Friedrich Hayek Quotes

Enjoy the top 85 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Friedrich Hayek.

Friedrich Hayek Quotes

The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbour and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.
— Friedrich Hayek —

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.

— Friedrich Hayek

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.

— Friedrich Hayek

The views of intellectuals influence the politics of tomorrow ... What to the contemporary observer appears as the battle of conflicting interests has indeed often been described long before in a clash of ideas confined to narrow circles.

— Friedrich Hayek

The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society-a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.

— Friedrich Hayek

We can unfortunately not indefinitely extend the sphere of common action and still leave the individual free in his own sphere. Once the communal sector, in which the state controls all the means, exceeds a certain proportion of the whole, the effects of its actions dominate the whole system. Although the state controls directly the use of only a large part of the available resources, the effects of its decisions on the remaining part of the economic system become so great that indirectly it controls almost everything.

— Friedrich Hayek

The main cause of the ineffectiveness of British propaganda is that those directing it seem to have lost their own belief in the peculiar values of English civilization or to be completely ignorant of the main points on which it differs from that of other people. The Left intelligentsia indeed, have so long worshiped foreign gods that they seem to have become almost incapable of seeing any good in the characteristic English institutions and traditions. That the moral values on which most of them pride themselves are largely the product of the institutions they are out to destroy, these socialists cannot, of course, admit.

— Friedrich Hayek

The young are right if they have little confidence in the ideas which rule most of their elders. But they are mistaken or misled when they believe that these are still the liberal ideas of the nineteenth century, which, in fact, the younger generation hardly knows. We have little right to feel in this respect superior to our grandfathers; and we should never forget that it is we, the twentieth century, and not they, who have made a mess of things.
If in the first attempt to create a world of free men we have failed, we must try again. The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century.

— Friedrich Hayek

How sharp a break not only with the recent past but with the whole evolution of Western civilization the modern trend toward socialism means becomes clear if we consider it not merely against the background of the nineteenth century but in a longer historical perspective. We are rapidly abandoning not the views merely of Cobden and Bright, of Adam Smith and Hume, or even of Locke and Milton,5 but one of the salient characteristics of Western civilization as it has grown from the foundations laid by Christianity and the Greeks and Romans. Not merely nineteenth- and eighteenth-century liberalism, but the basic individualism inherited by us from Erasmus and Montaigne, from Cicero and Tacitus, Pericles and Thucydides, is progressively relinquished.6

— Friedrich Hayek

The great misfortune of our generation is that the direction which by the amazing progress of the natural sciences has been given to its interests is not one which assists us in comprehending the larger process of which as individuals we form merely a part or in appreciating how we constantly contribute to a common effort without either directing it or submitting to orders of others.

— Friedrich Hayek

While people will submit to suffering which may hit anyone, they will not so easily submit to suffering which is the result of the decision of authority. It may be bad to be just a cog in an impersonal machine; but it is infinitely worse if we can no longer leave it, if we are tied to our place and to the superiors who have been chosen for us. Dissatisfaction of everybody with his lot will inevitably grow with the consciousness that it is the result of deliberate human decision.

— Friedrich Hayek

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