Repost-Jesse Larner In Dissent Magazine: Who’s Afraid Of Friedrich Hayek? The Obvious Truths And Mystical Fallacies Of A Hero Of The Right

Full essay here.

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.

It might be worthy of note that Karl Popper and the Vienna Circle may have been similarly shaped by those times.

Anyways, food for thought.

by animalitobaby

See Also:  Friedrich Hayek Discussion On Bloggingheads.  Bruce Caldwell discusses his then new book on Hayek.

Repost-From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’

.A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …From Bryan Magee’s Talking Philosophy On Youtube: Geoffrey Warnock On KantSome Friday Quotations: (On) Kant, Locke, and Pierce

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