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

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The Market Process

The desire of some people to redesign society is never stronger than in the field of economics. Again, their assumption is that anything that is not consciously designed and planned must somehow be wild and unkempt. They talk about the ‘chaos’ in markets that fluctuate daily, the ‘duplication’ of competition and the ‘waste’ that is advertising. Economic production and distribution, they conclude, could be made far more ‘rational’.

Such attempts to redesign the economy on more ‘rational’ grounds were never more widespread than in the times in which Hayek lived and wrote. Much of Eastern Europe became gripped by communism, and the idea of total state control of the economy spread to China and Southeast Asia, gaining traction ...

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