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Individualism and Economic Order

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  642 Ratings  ·  14 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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Cortney R
Jan 25, 2009 Cortney R rated it really liked it
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.
Howard Olsen
Jan 02, 2009 Howard Olsen rated it really liked it
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
Apr 10, 2008 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
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
Josh Duxbury
Nov 20, 2016 Josh Duxbury rated it really liked it
Read for class. Good economic critique of socialism, argument regarding the problem of macro calculations for central planning was the strongest. Not so sure of his argument that the main problem with socialism is its practicality and thus its application, as opposed to the theoretical aspect being wrong. I don't see how the two can be separated beyond the basic assumptions of socialism. Seeing that socialism is an economic theory as much as it is a political ideology, its foundations lay with c ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
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.
Constantin C.
Jul 20, 2016 Constantin C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adrián Sánchez
May 14, 2015 Adrián Sánchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libertarismo
Interesante ensayo en el que se describe los principios básicos del individualismo, además de la descripción de su origen debido a las posturas liberales del siglo XIX que originaron posturas diferentes a lo que es el individualismo, lo que define Hayek como el individualismo verdadero, basado en las ideas de Acton y Tocqueville, es aquél que mediante la acción voluntaria de individuos permite desarrollar una sociedad libre y avanzada, en donde existe un estado mínimo en el que solo se dedica a ...more
Ed Wagemann
Apr 17, 2012 Ed Wagemann marked it as to-read
How The Superbowl Encourages Socialism:

Jul 24, 2015 JP rated it it was amazing
What are the philosophical roots of individualism? How has individualism manifested in Western culture, and what debates remain? These are the questions addressed by an excellent set of selections and excerpts compiled into this reader published by the Cato Institute. With sources ranging from Mill to Augustine to Spooner, the perspectives are provoking and seem thorough. On Liberty was my favorite selection, but not new to me. I also enjoyed content by Oscar Wilde and in several later selection ...more
Rachel Evans
Jan 02, 2012 Rachel Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It was a bit heavy economic language and referred to people that I wasn't familiar with but I was still able to get the message. Which is basically central planning fails because there is no way for a central planner to posses all the information that is necessary to make good economic decisions because this information is spread out among different sections of society. Also, central planning crushes individualism.
Constantin C.
Sep 25, 2015 Constantin C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miro Nguyen
Jun 21, 2013 Miro Nguyen rated it it was ok
Too hard to understand
Sean Hackbarth
Aug 14, 2010 Sean Hackbarth rated it it was amazing
It contains the essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society," the most important economic essay of the 20th Century.
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  • Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
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  • Knowledge And Decisions
  • Economic Sophisms
  • Principles of Economics
  • What Has Government Done to Our Money? and The Case for the 100 Percent Gold Dollar
  • The Failure of the New Economics
  • Economic Science and the Austrian Method
  • Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History
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
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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.” 10 likes
“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is the condition of a free society, the second means as De Tocqueville describes it, a new form of servitude.” 1 likes
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