Hayek, Friedman, and the Illusions of Conservative Economics

… confusion that there was a Good Hayek and a Bad Hayek. The Good Hayek also knew that unrestricted laissez-faire is unworkable. It has serious defects: successful actors reach for monopoly power, and some of them succeed in grasping it; better-informed actors can exploit the relatively ignorant, creating an inefficiency in the process; the resulting distribution of income may be grossly unequal and widely perceived as intolerably unfair … — the list is long. The Bad Hayek emerged when he aimed to convert a wider public. Then, as often happens, he tended to overreach, and to suggest more than he had legitimately argued.

These matters of personal style actually count for something. One of the great merits of Burgin’s book is to show how the character and the content of the free-market ideology changed when the flag passed from Hayek and Company to Friedman and Company. Despite the efforts of a small band of the faithful, the Tea Party is, and is likely to remain, more Friedman than Hayek: harder-line, more brashly confident, less concerned with getting things quite right, and without sympathy for losers.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Capitalism, Friedman, Hayek and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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