Economics/Class Relations

Hayek’s Fatal Conceit

Another “broken clock, twice a day” piece from Carson.

By Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society

Oskar Lange famously said, against the background of the debates over Ludwig von Mises’ economic calculation argument, that a statue of Mises should be erected in the planning ministry of a future socialist society, in honor of the service he performed to socialism in forcing socialist theoreticians to grapple with the challenge his argument presented. But if any capitalist ideologue — Austrian or not — deserves to be honored for his services to socialism, it’s Friedrich Hayek. (That’s not to say he shouldn’t also be burned in effigy, in every college history department in the world, for his crimes against historiography.)

Capitalism and the Historians.  In his introductory essay to Capitalism and the Historians, Hayek observes: “…[T]he historical beliefs which guide us in the present are not always in accord with the facts; sometimes they are even the effects rather than the cause of political beliefs. Historical myths have perhaps played nearly as great a role in shaping opinion as historical facts.”1 And shortly after:

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