F A Hayek
essay "Why I am not a Conservative" (or a Socialist - he describes himself as Old Whig or "liberal", meaning Classical Liberal or Libertarian). In general, it can probably be said that the conservative does not object to Coercion or arbitrary power so long as it is used for what he regards as the right purposes... Like the socialist, he is less concerned with the problem of how the powers of government should be limited than with that of who wields them; and, like the socialist, he regards himself as entitled to force the value he holds on other people... I sometimes feel that the most conspicuous attribute of liberalism that distinguishes it as much from conservatism as from socialism is the view that moral beliefs concerning matters of conduct which do not directly interfere with the protected sphere of other persons do not justify coercion. This may also explain why it seems to be so much easier for the repentant socialist to find a new spiritual home in the conservative fold than in the liberal.
- see Phil Jones:OnWhiggery
Virginia Postrel profile - Hayek's most important insight, which he referred to as his "one discovery" in the social sciences, was to define the central economic and social problem as one of organizing dispersed Knowledge... Nor did he oppose an economic Safety Net; a wealthy society, he believed, could provide a Basic Income for the poor. Rather, he argued that to fully control the economy meant to control all aspects of life. Economic decisions are not separate from individual values or purposes. They reflect those purposes... Unlike postmodernists, Hayek never rejected the idea of Scientific Knowledge. But in confronting the advocates of centralized economies, Hayek did take pains to distinguish between science and Pseudo-Science.
That Freedom can be preserved only if it is treated as a supreme principle which must not be sacrificed for particular advantages was fully understood by the leading liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century, one of whom (Benjamin Constant) even described liberalism as "the system of principles". - from page 57 of Rules And Order, volume one of Law Legislation And Liberty
student of Ludwig Von Mises
Edited: | Tweet this!