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Archive of posts published in the tag: Friedrich A. Hayek

Progressive Tension

While the Progressives sought to extend the restraints of political power to economic power, Hayek sought to bring political power to recognize economic realities. This new era of conservatism reaffirmed the genius of the founders of our constitution that dispersed power was best suited for the dispersed knowledge that generated our dynamic economy.

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True Power

We have taken a detour on Hayek’s Road to Serfdom; we have managed to cede more power to the central government while retaining much of the individualism of the Constitution.  This is a unique outcome in political evolution attributed to the genius of the Constitution itself combined with a unique American political culture that shrouds it. At its best progressivism expanded the promise of political equality into the economic sphere, assuring equal economic opportunity if not results; at its worst it was seduced by the false confidence of the historicists shared by its technocratic sisters in Europe.

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The Paradox of Capitalism

Walter Williams properly noted that socialism works if you know everybody’s name; in small family and tribal units.  It is poorly suited to the dispersed knowledge that is the glue of an integrated complex world.  Capitalism is efficient but contrary to our biological nature.  It is no surprise that the growth of tribalism in politics is accompanied by anti-capitalist rhetoric. Capitalism, like democracy, depends on values that may be contrary to human nature, while serving the betterment of mankind in our complex world.

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Reason and Nature

“The conception of man deliberately building his civilization stems from an erroneous intellectualism that regards human reason as something standing outside nature and possessed of knowledge and reasoning capacity independent of experience. “

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Presumptuous Progressivism

“I hope our generation may have learned that it has been perfectionism of one kind or another that has often destroyed whatever degree of decency societies have achieved.”

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Bastardizing Capitalism

Like all ideologies capitalism evolves with experience and adjusts to failures and social evolution.  It never achieves perfection, but its endurance indicates a strength that competing ideologies lack.  We can learn much from the ones that failed, though it seems every generation is cursed to try them again.  The ones that succeed are subject to be taken for granted.  It is the job of the educational institutions to transfer the understanding of our critical institutions, and their failure is crippling.

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