Corrupted by Hayek?

Rob Frantz rfrantz at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 14 11:15:58 MDT 1995


On Fri, 14 Jul 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:
> I was a member of the Young Americans for Freedom in the late 1950's and
> subscribed to National Review, the conservative magazine founded by
> William F. Buckley who also founded the YAF. Many of the magazine's
> writers were fervent supporters of Von Hayek and proselytized on his
> behalf in every issue. I didn't become a Marxist until much much later,
> but early on I had the perception that the Austrians were simply
> providing an ideological fig-leaf to all the rich bastards who were
> ruining the world.

The fact that fervent supporters of the National Review praised Von Hayek
and proseletize for him in each issue tells us as much about Austrian
economics as we can learn about Marx and Engels from the fact that
every Stalinist bookstore in the world sold their works.
You seem so quick to ideologically crush libertarianism with a back-hand
swipe, but how much of libertarianism have you actually read and
contemplated? How much of Austrian economics have you actually read. What
have you read of Hayek and Von Mises?
Despite you labeling me a "libertarian" for simply broaching the question
of the need for a sizable market sector under socialism, I am not.
I've read Human Action by Von Mises from cover to cover and consider it a
great piece of economic and social literature. I am not a Miseian. I read
The Road to Serfdom by Hayek. Interesting, but too anti-statist for my taste.
No, I'm not a Hayekian. I'm an active union member and for want of a
better definition to put my politics into a neat description, some sort of
social-democrat.
What someone reads and even quotes tells me very little about their own
philosophy. Jerry Falwell and Jesse Jackson both quote Jesus. What does that
tell me about them?

ROB FRANTZ
Seattle, WA




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