fukuyama on hayek


The publication of the definitive edition of Friedrich A. Hayek’s “Constitution of Liberty” coincides with the unexpected best-seller status of his earlier book “The Road to Serfdom” as a result of its promotion by the conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck. In an age when many on the right are worried that the Obama administration’s reform of health care is leading us toward socialism, Hayek’s warnings from the mid-20th century about society’s slide toward despotism, and his principled defense of a minimal state, have found strong political resonance. The new edition of “The Constitution of Liberty,” which was first published in 1960, differs from the original primarily insofar as the extensive endnotes in the original edition have now been placed at the bottom of the page and heavily annotated by the editor, Ronald Hamowy. The notes, often more extensive than the text itself, make clear the extraordinary breadth and depth of Hayek’s erudition, and his ability to wander far beyond economics into history, philosophy, biology and other fields. Unlike Beck, Hayek was a very serious thinker, and it would be too bad if the current association between the two led us to dismiss his thought.

more from Francis Fukuyama at the NYT here.