Professor F. A. von Hayek on Individualism

  • Roy Harrod


Professor von Hayek’s Road to SerfdomYi had. a combination of qualities — sincerity, passion, fine English writing, acute and subtle logic, wisdom and appositeness — which may well cause it to take its place as a classic. It will probably long, be read with both pleasure and advantage. In a work of this character, which may be called a polemic, or perhaps, I with greater procision, a tract, some over-emphasis is in place; it adds a spice, and at the same time reveals the sources of the author’s inspired mood, thereby helping the understanding of what he has to say, and it can easily be allowed for by the reader of sense when he makes his final assessment. There are some, it is true, including some who are sympathetic to Professor Hayek’s main position, who felt that he took just a little too much of the licence properly accorded to inspiration, thereby impairing the cogency of the tract. This excess, if indeed it was there, consisted not so much in the ruthlessness with which he pushed his arguments to their logical conclusion — a procedure appropriate in the context — as in a certain tendency to dogmatism and exclusiveness which cannot be validly maintained in the field of political studies.


True Individualism Established Institution Political Wisdom Poetic Imagination Despotic Power 
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  1. 2.
    R. F. Harrod, Essay 8, ‘The Theory of Imperfect Competition Revised’, in Economic Essays, Macmillan, London, 1952, pp. 139–87.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    E. H. Chamberlin, Towards a More General Theory of Value, Oxford University Press, New York, 1957.Google Scholar

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© Roy Harrod 1972

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  • Roy Harrod

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