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Individualism and Economic Order

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  365 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In this collection of writings, Nobel laureate Friedrich A. Hayek discusses topics from moral philosophy and the methods of the social sciences to economic theory as different aspects of the same central issue: free markets versus socialist planned economies. First published in the 1930s and 40s, these essays continue to illuminate the problems faced by developing and form ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1948)
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Howard Olsen
This is a series of essays the Hayek wrote in the 1930's and 40's before he became famous for writing "The Road to Serfdom." They are much more technical (and in a couple cases impenetrable) than that great work. The reason to read this is to see him develop his ideas in the context of the planning vs competition debates that roiled economics and politics during the years of the world depression. Some of the essays are a little arcane, including one in which he suggests a currency backed by comm ...more
This is a collection of essays, ranging from fairly topical (in the 30's) and technical to philisophical. It is the latter kind which are of more interest to the layman (like myself) and fortunately these make up the majority in this volume.

One of the most fascinating essays is the first, entitled "Individualism: True and False" in which Hayek clarifies what it means, dispelling many of the myths that are usually associated with it. It is not about greed and selfishness, nor is it about a reject
Cortney R
It can be easy to get lost in Hayek with his five page long sentences that change subject 16 times, but really this is a great collection of Hayek's writings. Especially "The Use of Knowledge in Society," the clearest and best structured argument for free markets.
While the writing style is turgid and verbose, the intellectual content is superb. The key essays are "The Use of Knowledge in Society" and "Economics and Knowledge". It's worth buying the book for those two essays alone.
Ed Wagemann
Apr 17, 2012 Ed Wagemann marked it as to-read
How The Superbowl Encourages Socialism:

Sean Hackbarth
It contains the essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society," the most important economic essay of the 20th Century.
Easy read but much deeper than RTS.
Miro Nguyen
Too hard to understand
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  • What It Means to Be a Libertarian
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 indivi ...more
More about Friedrich Hayek...
The Road to Serfdom The Constitution of Liberty The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice

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“The theories of the social sciences do not consist of “laws” in the sense of empirical rules about the behavior of objects definable in physical terms. All that the theory of the social sciences attempts is to provide a technique of reasoning which assists us in connecting individual facts, but which, like logic or mathematics, is not about the facts. It can, therefore, and this is the second point, never be verified or falsified by reference to facts.” 4 likes
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