Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mirage of Social Justice” as Want to Read:
The Mirage of Social Justice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mirage of Social Justice

(Law, Legislation and Liberty #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  9 reviews
F. A. Hayek made many valuable contributions to the field of economics as well as to the disciplines of philosophy and politics. This volume represents the second of Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Here, Hayek expounds his conviction that he continued unexamined pursuit of "social justice" will contribute to the erosion of p ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 15th 1978 by University Of Chicago Press (first published October 1st 1976)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mirage of Social Justice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Mirage of Social Justice

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  9 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Mirage of Social Justice
Hayek's rejection of social justice is mostly based on very simple economic theories and where it goes beyond that it is little more than an opinion piece that is neither fair nor necessarily consistent. He argues that social justice is impossible to clearly define and that therefore, politicians won't know where to stop, but will be under pressure from interest groups to more and more severe intervention. It is not much of an exaggeration to summarise his warning as a claim that everything is a ...more
Otto Lehto
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I have reviewed the other volumes elsewhere. I think they all support each other, but the second volume is perhaps the one that is the most controversial - and also most repetitive of the stuff he already said in Constitution of Liberty, which I still think is Hayek's best work.

Volume 2 is primarily a negative book: a critique of the notion of "social justice." Hayek argues that a complex market society, where individuals are free to pursue their own ends, cannot and should not have a unified co
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hayek mixes a few sections of eminently quotable ideas about the inability to determine Justice by a non-totalitarian society, into a work that generally is so dense that it has, in the words of Robert Coram (about another writer) "the specific gravity of Plutonium". This still is an excellent reminded that Hayek was, like Adam Smith before him, as much a moral philosopher as a market philosopher.
Nick Van Der Beek
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read on optimal rules in societies as complex dynamic systems

Interesting book dealing with the issue of the optimal order in what we now would call a complex dynamic system. It argues that in current society, norms need to be abstract and coordination in society should be based on means and not on objectives. This is contrasted through the comparison of tribal society and a modern society. Particular attention is given to the issue of what is called social justice, and it's impossibi
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: started-parked
Read the two sections on justice in this as part of a 13-book search for the real meaning of "social justice" for a Sunday School study. (In the edition I read, this was Volume II of "Law, Liberty, and Legislation."

Would return to read the rest of this . . . if i didn't have anything else to do.
Eugene Kernes
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: law
'The Mirage of Social Justice' is a great book which describes how the term 'Justice' is used inappropriately. Justice can only look at actions of particular individuals, not a spontaneous order of events which were not determined by direction of an individual. When those who are hurt by condition use the phrase 'unjust', they can manipulate the authority to provide for their ends by taking away resources from those who gained. When an authority uses the term 'social justice', they inevitably ta ...more
Craig Bolton
"Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice by F. A. Hayek (1978)"
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Hayek zealot, so of course I loved the book. It confirms - and demonstrates very persuasively - what I have long intuitively believed: "social justice" is a completely meaningless expression.
Eric Stein
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Law and governance having been dealt with, Hayek turns to the chimera of social justice.
rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2014
Giorgi Chikovani
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2012
Michał Tomasz
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2013
rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2007
Lasha Chochua
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2013
Michael W. Berry
rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2017
Kyle Kassick
rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2014
Italo Machado
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2010
Ryan Oldeman
rated it liked it
May 29, 2008
Matt Howard
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2007
Paul Mamani
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2019
C. Townsend
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2016
Kürşad Görgen
rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2018
Santos Mercado
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2014
Yashua Bhatti
rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2008
rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2012
Jeppe  von
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2016
Todd Zywicki
rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2013
Alessandro Parisi
rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution
  • Permanent Record
  • The Undiscovered Self
  • The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy
  • How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness
  • Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on Modern Morals and Happiness
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  • The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves
  • The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System
  • The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments
  • In the First Circle
  • Origins of the Common Law
  • 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
  • Deacon King Kong
  • A Renegade History of the United States
  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
  • Rome: Empire of the Eagles, 753 BC—AD 476
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Law, Legislation and Liberty (3 books)
  • Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order
  • The Political Order of a Free People

News & Interviews

    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
55 likes · 16 comments
“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.” 42 likes
“The idea that government can determine the opportunities for all, and especially that it can ensure” 0 likes
More quotes…