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Fighting to Prevent the ‘World from Being Made Safe for Democracy’

  • Robert Leeson
Chapter
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Part of the Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics book series (AIEE)

Abstract

According to the Austrian School philosopher ‘Ritter von’ Kuehnelt-Leddihn, during the ‘Great’ War between the dynasties, ‘von’ Hayek and ‘von’ Mises fought to ‘prevent’ the ‘world from being made safe for democracy.’ Under feudalism and neo-feudalism, deference to the religious and social hierarchy had been the glue that enforced the loyalty of ‘subjects’ to ‘their’ monarch—but with universal franchise, ‘public opinion’ emerged as a quasi-religious glue to be manipulated by sovereign knowledge producers. Hayek, who is regarded as a ‘peach,’ devoted his career to recruiting ‘lemons’: ‘inferior mediocrities’ ‘in the hopes that ultimately they could be converted and transmit my ideas to the public at large.’ This chapter examines Hayek’s mission: ‘operating on public opinion’ through the ‘worst intellectuals.’

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Leeson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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