4 thoughts on “Saving Hayek”

  1. Althought it wasn’t the point of his article, Mr. Kuznicki touched on what bothers me about Hayek. I have only read the Road to Serfdom, and in it Hayek makes great arguments for free market economics. He backs up those arguments with solid premises and historical evidence.

    But he waffles. He also makes assertions that sometimes government control of economics is a good thing, contradicting himself. He doesn’t really make any arguments explaining why, or how it could be done in a positive way. He doesn’t tie to to any principles. He just makes the assertion that it is true, in some instances (which instances he doesn’t make a principled stand on).

    Just like Kuzinicki’s article mentions, the caving to “modest” systems of government control of economy. “Modest” means ‘unprincipled’, it is a weasel definition that changes as the Overton Window does. It is merely an average of the current outliers, like ‘moderate’. Its unavoidable result is rule by mob, rather than rule of law.

    Hayek is superb when he is making principled arguments, which he does a great preponderance of the time. For that reason I recommend his work to others if they are already interested, with the qualification that they consciously evaluate his words. If they’re looking for a more unequivocating principled argument for laissez faire capitalism I recommend Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. If they’re less inclined to philosophical principles and prefer a predominantly empirical defense, read/watch Milton Friedman.

  2. The idea is pretty simple and I think most people recognize it exists prior to the knowledge that it has a formal name.

    I only heard of the “Overton Window” as such when Glenn Beck started promoting his new book. My thought was: “oh, so that’s what they call it?”

  3. All great men are still imperfect men. This is what make appeal to authority such a dangerous thing.

    But how is it a bad argument made by appeal to authority can stand?

    He just makes the assertion…

    Which you’ve justly pointed out, without an argument should have no persuasive force. Building castles in the sky without a foundation on the ground should be cause for ridicule at the least. People should be shamed so they stop making such ridiculous arguments.

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