The Constitution of Liberty

The Constitution of Liberty One of the great political works of our time the twentieth century successor to John Stuart Mill s essay On Liberty Henry Hazlitt Newsweek A reflective often biting commentary on the nature of ou

  • Title: The Constitution of Liberty
  • Author: Friedrich A. Hayek
  • ISBN: 9780226320847
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Paperback
  • One of the great political works of our time, the twentieth century successor to John Stuart Mill s essay, On Liberty Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek A reflective, often biting, commentary on the nature of our society and its dominant thought by one who is passionately opposed to the coercion of human beings by the arbitrary will of others, who puts liberty above welfar One of the great political works of our time, the twentieth century successor to John Stuart Mill s essay, On Liberty Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek A reflective, often biting, commentary on the nature of our society and its dominant thought by one who is passionately opposed to the coercion of human beings by the arbitrary will of others, who puts liberty above welfare and is sanguine that greater welfare will thereby ensue Sidney Hook, New York Times Book ReviewIn this classic work Hayek restates the ideals of freedom that he believes have guided, and must continue to guide, the growth of Western civilization Hayek s book, first published in 1960, urges us to clarify our beliefs in today s struggle of political ideologies.

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    About " Friedrich A. Hayek "

  • Friedrich A. Hayek

    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 individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics Hayek also wrote on the topics of jurisprudence, neuroscience and the history of ideas.Hayek is one of the most influential members of the Austrian School of economics, and in 1974 shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with Gunnar Myrdal for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena He also received the U.S Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from president George H W Bush.Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938.


  • THE CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTYBy Friedrich A. HayekThis is Hayek's magnum opus, a long (but not too long) book that combines his previous studies in economics and political theory to explore the nature of freedom and liberty to answer the eternal question, "What system will deliver the most freedom to the most people?" If you are at all familiar with Hayek's thought, his answer shouldn't surprise you; he was a true believer in liberal democracy and free markets; a descendant simultaneously of John [...]

  • Hayek's book is one of the crowning achievements in the "socialism-capitalism" debate of the last 100 years. It is a deserved classic of liberalism, an argument for a market-oriented society with all its faults.It provides a classical liberal defence, mostly on utilitarian grounds, for a limited government under what he called "rule of law": the reign of non-arbitrary, non-coercive, abstract and general rules that apply to all citizens equally. The state, although minimal, should offer the maxim [...]

  • My reaction to this book is identical to that of most libertarian reviews of it. Methodologically, Hayek is very strong, but he wavers far too easily when it comes to applying his principles. A charitable interpretation is that, in outlining the interventionist measures he accepts as legitimate, he's describing what the government CAN do without screwing things up terribly, not what it SHOULD do. An uncharitable interpretation is that he was a moderate socialist in his early years (his own words [...]

  • Hayek has gotten a lot of press, lately; some of it from corners of the media world that are quit a bit more, um, colorful than he would himself appreciate. Most of his renewed popularity surrounds his first major political tract, "The Road to Serfdom," written in 1943, which I read 8 or 9 years ago. While that was an important work, it suffered (I think) from somewhat leaden prose, and a more reactive view of developments in the world a that time, especially in Germany and Britain. I liked the [...]

  • I forced myself to read it and it was not a pleasant experience. First, it is boring. Unless you support exactly the same ideology than Hayek, you will very soon be aware that the author does not try to be funny or witty and that he has the same relation with his dogma than the Spanish Inquisition had with Catholicism.Beyond that, a good example of the nonsense he defends is when he tries to justify inequality. He says for instance that the consumption of the rich is what drives innovation becau [...]

  • This is best non-fiction book I've read! Absolutely incredible. Hayek is difficult to read, but once you get into it, his language is beautiful and most direct.He explains WHAT liberty is and shows that most people across history and nations actually have rejected true liberty. (duh) He explain WHAT liberty DOES. Thus he shows WHY we want liberty. So, if we know why we want liberty then we have a reason to stand up for it.He explains the concept of spontaneous order. He also contrasts the two di [...]

  • A phenomenal work, a must read for anyone with an interest in freedom and liberty. As with Hayek's other popular works, it is written to be accessible rather than technical. The first portion of the book is philosophical; though Hayek is remembered for his contributions to economics, his consideration of specifically economic questions and their interrelation with liberty doesn't come until toward the end. The work is well-known for positing the rule of law as the chief principle to ensure a mod [...]

