The conversation about Hayek continues


Author: Timothy Sandefur

My latest post in the ongoing conversation about economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek has just been posted over at Cato Unbound. Excerpt:

Caesar had his Brutus, Linus Pauling had Vitamin C, and Friedrich Hayek had “spontaneous order.” His experiences in Europe go far, no doubt, to explain his anti-rationalism, and maybe he wrote as he did in an effort to appeal to the moderate left. But whatever his reasons for advancing the arguments he did, they just don’t work as a normative critique of economic or legal planning. It’s true that order can emerge, unplanned, from dynamic processes — but this is practically useless in advising any political leader or any voter or any consumer about any course of action. Worse, it is all too likely to become a rationalization for passively shrugging at injustice.