09 May 2008

Friedrich Hayek's Birthday

Cafe Hayek notes that yesterday was Friedrich Hayek's birthday. He would have been a 109..

I guess there's little point in wishing him a happy birthday. But I do want to honor him by taking note of the date. his Road to Serfdom, while not entirely convincing, influenced me greatly, and The Constitution of Liberty is a great work. Hayek's the one who taught me that the world is a dynamic place, and that's good.

The single most influential idea of his that has stuck with me is that all institutions are the product of human action, but not human design. That is, institutions evolve piecemeal, and can't properly be said to have been designed by anyone. That dovetails nicely with Edmunde Burke's conservatism, although Hayek explicitly disdained a conservatism that simply tried to stop change and development, and ultimately resulted in me occasionally calling myself a Burkean liberal--which may or may not make any sense at all.

Thank you Dr. Hayek.

1 comment:

James K said...

There are few minds of his calibre around today.