusnicks’. I mean the hardening of ‘freedom’ to mean ‘free from’.

‘Freedom’ means ‘free to’. ‘Free from’ is not freedom at all. Hayek mentions those ideas, but don’t expect me to quote – too early. ‘Free From’ is not ‘freedom’ at all. It is tyranny. The logic is that ‘inequality’ is normal and natural. Imposing ‘equality’ needs tyranny. Total equality can only be introduced by, for example, in economic terms, taking income and wealth from those who produce it and spreading them around.

Fine, but what inducement exists for clever people to create income and wealth if they are snatched away from them and spread around? Why should anyone bother?

The whole philosophy of Tobacco Control is dependant upon ‘taking away’ (smoke-free). It ‘gives’ nothing at all. And there is a reason for that. At best, TC POSTPONES morbidity and mortality, to the great cost to Society.

Even in the first 50 pages, Hayek exposes how Socialist ‘Utopia’ depends upon  ‘conformity’ and ‘lack of enterprise’.

Enough for tonight.


3 Responses to “Reading Frederick Hayek”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    An economist is a philosopher that has facts and numbers to back up his musings.

    Oh nooooo, you re not doing Hayek.
    Next will come Friedman and then Sowell.
    You will be lost in the endless readings and lectures of the conservative economists.

    You are doomed to wondering the streets seeking the few knowledgeable folks that can discuss such influential thinkers.
    Note: I will be at the corner of A street and 2nd avenue, doing the same thing.

    That is the bad part, the good part is that they explain economics in plain language and not with mind numbing charts and maths.

    • garyk30 Says:

      Thomas Sowell’s ‘Basic Economics’ A Common Sense Guide to the Economy’ is 650 pages of explanations with out a chart or formula.

      His ‘intellectuals and Society’ is about 550 pages of easily read statements without a single chart or mathematical gibberish.

      • junican Says:

        “650 pages” – LOL!. 650 pages is ‘common sense’?

        I think that we have already met on the corner of A Street and 2nd Avenue many times, but passed each other by with a courteous “How do you do?”

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