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Friedrich Hayek: The ideas and influence of the libertarian economist by Eamonn Butler

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Why Socialism Was a Mistake

Communism was a significant world force for most of Hayek’s life. Russia went communist when he was in his teens; only just before he died did the Soviet system there finally collapse. On the way, it inspired communist revolutions in China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, and imposed its power and doctrine on the countries of Eastern Europe. Even in liberal Britain and America during the interwar years and beyond, there was a feeling that, if not communism, then some form of state socialism and central economic planning was not only desirable but inevitable. Britain, Hayek’s adopted home, went so far along this road in the 1940s as to create a welfare state and nationalise most of its key industries. Other ...

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