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‘Property’ + ‘Aristocratic Dignity’ = ‘Scientific Glory’

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

Abstract

Mises had a ‘deep emotional attachment’ to the ‘free’ market—and Hayek believed that ‘science’ was driven by shallow emotions. This chapter describes their ‘free’ market religion: ‘The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property. All the other demands of liberalism result from this fundamental demand. The victory of Fascism in a number of countries is only an episode in the long series of struggles over the problem of property.’ Hayek ‘just learned’ that Mises was ‘usually right in his conclusions, but I was not completely satisfied with his argument. The question of why it hadn’t persuaded most other people became important to me; so I became anxious to put it in a more effective form.’ Hayek felt he had been stripped of his intergenerational entitlements by ‘a republic of peasants and workers’; and in promoting political ‘Fascism,’ Mises sought to undermine ‘everywhere ridiculous’ democracy: ‘Those of the old regime had displayed a certain aristocratic dignity, at least in their outward demeanor. The new ones, who replaced them, made themselves contemptible by their behavior.’ Both Hayek and Mises had a history of stealing—both sought to shroud their ‘property rights’ with a protective halo whilst being indifferent to ‘human rights.’ Having proclaimed in The Constitution of Liberty that ‘Coercion is evil precisely because it thus eliminates an individual as a thinking and valuing person and makes him a bare tool in the achievement of the ends of another,’ Hayek also dismissed Amnesty International’s evidence about the coercive brutality of Pinochet’s dictatorship because they were a ‘bunch of leftists.’ Like Pinochet, Hayek’s opponents had ‘forfeited their right to be heard.’

Keywords

Orwell Hayek Popper The role of the state Oro-liberalism 

Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics (and Related Projects)

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Notre Dame Australia UniversityFremantleAustralia

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