Friday, August 31, 2012

Hayek pushes back against Bork

I love how Hayek pushes back against Bork here. Unfortunately I think too many modern libertarians take the Bork position rather than the Hayek position, and I mean this in two ways. First, there is a widespread view that when people don't talk like libertarians, it's because they don't appreciate liberty. Hayek pushes back against this. But even more damningly I think a lot of libertarians themselves have the sort of rationalist, Cartesian, "we must have a theory for everything" streak that Hayek is criticizing here, and trying to direct Bork towards. See Gene Callahan for critiques of that attitude.

And since the subject is intellectuals, it seems worth pointing out that Sowell seems to take the Bork position to me... and that is not to his credit.


  1. It is very interesting to see Hayek dealing with a true wack job, Bork. Bork, who apparently never bought an American automobile at the time, falsely asserts that oligarchy's don't learn how to work together as a monopoly.

    Hayek is given the choice of explaining that Bork is a fool or defending those who know that Bork is a fool and he decides to do the latter.

    BTW, according to Bork's assertion, there is nothing wrong with our too big to fail banks (which is just oligarchy).

    Hayek also implicitly admits why he is wrong. In the case of too big to fail banks, for example, we now have proof that they are bad and that only Gov't has the power to regulate or break them up in some way that doesn't sink the ship, again.

    It is also interesting to see that Hayek rejects all the conservative rational expectation arguments, for as he explains, "it cannot be explained" and ergo, is not rational.

    The careful reader will now come to understand the paradox before Hayek and why he doesn't have value as an economist. Hayek admits what I call the Soros truth, now that White have elevated Soros to being a reference. Financial markets are irrational. Hayek doesn't give an economic answer to that question; he gives a political one, arguing that gov't is worse, which is nothing but a modern day version of "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," Marie Antoinette.

    BTW, when Antionette was pushing cake, Hamilton was cleaning up America's debt problems with a new strong national gov't, repudiating Hayek before Hayek ever hit the scene.

  2. Thanks for this, which is great. Hayek sounds very Burkean here.

  3. This is me without coffee... an hour later (after coffee) sitting in the vet with Bartleby, it randomly dawned on me "I wrote Descartian in that post rather than Cartesian didn't I?"

    In my caffeine-less stupor I even remember staring at the word and wondering if I spelled it right, and - checking it against my google results for "Descartes" - decided that I had.

    And it hit me only an hour later.

    If any of you noticed it the first time, your discretion in not pointing it out is much appreciated.

  4. "If any of you noticed it the first time, your discretion in not pointing it out is much appreciated."

    Well I didn't want to make you look bad...

    Also, I like Hayek's voice. Very endearing.


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