If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialist.— Friedrich August von Hayek
The most memorable Friedrich August von Hayek quotes that will transform you to a better person
Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
[Socialistic] economic planning, regulation, and intervention pave the way to totalitarianism by building a power structure that will inevitably be seized by the most power-hungry and unscrupulous.
In government, the scum rises to the top.
The more the state "plans" the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.
It is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil.
The chief evil is unlimited government, and nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power.
By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.
That democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something so utterly different that few of those who wish it would be prepared to accept the consequences, many will not believe until the connection has been laid bare in all its aspects.
I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.
To discover the meaning of what is called "social justice" has been one of my chief preoccupations for more than 10 years. I have failed in this endeavour or rather, have reached the conclusion that, with reference to society of free men, the phrase has no meaning whatever.
The effect of the people's agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go; with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all.
Unlike liberalism, with its fundamental belief in the long-range power of ideas, conservatism is bound by the stock of ideas inherited at a given time. And since it does not really believe in the power of argument, its last resort is generally a claim to superior wisdom, based on some self-arrogated superior quality.
Nobody with open eyes can any longer doubt that the danger to personal freedom comes chiefly from the left.
The mischievous idea that all public needs should be satisfied by compulsory organization and that all the means that individuals are willing to devote to pubic purposes should be under the control of government, is wholly alien to the basic principles of a free society.
Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom.
Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends. And whoever has sole control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served, which values are to be rates higher and which lower, in short, what men should believe and strive for.
Conservatism is only as good as what it conserves.
The younger generation of today has grown up in a world in which in school and press the spirit of commercial enterprise has been represented as disreputable and the making of profit as immoral, where to employ a hundred people is represented as exploitation but to command the same number as honorable.
It is when it is contended that "in a democracy right is what the majority makes it to be" that democracy degenerates into demagoguery.
It seems to be almost a law of human nature that it is easier for people to agree on a negative program - on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of those better off - than on any positive task.
Socialism can only be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove.
We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.
Planning leads to dictatorship because dictatorship is the most effective instrument of coercion and the enforcement of ideals and, as such, essential if central planning on a large scale is to be possible.
It may be that a free society... carries in itself the forces of its own destruction, that once freedom has been achieved it is taken for granted and ceases to be valued, and that the free growth of ideas which is the essence of a free society will bring about the destruction of the foundations on which it depends.
It is only because the majority opinion will always be opposed by some that our knowledge and understanding progress... it is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better.
We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.
While an equality of rights under a limited government is possible and an essential condition of individual freedom, a claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.
Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality - an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order.
Through the inevitable mismanagement of resources and goods at the disposal of the state, all forms of collectivism lead eventually to tyranny.
It is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way.
And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism.
The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule.
It seems to me that socialists today can preserve their position in academic economics merely by the pretense that the differences are entirely moral questions about which science cannot decide.
The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better.
Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.
Competition is like experimentation in science, a discovery process, and it must rely on the self interest of producers, it must allow them to use their knowledge for their purposes, because nobody else possesses the information
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.
This means that to entrust to science - or to deliberate control according to scientific principles - more than scientific method can achieve may have deplorable effects.
The central problem of management is how spontaneous interaction of people within a firm, each possessing only bits of knowledge, can bring about the competitive success that could only be achieved by the deliberate direction of a senior management that possesses the combined knowledge of all employees and contractors
The ultimate decision about what is accepted as right and wrong will be made not by individual human wisdom but by the disappearance of the groups that have adhered to the "wrong" beliefs.
And who will deny that a world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the already powerful can acquire wealth?
Civilization enables us constantly to profit from knowledge which we individually do not possess and because each individual's use of his particular knowledge may serve to assist others unknown to him in achieving their ends that men as members of civilized society can pursue their individual ends so much more successfully than they could alone.
We can either have a free Parliament or a free people.
Personal freedom requires that all authority is restrained by long-run principles which the opinion of the people approves.
The advantage of a free market is that it allows millions of decision-makers to respond individually to freely determined prices, allocating resources - labor, capital and human ingenuity - in a manner that can't be mimicked by a central plan, however brilliant the central planner.
This is not a dispute about whether planning is to be done or not.
It is a dispute as to whether planning is to be done centrally, by one authority for the whole economic system, or is to be divided among many individuals.
Nothing distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the former of the great principles known as the Rule of Law.
Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation, most of those features of totalitarianism which horrify us follow of necessity
We shall never prevent the abuse of power if we are not prepared to limit power in a way which occasionally may prevent its use for desirable purposes.