  • In 1943, Friedrich von Hayek published The Road to Serfdom. In this little book he explained how collectivist (i.e. socialist) theories and thinking destroy humanity when applied in practice. But first, this book was more of an essay than a clear exposition and second, it was focused primarily on economic policy (i.e. the issue of central planning in collectivism). So, in 1959, Hayek decided to publish another book on the same subject; this time a comprehensive and very broad book, spanning more [...]

  • Thomas Sowell and others whet my appetite for a more in-depth look at socio-economic studies, so I took a stab at Hayek’s magnum opus. It’s a bit dense at times, but that’s more a reflection on the reader than the author. This is a tremendous repository of wisdom for citizens of any nation. Hayek’s commentary on issues from unionism to taxation to social security to state coercion reads as though it was taken from present-day political discussions rather than a 5-decade-old treatise. Thi [...]

  • I can respect what Hayek was doing here and hence I gave it a few more stars than I would like and a few less than it probably deserves. Hayek wants to create a society that is free of coercion. This is an excellent idea and the logic is sound within its own bubble. However, he settles on a system that is built out of coercion: capitalism. Furthermore, he settles on a dichotomy of capitalism/free markets vs socialism/communism. Regardless of your stance on the book, it is definitely a must read [...]

  • An Exposition Of A Theory Of LibertyHayek's "The Constitution of Liberty" is a comprehensive work of political philosophy. It sets forth, defends, and applies an important view of the nature of human liberty, government, and economics that is worth considering, at the least, and that has much to commend it. The book is carefully written and argued with extensive and substantive footnotes and with an "analytical table of contents" that is useful in following the details of the argument. The book [...]

  • Truly a classic, although I would hesitate to say a “timeless classic”. When in Part III Hayek applies his philosophy to the (then) contemporary issues of the day, one is struck by how much things have changed as much as by how much they have stayed the same. For instance, from the perspective of 2017 I wonder if Hayek would have devoted a chapter to “Labor Unions and Employment”. Although in principle his points are well-taken, the threat posed by unions today is quite different from wh [...]

  • Three of five stars solely based on the writing and sometimes sporadic argumentation. The dense subject matter was throughout obscured via extremely tedious sentence structures.Given the enthusiasm his work enjoys from many libertarian leaning quarters, I was surprised to find Hayak's build-up of liberty, through a detailed and intensively footnoted analysis hinged on social evolution, lead to positions accepting social insurance programs, central monetary authority, and arguments for town plann [...]

  • This is the most challenging read I've ever come across. The sentences are long, the content hard to understand but it's a direct challenge to ideas I've always held. What Hayek lacks in the former, he makes up for in the latter. In an age where identity is king, Hayek explains how the road to equality can be paved with good intentions but can have shattering consequences. In an uncertain world personal freedoms must be protected from well-meaning blundering attempts to control forces beyond our [...]

  • Mindblowing. First page. A quote. Wrote back in 1945, H. P. Phillips. About perceiving the civilization as either static or dynamic. And how the dynamic civilization can only be based on personal freedom. 2017, history, internet, and the white old farts have decided civilization is as static as christianity has fought to keep the Earth.

  • He is a clear and calm writer, which is nice, and i'd put him with Nozick as people with whom I would disagree yet completely understand the justification for how they got to their beliefs. I would love to listen in on a conversation between him and Walzer, who I think best expresses the corrupting influences of a society set up along Hayek's framework.

  • Probably his best work. Then again, I haven't read all of his works, but this is the best one so far, despite what most people say.

  • Este es uno de los libros más duros que he leído en mi vida, incluso más que alguno que me ha producido escalofríos o hecho cerrar sus tapas durante un rato. En mi empeño por intentar entender las diferentes corrientes sociopolíticas y económicas que nos han traído hasta donde estamos, creo que esta obra es de las que más profundamente pueden haberme afectado en la defensa de mis ideas que, al contrario de las de Margaret Thatcher, no son estas. Es precisamente por esto que lo considero [...]

  • Prior to reading The Constitution of Liberty I was familiar with its postscript essay, "Why I Am Not a Conservative", in which Hayek defines conservatism both on its own terms and in contradistinction to Hayek's own classical liberal position---for which he prefers the term Old Whig(gism).During the reading of The Constitution of Liberty, it became clear to me why Hayek saw a need for such an essay: interspersed with convential liberal views (I use "liberal" in the same sense as Hayek, viz the E [...]

