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

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The Foundations of a Free Society

Much of Hayek’s work is an extended criticism of the collectivist thinking that dominated his age. But more positively, he also attempted to spell out what the institutions, constitution and government of a liberal order should look like. Some of these thoughts are in The Road to Serfdom, but they are spelled out more systematically in The Constitution of Liberty and in Law, Legislation and Liberty.

Liberalism means limited government

In Hayek’s view, government does not exist to create a particular social outcome. That would be to impose the values of one group – even if it happens to be a majority – on others. But the majority could impose these values on others only though coercion – which is something ...

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