Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Jeff Tucker: Hayek was more anarchistic than Mises

rated by 0 users
This post has 17 Replies | 3 Followers

Not Ranked
Male
Posts 853
Points 17,830
Graham Wright Posted: Sun, Sep 2 2012 1:41 PM

Jeff Tucker talks about how Mises had a Hobbesian view that prevented him from becoming a full anarchist, and then says that Hayek was not a Hobbesian, and in that sense Hayek was more anarchistic than Mises.  Starts at 12:14...

I have not heard this point of view before.  I have heard Mises described as a philosophical anarchist and unlimited secessionist, but I've only ever heard Hayek described as a minarchist, classical liberal or social democrat.

I wonder if anyone here shares Jeff's opinion on this and wants to elaborate.

  • | Post Points: 80
Not Ranked
Posts 836
Points 15,370

I think there might be something to that, given the general stream of Hayek's thought I think it's a bit harder to box him into a particular category on these types of questions. In the following interview Sudha Shenoy says:

"AEN: What about political divisions between Mises and Hayek?

SHENOY: This is interesting. Mises was quite clear that he believed that government was a praxeological necessity. He wrote again and again that a
society needs an institution that enforces the law, and therefore you need government. Hayek, on the other hand, says that we owe loyalty to  government only and to the extent that it maintains the economic order and the laws on which we all depend. If it does not do that, we do not owe it any loyalty at all. He wrote this in “Confusion of Language in Political Thought.” When the IEA published this, I pointed out to Arthur Seldon that he was promoting anarchy. This quite startled Seldon.

Hayek furthers says, in LLL, that if all government activity ceased, society would continue. So the political implications of Hayek are, in some measure,
more extreme than Mises. In a late interview, he admitted that were he a younger man, he would probably be a libertarian anarchist."

"When the King is far the people are happy."  Chinese proverb

For Alexander Zinoviev and the free market there is a shared delight:

"Where there are problems there is life."

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 853
Points 17,830

Do you think either of them ever read Molinari's The Production of Security?

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

I thought it was made pretty clear by Block and others that Hayek was an obvious ordoliberal.  Although I've heard it argued here that he became less and less statist as his life went on, and was essentially anarchist by the time of his death. I haven't read enough of his late stuff to form an opinion on that.

other relevant threads:

Hayekian anarchism?

Hayekian Anarchism

Hans Hoppe on Friedrich Hayek

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 853
Points 17,830

Yes, that is why Jeffrey's comment stuck out to me.  I don't know Hayek very well, but it seems to me that his views changed significantly throughout his life, much more so than Mises or Rothbard.  If as an old man he really said he would be a libertarian anarchist if he were a younger man, what can that mean except to say that he's now a libertarian anarchist but he's too old / tired to revise his life's work?

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

Hayek's final work, The Fatal Conceit, promotes anarchism more than any work of Mises.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 445
Points 9,445

It's quite possible to have a Hobbesian outlook and not believe in Hobbesian solutions. If anything one of the strongest arguments for a stateless society is the nature of man. On a personal level I was convinced of the need for a market based society by the fact that I hold  people (not individuals, but rather the group) in such low regard. 

 

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 7,105
Points 115,240
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Spillting hairs about how to interpret Hayek or Mises as approximating towards anarchism is an example of pointless inwards looking scholastic boondoggling, like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Its cool to have an opinion, but come on, really.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

nirgrahamUK:
Spillting hairs about how to interpret Hayek or Mises as approximating towards anarchism is an example of pointless inwards looking scholastic boondoggling, like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Its cool to have an opinion, but come on, really.

Who are you talking to?  Tucker?

I would be inclined to suggest that equating Hayek and Mises and their ideological leanings to mythical creatures doing impossible things, is kind of a stretch...but then again I assume Tucker believes in angels so I'm not so sure.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 7:31 PM
If youre a methodological dualist then ideologies are basically akin to mythological creatures, they are both simply cognitive phenomena.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 6,953
Points 118,135

But are Mises and Hayek just creatures of the mind as well?

I guess now that they're dead that's not so easy to answer.  Deep stuff man.  Deep.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 7:46 PM
[/hijack] edit
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 814
Points 16,290

Didn't Mises help a fascist govt out or something?

People change over the course of their lives, but I don't see how Hayek's views could've radically changed from ordoliberalist to anywhere near anarcho-capitalist though.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

I don't see how Hayek's views could've radically changed from ordoliberalist to anywhere near anarcho-capitalist though.

Well I don't think anyone was saying that he was an 'anarcho-capitalist'.  In The Fatal Conceit he described a traditionalist anarchism, based on evolving customary and common law which he believed would most likely employ market exchange as a means of peace and prosperity.  I don't think this is too far from the conservatism he seems to have held across his lifetime.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 853
Points 17,830

Aristippus:

I don't see how Hayek's views could've radically changed from ordoliberalist to anywhere near anarcho-capitalist though.

Well I don't think anyone was saying that he was an 'anarcho-capitalist'.  In The Fatal Conceit he described a traditionalist anarchism, based on evolving customary and common law which he believed would most likely employ market exchange as a means of peace and prosperity.  I don't think this is too far from the conservatism he seems to have held across his lifetime.

Thanks, I will have to check that book out.  I'm not sure what you mean by promotes anarchism, or how promoting anarchism (and capitalism, obviously) doesn't make that promoter an 'anarcho-capitalist', but I guess I'll have to find out for myself.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Male
Posts 853
Points 17,830

CrazyCoot:

It's quite possible to have a Hobbesian outlook and not believe in Hobbesian solutions. If anything one of the strongest arguments for a stateless society is the nature of man. On a personal level I was convinced of the need for a market based society by the fact that I hold  people (not individuals, but rather the group) in such low regard.

That's true, and it nullifies Tucker's point about why Mises didn't go as far as anarchism.  I've always thought Mises wasn't quite an anarchist because he was unable to distinguish between 'an institution that enforces law' and 'a monopolist that enforces law'.  Hence my question about Molinari, because that is earliest working model of anarchy I know about... and really the only one until the 1970s.

Apparently Molinari's article wasn't translated into English until 1977.  I don't know if Mises or Hayek could read French or if it was translated into German at all.  Rothbard does say "With this publication of Professor McCulloch's translation of Molinari's original article, let us hope that Molinari will now come to the attention of scholars and translators."  That suggests to me that Mises and Hayek were probably not aware of his work.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 836
Points 15,370

Mises and Hayek could definitely read French. I think Hulsmann commented that Mises' French may have been better than his English before he started teaching in Geneva in the 30s. It is curious though, Mises, does not seem to have explicitly highlighted the contributions of the French liberals, let alone mention Molinari.

"When the King is far the people are happy."  Chinese proverb

For Alexander Zinoviev and the free market there is a shared delight:

"Where there are problems there is life."

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

how promoting anarchism (and capitalism, obviously) doesn't make that promoter an 'anarcho-capitalist'

Well I take 'anarcho-capitalism' to refer to a society where legal and protection services are contracted for, as proposed by David Friedman, Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Bob Murphy etc.  This model does not apply to all stateless societies that have existed historically, and which also had property and trade.  One therefore can argue for anarchism that is neither anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-primitivism nor anarcho-capitalism.  Perhaps it can be called anarcho-traditionalism.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (18 items) | RSS