  • In "The Consitution of Liberty" F. A. Hayek steps outside of his field economic sciences and tries to delineate a complete picture of his "libertarian" (or as he calls it "old Whiggism") ideas. Those ideas stretch over the whole bundle of social sciences: economy, law, politics, sociology, philosophy, ethics, and many more. He therby gives a 20th century framework of libertarian philosophy in the vein of his 19th colleges for whom he has great respect.The book itself is divided into three parts: [...]

  • Inutile che parliamo noi, facciamo come Ricossa e lasciamo la parola a Hayek.Il valore della libertà individuale poggia soprattutto sul riconoscimento dell’inevitabile ignoranza di tutti noi nei confronti di un gran numero dei fattori da cui dipende la realizzazione dei nostri scopi e della nostra sicurezza. Se esistessero uomini onniscienti, se potessimo sapere non solo tutto quanto tocca la soddisfazione dei nostri desideri di adesso, ma pure i bisogni e le aspirazioni future, resterebbe po [...]

  • I responded to a number of quotes on my blog for which I will provide teh links at the end of this review.This was not an easy read--but I am glad I tackled it. i have a new appreciation for Hayek, and for his significant limitations as a defender of liberty. Hayek gets into trouble (IMO) by defining liberty as a state of minimum coercion. [A far better definition would be a state free from the initiation of force.:] Because he does not adequately distinguish between aggressive force and defensi [...]

  • My rating for this book is 3.5.It is the first book I read focusing on constitutionalism, rule of the law and how freedom and a free society are covered by those concepts, so I am not an expert in the subject. I think Hayek did a great job in defining the terms and concepts (like coercion, freedom, rule of law) he was going to use before starting to comparing them and adding meaning to the arguments.I must say that I agree with most of those terms, concepts and the connections he made with them. [...]

  • An under-appreciated classic of political theory. F.A. Hayek's epistemological argument for liberty, set out in the first half of section one, is a novel argument with wide-ranging implications. Through this section and section two one picks up on the level of conversation Hayek must have been having around this time with Karl Popper; among other articles and books, Popper sets out a critique of historicism, collectivism, and central planning generally in "The Open Society & It's Enemies," r [...]

  • I read the first two sections and skimmed through the third. Hayek was not a particularly gifted writer and I'm rather disappointed with this work. He occasionally hits one some very important points (namely, the difference between a classical liberal and democratic society, the importance of the rule of law, the possible appropriateness of government providing "common goods", etc.). However, on other issues, there is an amazing lack of clarity. His insistence on the legitimacy of providing "soc [...]

  • I cannot even claim to be a real student of political economics, but I want to understand the opposing positions so loudly shouted about today. I started with a Video "course", "The Modern Political Tradition: Hobbes to Habermas" from The Great Courses, which gave me a basic understanding and guidance as to the recognized figures to read up on. My first effort was the "Constitution of Liberty" by the Nobel Prize winning Friedrich Hayek, a vehement liberal (read libertarian in today's vocabulary) [...]

  • Great arguments, great ideas. Even if you don't agree with Hayek, you should be intimately familiar with his arguments. Must read for anyone with political interests.The challenge with Hayek is that he elevates the principles of the rule of law to a meta-legal principle, a principle that arose from human action but not of human design, a tradition that embodies the wisdom of generations, knowledge that no one person could attain in a single lifetime. As such, he asserts that we should acknowledg [...]

  • This book is the Magnus Opus of Friedrich Hayek. Hayek is the John Locke of the 20th century. Must read!From :"One of the great political works of our time, . . . the twentieth-century successor to John Stuart Mill's essay, 'On Liberty.'"—Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek"A reflective, often biting, commentary on the nature of our society and its dominant thought by one who is passionately opposed to the coercion of human beings by the arbitrary will of others, who puts liberty above welfare and is sang [...]

  • Interesting Quote:"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."-F. A. Hayek, the Constitution of Liberty"It has been well said that, while we used to suffer from social evils, we now suffer from the remedies for them. The difference is that, while in former times the so [...]

  • If there is one book that has the potential to completely change your views on such words which are so overused to have lost their meaning as liberty, equality, democracy, rule of law then this is it. I had to show a bit of patience and had to read several sentences twice for me to understand the complete significance of what was being said, but all the perseverance was worth it. In today's world where governments are encroaching more an more on individual freedom this is a book to educate us th [...]

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