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The Freedom of the Prices: Hayek's Road to Serfdom Reassessed

Makovi, Michael (2016): The Freedom of the Prices: Hayek's Road to Serfdom Reassessed.

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Recent debate has questioned the contemporary relevance and even the original validity of F. A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom. Was it directed against command socialism only or against welfare-state interventionism too? Should it even be read anymore? This essay takes a step back from the dichotomy between socialism and interventionism and explores two specific ideas of Hayek's which deserve renewed attention: first, his claim that economic liberty is the fundamental liberty and that political liberty is merely secondary in value. Second, Hayek's conception of the rule-of-law, which has implications for contemporary command-and-control regulation. Furthermore, that Hayek's conception of the rule-of-law in the Road to Serfdom is related to his economic theory of prices in “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” While Hayek's specific target in the Road to Serfdom was command socialism, his book embodied arguments – elaborated in his later works – which are more widely applicable and relevant.

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