There’s what you would expect:
“A complex economy is something no person or institution can understand.”
“To Hayek, this is what socialism, communism, and collectivism—he makes little distinction between them—mean: the dangerous illusion of perfectibility.”
But also this:
“Plainly, transparently—and in stark contrast to many modern conservative intellectuals—he (sic Hayek) is a man concerned with human freedom. One of the unexpected things in Road is that he writes with passion against class privilege.”
You don’t have to get into bed with leftist utopianism to see that all groups of people tend to serve their own interests, regardless of ideological bent…and that this can eventually pose a threat to individual freedoms. Perhaps the American right is being a little mystic with regard to Hayek, though Larner probably has his own motivations as well.
Larner points out the limits of Hayek’s ideas (and genius). Beyond his central insights, Hayek was also deeply influenced by romanticism, possessed a rather mystic approach to law…both encompassed by a deep commitment to individualism.
I’d also point out that there is standard German Idealism at work here, as well as the times: A hard, unyielding right and a utopian left in an embrace that later fell apart into chaos. It’s understandable that Hayek was desperate to create a platform upon which to save individual liberty.
Anyways, food for thought.
See Also: Friedrich Hayek Discussion On Bloggingheads. Bruce Caldwell discusses his new book on Hayek.