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Our Agenda

A conscious acknowledgement of our common purpose as fulfilment without harm so we may organise ourselves, our justice systems, our economies, our organisations, and our societies to enable our pursuit of it. The organising principle of fulfilment without harm must override the pursuit of money and/or power. Specifically: (more...)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hayek Quotations Salient To OUR SYSTEM

I can't believe I hadn't read Hayek's The Road To Serfdom before. I always thought it was meant to be a capitalist rant, now I know better. It's in the spirit of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty and the freedom of the individual. Published in 1944, just before the end of WWII, and so dealing with the issues of national socialism, socialism generally, and individual freedom, it is definitely worth a good hard read. Later, Milton Friedman would could go on to pervert the ideas into a real rant for naked capitalism in his book Capitalism and Freedom (1962), but Hayek is much more balanced.

Here are some quotes salient to creating a system in which everybody has the freedom to live without harm (grouped by the main sections of The Common Purpose Manifesto)...


"The guiding principle, that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"The Rule of Law thus implies limits to the scope of legislation: it restricts it to the kind of general rules known as formal law, and excludes legislation either directly aimed at particular people, or at enabling anybody to use the coercive power of the state for the purpose of such discrimination." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"Similarly with respect to most of the general and permanent rules which the state may establish with regard to production, ...they do not conflict with liberal principles so long as they are intended to be permanent and are not used to favour or harm particular people." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"It may even be said that for the Rule of Law to be effective it is more important that there should be a rule applied always without exceptions, than what this rule is. Often the content of the rule is indeed of minor importance, provided the same rule is universally enforced." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...that we do not know their concrete effect, that we do not know what particular ends these rules will further, or which particular people they will assist, that they are merely given the form more likely on the whole to benefit all the people affected by them, is the most important criterion of formal rules in the sense in which we here use this term." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"Within the known rules of the game the individual is free to pursue his personal ends and desires, ..." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...the prevention of fraud and deception (including exploitation of ignorance) provides a great and by no means yet fully accomplished object of legislative activity." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek


"Let a uniform minimum be secured to everybody by all means". The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...we regard it as more important to use our resources in the best manner and for the purposes where they contribute most to our well-being than that we should use all our resources somehow." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...our only chance of building a decent world is that we can continue to improve the general level of wealth." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"..., where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organisae a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong." "...there is no incompatibility in principle between the state providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...there can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"..., it is the very complexity of the division of labour under modern conditions which makes competition the only method by which ... co-ordination can be adequately brought about." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

The "apparatus of registration which automatically records all the relevant effects of individual actions, and whose indications are at the same time the resultant of, and the guide for, all the individual decisions. ...is precisely what the price system does under competition". The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...planning and competition can be combined only by planning for competition, but not by planning against competition." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...shortcomings... particularly with regard to the law of corporations and of patents, have not only made competition work much more badly than it might have done, but have even led to the destruction of competition in many spheres." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"The functioning of competition not only requires adequate organisation of certain institutions like money, markets, and channels of information - some of which can never be adequately provided by private enterprise - but it depends above all on the existence of an appropriate legal system, a legal system designed both to preserve competition and to make it operate as beneficially as possible." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"It is necessary in the first instance that the parties in the market should be free to sell and buy at any price at which they can find a partner to the transaction, and that anybody should be free to produce, sell, and buy anything that may be produced or sold at all." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"The liberal argument is in favour of making the best possible use of the forces of competition as a means of co-ordinating human efforts... It is based on the conviction that where effective competition can be created, it is a better way of guiding individual efforts than any other." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek


"An international authority can be very just and contribute enormously if it merely keeps order and creates conditions in which the people can develop their own life". The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek


"...morals are of necessity a phenomenon of individual conduct, ...they can exist only in the sphere in which the individual is free to decide for himself". The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"Freedom to order our own conduct in the sphere where material circumstances force a choice upon us, and responsibility for the arrangement of our own life according to our own conscience, is the air in which alone moral sense grows and in which moral values are daily recreated in the free decision of the individual." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...the intensity of the moral emotions behind a movement like that of National-Socialism or communism can probably be compared only to those of the great religious movements of history." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...important qualities which facilitate the intercourse between men in a free society: kindliness and a sense of humour, personal modesty, and respect for the privacy and belief in the good intentions of one's neighbour." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...the state can do a great deal to help the spreading of knowledge and information and to assist mobility." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"Democracy is essentially a means, a utilitarian device for safe-guarding internal peace and individual freedom." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

"...the holder of coercive power should confine himself in general to creating conditions under which the knowledge and initiative of individuals is given the best scope so that they can plan most successfully". The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek


"We know that we are fighting for freedom to shape our life according to our own ideas." The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

Ben Wallace
Author The Common Purpose
LinkedIn - http://nz.linkedin.com/in/benwallace13
Twitter - http://twitter.com/BenDWallace

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