Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I just discovered Tibor Machan's and Aeon Skoble's

Reason Papers. In the archives, there's a great piece about blending the ideas of [Nobel Prize winning economist] Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard. [37 page PDF.] I'm not very far into it yet, but here's an interesting (to me) passage:
[H]ad Hayek clearly set out a Rothbardian idea of liberty, the intellectuals would have asked: Just how far would you go in adhering to the maxim? Even though Hayek approved of state activity beyond night watchman functions, it was to an extent the smallness of which, had Hayek come clean, would have alarmed the intellectuals of his time. In the terminological sunlight of Rothbardian liberty, it would have been nearly impossible for Hayek to conceal his true positions, for he would have had to lie outright or remain damningly silent. Drenched in sunlight, Hayek would have been dismissed and ignored.

To speculate, we might imagine that Hayek's meta-conscious faced a trade-off between obscurantism and obscurity. Hayek's obscurantism, his muccled definition of liberty, however, willful, enabled the philosophy of anti-statism to gain a hearing that was extensive and persuasive.

It's interesting to see that aspect of Hayek's writings defended, however weakly. He may have been a closet libertarian, but he never closed the door.

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