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'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
910
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We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.
854
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From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.
797
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Our moral traditions developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
Our moral traditions developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product.
741
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I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
685
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Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding.
629
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Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom.
573
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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.
517
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The mind cannot foresee its own advance. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
The mind cannot foresee its own advance.
460
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A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.
404
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The idea of social justice is that the state should treat different people unequally in order to make them equal.
244
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If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialist. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
If socialists understood economics, they wouldn't be socialist.
237
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What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.
237
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There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.
212
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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.
200
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The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
191
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[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.
184
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Capitalism is not only a better form of organizing human activity than any deliberate design, any attempt to organize it to satisfy particular preferences, to aim at what people regard as beautiful or pleasant order, but it is also the indispensable condition for just keeping that population alive which exists already in the world. I regard the preservation of what is known as the capitalist system, of the system of free markets and the private ownership of the means of production, as an essential condition of the very survival of mankind.
177
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In government, the scum rises to the top. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
In government, the scum rises to the top.
114
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Social justice rests on the hate towards those that enjoy a comfortable position, namely, upon envy.
100
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The more the state
The more the state "plans" the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.
100
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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.
96
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The chief evil is unlimited government, and nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
The chief evil is unlimited government, and nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power.
92
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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.
84
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From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.
81
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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.
81
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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.
77
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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.
70
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[T]hose who are willing to surrender their freedom for security have always demanded that if they give up their full freedom it should also be taken from those not prepared to do so.
69
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We must show that liberty is not merely one particular value but that it is the source and condition of most moral values. What a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free. We can therefore not fully appreciate the value of freedom until we know how a society of free men as a whole differs from one in which unfreedom prevails.
67
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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.
67
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Socialist thought owes its appeal to the young largely to its visionary character; the very courage to indulge in Utopian thought is in this respect a source of strength for socialism which traditional liberalism sadly lacks. Speculation about general principles provides an opportunity for the play of the imagination of those who are unencumbered by much knowledge of the facts of present-day life. Their ideas suffer from inherent contradictions, and any attempt to put them into practice must produce something utterly different from what they expect.
63
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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.
56
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The conception that government should be guided by majority opinion makes sense only if that opinion is independent of government. The ideal of democracy rests on the belief that the view which will direct government emerges from an independent and spontaneous process. It requires, therefore, the existence of a large sphere independent of majority control in which the opinions of the individuals are formed.
52
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Nobody with open eyes can any longer doubt that the danger to personal freedom comes chiefly from the left.
49
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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.
47
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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.
45
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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.
45
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Few are ready to recognize that the rise of fascism and Nazism was not a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary outcome of those tendencies.
38
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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.
38
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Conservatism is only as good as what it conserves. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
Conservatism is only as good as what it conserves.
38
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Freedom can be preserved only if it is treated as a supreme principle which must not be sacrificed for particular advantages.
38
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Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.
38
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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.
37
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It is when it is contended that "in a democracy right is what the majority makes it to be" that democracy degenerates into demagoguery.
37
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The moral consequences of totalitarian propaganda...are destructive of all morals because they undermind one of the foundations of all morals: the sense of and respect for truth.
36
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Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.
34
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Socialism can only be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove. - Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes
Socialism can only be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove.
33
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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.
32
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Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions--all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.
32
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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.
30
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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.
28
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We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.
26
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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.
26
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The Socratic maxim that the recognition of our ignorance is the beginning of wisdom has profound significance for our understanding of society. Most of the advantages of social life, especially in the more advanced forms that we call "civilization" rest on the fact that the individual benefits from more knowledge than he is aware of. It might be said that civilization begins when the individual in the pursuit of his ends can make use of more knowledge than he has himself acquired and when he can transcend the boundaries of his ignorance by profiting from knowledge he does not himself possess.
25
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Each member of society can have only a small fraction of the knowledge possessed by all, and...each is therefore ignorant of most of the facts on which the working of society rests...civilization rests on the fact that we all benefit from knowledge which we do not possess. And one of the ways in which civilization helps us to overcome that limitation on the extent of individual knowledge is by conquering intelligence, not by the acquisition of more knowledge, but by the utilization of knowledge which is and which remains widely dispersed among individuals.
25
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The conservative feels safe and content only if he is assured that some higher wisdom watches and supervises change, only if he knows that some authority is charged with keeping the change "orderly.
23
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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.
22
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The state itself becomes more and more identified with the interests of those who run things than with the interests of the people in general.
21
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Through the inevitable mismanagement of resources and goods at the disposal of the state, all forms of collectivism lead eventually to tyranny.
21
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The idea that human kind can shape the world according to wish is what I call the fatal conceit
21
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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.
21
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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.
21
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To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm.
21
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No human mind can comprehend all the knowledge which guides the actions of society.
19
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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.
19
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Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for the obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists.
19
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If the human intellect is allowed to impose a preconceived pattern on society, if our powers of reasoning are allowed to lay claim to a monopoly of creative effort... then we must not be surprised if society, as such, ceases to function as a creative force.
19
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To be controlled in our economic pursuits means to be controlled in everything.
19
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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
19
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Conservatism, though a necessary element in any stable society, is not a social program; in its paternalistic, nationalistic and power adoring tendencies it is often closer to socialism than true liberalism; and with its traditionalistic, anti-intellectual, and often mystical propensities it will never, except in short periods of disillusionment, appeal to the young and all those others who believe that some changes are desirable if this world is to become a better place.
19
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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.
19
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Wherever liberty as we understand it has been destroyed, this has almost always been done in the name of some new freedom promised to the people
18
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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
18
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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.
18
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Any man who is only an economist is unlikely to be a good one.
17
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The [classical] liberal, of course, does not deny that there are some superior people -- he is not an egalitarian -- but he denies that anyone has authority to decide who these superior people are.
17
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It is also true that the less possible it becomes for a man to acquire a new fortune, the more must the existing fortunes appear as privileges for which there is no justification. Policy is then certain to aim at taking these fortunes out of private hands, either by the slow process of heavy taxation of inheritance or by the quicker one of outright confiscation. A system based on private property and control of the means of production presupposes that such property and control can be acquired by any successful man.
17
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By the time any view becomes a majority view, it is no longer the best view: somebody will already have advanced beyond the point which the majority have reached.
17
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It is true that the virtues which are less esteemed and practiced now--independence, self-reliance, and the willingness to bear risks, the readiness to back one's own conviction against a majority, and the willingness to voluntary cooperation with one's neighbors--are essentially those on which the of an individualist society rests. Collectivism has nothing to put in their place, and in so far as it already has destroyed then it has left a void filled by nothing but the demand for obedience and the compulsion of the individual to what is collectively decided to be good.
17
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