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Post 0

Saturday, January 6, 2007 - 5:50pmSanction this postReply
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Congratulations, G. Do you mean that their slant is pro-free-market, or that they use free-market principles by rewarding top authors?

PS: Looking things over, I see you likely mean the latter. Very interesting site.

(Edited by Rodney Rawlings on 1/06, 6:01pm)




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Post 1

Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. G. Stolyarov II:

Thank you for your very fine article.

Ronald Reagan is described as being a "prominent New Dealer" during the '40's. Do you know what changed his mind?

Ah, I read down to this part in the above link:

"After reading Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," Reagan came to believe that socialism was a threat to the American way of life."

I guess that explains it. Plus Reagan majored in Economics in college.

Best Regards,

Mike Erickson



(Edited by Mike Erickson
on 1/07, 3:56pm)




Post 2

Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 4:54pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Rawlings, Mr. Erickson:

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your congratulations and readership of my article.

Mr. Rawlings:

Indeed, Helium uses free-market principles to reward its authors. As for the content of the articles, it is as varied as the kinds of people who write for Helium. Some are informative, erudite, and rational. Others are ungrammatical, vacuous, and poorly thought out. It must be remembered that the consequences of freedom include not only excellent and innovative works, but also worthless, second-hand ones. But the latter must be allowed to exist so that the former can thrive and emerge to the top in a free market of ideas. (This is not to say that every site or publication ought to practice this policy; I perfectly understand any site owner's decision to focus on certain kinds of content to the exclusion of others. I do that, too! But Helium's policy is an excellent one for a site that does not have an editorial board or whose owners do not wish to review every article submitted-- especially when the numbers run into the hundreds daily.)

Mr. Erickson:

Thank you for sharing the story about Reagan and the Road to Serfdom. It is indeed a compelling work, especially in its demonstration that under a command economy the well-intentioned and more-or-less benevolent advocates of planning will inexorably and inevitably become replaced by more ruthless, malicious, power-hungry types who will steer the entire society toward totalitarianism and repression of political liberty. (Hayek describes this in the chapter, "The Worst Get on Top.")

That is an argument which can indeed persuade a former sincere and benevolent advocate of state planning to recognize the inevitable devastating consequences of such planning and shift to advocating free markets.

I am
G. Stolyarov II




Post 3

Monday, January 8, 2007 - 7:23amSanction this postReply
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Lots of people smarter than Reagan saw the New Deal as a threat to America. And they didn't have to read Hayek to know that. I wonder what made these people so much smarter or more honest than Reagan.

I read Road to Serfdom as well. It's a little dated now, but still one of the best books you could ever read on free markets. Unlike Mises's gargantuan books, it's actually a book that can be appreciated by the layman. I have never understood why Randists don't like Hayek, because this book is philosophically solid.




Post 4

Monday, January 8, 2007 - 10:14amSanction this postReply
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Currently the other article on that topic is Number 1, but I don't see that lasting long. I would rate yours much higher, but apparently one has to write something for Helium first, not merely join up.



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Post 5

Monday, February 11, 2008 - 3:00pmSanction this postReply
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 I have never understood why Randists don't like Hayek
This is just a guess, but I think it is because of Hayeks arguments in support of a 'societal safety net.'

Hayek violated JohnGalt3:16, and those that condemn biblethumpers find that an offense of almost biblical proportions.

The apparently lost psalm: AynRand5:11  "Blindly worship no other, not even me."

regards,
Fred.




Post 6

Monday, February 11, 2008 - 11:47pmSanction this postReply
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Actually, Fred, the Objectivists have another reason to object to Hayek -- his epistemology!

- Bill



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Post 7

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 9:35amSanction this postReply
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Bill:

I'm relieved to know it's not his grammar.

If it was, would argument in support of that include examples?

For example, did Hayek believe that knowledge was absorbed through the soles of his feet, and only extended to his knees?  If he did, it does not change one word or idea expressed by him on other, untelated topics.  It would be moot.   Yes, those ideas depend on how his mind actually works, but he wasn't putting forth on that topic.   He could be wrong on that topic, and still be totally right on the topic he was writing about his entire life...which was not that.

What specifically is it about Hayek's 'philisophical theories of the nature and scope of knoweldge' that Randians object to?  Was he too much of a Durkheim worshipper(unseen yet all seeing "S"ociety, which alone can furnish the minds and moulds necessary..." when he was writing Road to Serfdom, Fatal Conceit, Constitution of Liberty, etc?   Ie, his actual interaction with us, as folks outside of his skin.

Or is it, because when we claim to be able to look into his very soul, we find him philisophically impure, as in:

Hayek recognizes that his epistemology undermines the idea of free will because it implies that the mind's operation is determined by the evolutionary interaction of the matter that comprises ourselves and the world around us. I point out, however, that Hayek responds to this implied determinism by explaining that it can have no practical impact on our day-to-day lives because, as he demonstrates, the complexity of the mind's evolution prevents us from ever knowing how we are determined to behave. Instead, we can only know our mind at the instant we experience it
My interest in Hayek's theory of economics and self government, his contribution to the theory of man's interactions with man, are not impacted by his incomplete wonderings about automatic transmission repair, male erectile disfunction, or his religious belief about how the human mind 'really' does what it does.  The latter is his meta-theory, not his theory.   It is his incomplete religious belief on the topic of 'how his mind does what it does' and not 'what it does.'    Could it be, he was wrong about ...how he actually did what he did?  Ie, that which he didn't spend all his life writing about?   

I can live with that.   If I can only accept the utterings of True Believer /Knowers on the topic of 'how the human mind really works', then indeed, I'm a heretic in that wound way too tight clearly a church.

As much as I admire Rand, this says more about my uneasiness with the jarring army of 'Randians' that have sprung up in her wake, worshipping her.    AS thumpers, to me, projectng litmus tests against ideas, seem just as crazy assed/cultish as bible thumpers.  I think it says more about 'we just can't help it' then anything else.  We love our parochial theories of everything -- to death.

regards,
Fred




Post 8

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 10:49amSanction this postReply
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Hayek maintained at length that social outcomes are not the result of conscious design and that to try to make them so leads inevitably to bad results.  He usually called this policy of conscious design "rationalism" and may sometimes have used the word "reason."  Rand, in any event, took his renunciation of constructivist rationalism as a renunciation of reason.  The distinction between rationality (hooray) and rationalism (boo) that Objectivists take for granted these days didn't come along until much later - after her death, I believe, but well after the 1940s in any case.
The Austrian economists also hold that values are "subjective" - not out-there facts about the world that planners might know about somebody else and be able to put to use in their planning.  Whether what they meant and what Rand meant is a complicated question, but she thought that it was and so considered them her opponents on this point.
An interesting sidelight is that in Hayek's 1955 The Counter-Revolution of Science he denounced "objectivism."  What he meant was something like psychological reductivism or materialism, the opposite of the Austrians' subjectivism and not what Rand meant.  He also talked at length about "methodological collectivism," which looks a lot like what Rand later called the tribal premise.  I once asked Barbara Branden on SOLO, immediate ancestor of RoR, if Rand was familiar with this book.  She answered that The Road to Serfdom was the only Hayek Rand had ever read.




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