Hayek’s Road to Serfdom
The work of Hayek, in contrast with the Marxist-Socialist-Interventionist-Galbraithian paradigm that held sway in the mid-twentieth century, appears as a beacon for free enterprise amid a sea of totalitarianism. When considered in comparison to the writings against which he contended, Hayek’s was a lonely voice, crying in the wilderness for freedom; he stood, like the Dutch boy, with his finger in the dike of onrushing statism. But if one weighs his output against that of free enterprise advocates who came later, or, better yet, against an ideal of laissez-faire capitalism, then one must categorize Hayek as lukewarm, at best, in his support of this system. This is a rather surprising thesis, even a paradoxical one, in view of the fact that 1994 was the 50th anniversary of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, a book widely (and accurately!) credited with turning away from socialism the political thinking of an entire generation. It is therefore incumbent upon an author, such as myself, who makes such a claim, to offer evidence in support of it. Let us consider the record.