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Friedrich Hayek
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The Use of Knowledge in Society

4.55  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
17 pages
Published September 1945
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The Wealth of Nations by Adam SmithDas Kapital by Karl MarxThe Road to Serfdom by Friedrich HayekThe General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard KeynesThe Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
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Sean Rosenthal
Nov 01, 2013 Sean Rosenthal rated it it was amazing
"The price system is just one of those formations which man has learned to use . . . after he had stumbled upon it without understanding it. Through it not only a division of labor but also a coördinated utilization of resources based on an equally divided knowledge has become possible. The people who like to deride any suggestion that this may be so usually distort the argument by insinuating that it asserts that by some miracle just that sort of system has spontaneously grown up which is best ...more
Laura Méndez
May 11, 2015 Laura Méndez added it
Shelves: pol-tica
Summary:

"Each individual only knows a small fraction of what is known collectively – and that as a result, decisions are best made by those with local knowledge rather than by a central authority"
Ruben Baetens
Nov 22, 2016 Ruben Baetens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of these rare historical texts which each 'scientific expert' should re-read once a year to put his reflections in perspective.
Mina Soare
Oct 24, 2016 Mina Soare rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mina by: AmericanThinker dot com
Shelves: non-fiction, economy
Very compact, not a light read, fairly pertinent and engaging
Melanie
No one knows everything, this begs the question: WHO then gets to organize our complex social systems, specifically our economic system?
A brief explanation on individual actions, unknowingly shared knowledge, prices and economy.

The whole world is connected and society can advance because of every single decision we make through our complete understanding of the world as a group - selfish individuals looking out for themselves.

Awesome!
Matthias
An important essay, in which Hayek argues that a decentralized market economy is superior to a centrally planned economy because of its better capacity in using knowledge (especially tacit knowledge - the type of individual knowledge that can't be communicated) and in efficiently adapting to continuous change in detailed circumstances (because the ones directly exposed to them will be the ones to adapt).
Robert
Sep 27, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing
An accessible essay on economics, one in which the layman can read and have a better understanding of (economic) decision making.

As for the writing itself, Hayek writes in long(er) sentences than (I would assume) most others. But if read carefully and deliberately, the sentence length does not obscure any idea or meaning.

In the essay, Hayek argues that the knowledge in society that is relevant for economic decision making is diffuse, and in particular the knowledge of "time and place" and othe
...more
Colin
Feb 24, 2013 Colin rated it liked it
Shelves: extfriendly
More of a pamphlet really, as it turns out. I haven't read The Road to Serfdom, but this was recommended to me as an encapsulation of his ideas and it certainly seems to sum them up nicely. Hayek's work underpins a lot of libertarian political thought on both sides of the atlantic, with Ayn Rand doing the same job for the knuckle-dragging supporters of the same ideas in the tea-party movement in the US.
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Friedrich August von Hayek CH was an Austrian and British economist and philosopher known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought. He is considered by some to be one of the most important economists and political philosophers of the twentieth century. Hayek's account of how changing prices communicate signals which enable ...more
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“To assume all the knowledge to be given to a single mind...is to disregard everything that is important and significant in the real world.” 4 likes
“Fundamentally, in a system in which the knowledge of the relevant facts is dispersed among many people, prices can act to coordinate the separate actions of different people in the same way as subjective values help the individual to coördinate the parts of his plan.” 2 likes
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