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Download The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek) epub

by W. W. Bartley III,F. A. Hayek

Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the "errors of socialism." Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the "fatal conceit" the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes." "The achievement of The Fatal Conceit is that it freshly shows why socialism must be refuted rather than merely dismissed—then refutes it again."—David R. Henderson, Fortune. "Fascinating. . . . The energy and precision with which Mr. Hayek sweeps away his opposition is impressive."—Edward H. Crane, Wall Street JournalF. A. Hayek is considered a pioneer in monetary theory, the preeminent proponent of the libertarian philosophy, and the ideological mentor of the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions."
Download The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek) epub
ISBN: 0226320669
ISBN13: 978-0226320663
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Author: W. W. Bartley III,F. A. Hayek
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (March 30, 2018)
Pages: 194 pages
ePUB size: 1473 kb
FB2 size: 1910 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 158
Other Formats: mbr docx lit txt

I first read this book about 20 years ago. This time I decided to listen to it. Hayek's style and intelligence demands a lot from any reader. Kudos to the Audible performer for his truly excellent job of making this difficult book accessible. The book itself is the most important single book I have ever read (I swear I have never said that about any other book). It explains clearly and convincingly that our civilization and its ability support multiple billions of lives depends completely on the laws and customs concerning private property that have evolved over millennia, that no one is smart enough to have designed this self-organizing system, let alone a better one, and that socialism is founded on a challenge to both of these. Even now that it is clear that all big socialism experiments have both failed and created only misery, people cling to the idea that some form of socialism can work. In this book's introduction, Hayek acknowledges the power and even the beauty of the socialist idea. Indeed, Hayek's biographer says Hayek himself was a socialist as a young man. If socialism appeals to you, read this book and you will see that Hayek and you share common ground. You can feel the good will toward humanity's billions that underlies Hayek's most urgent message (essentially, don't kill the goose...). Hayek's words on diversity will impress you that systems depending on evolution create and demonstrate the value of diversity. In today's identity culture wars, Hayek is neither on the right nor the left in any sense I can appreciate. To the extent he speaks to it, identity politics on both the right and the left are mistaken. The self-organizing complex system of laws and customs that has evolved is truly blind to race, color, creed, gender, orientation ... to everything except one thing. You live by the laws and customs that work and you may thrive (still no guarantee). You don't do that and you are more likely not to thrive. Is he saying we cannot do better? No. Just as in biological evolution, we can and should continue to experiment. But as with any experiment, we should be careful with the ones we choose. We may or may not know how to make it fatter, but we know how to kill the goose.
Hayek was simply the greatest intellectual of the 20th century. And 21st too because the mainstream scientific word is still playing catch up. Matt Ridley, who is near the apex of today’s scientific literary community so humbly mentioned: “Many of the insights that I thought I had discovered in my own readings and turns out Hayek had long before me.” Standing on the shoulders of the great economist Ludwig von Mises, Hayek was able to add an evolutionary dimension to Mises' economics which could give a coherent understanding of not only how the economy worked, but how its evolution was intertwined with cultural evolution and come up with countless profound insights. In another book Hayek writes:

“We understand now that all enduring structures above the level of the simplest atoms, and up to the brain and society, are the results of, and can be explained only in terms of, processes of selective evolution…”

If Hayek is correct, then eventually mankind will stumble upon such truths and thus get closer to Hayek and Herbert Spencer. Anyone familiar with their evolutionary synthesis can see this process occurring.

This short book is fantastic, it is an easy read, much easier and shorter than Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, yet it is far more profound in terms of the key insights. Simply a MUST.
Based on the way the world is heading today, more people should read this book. Be aware - Hayek is a very intelligent man and his mastery of the English language amazing. He goes to enormous effort to ensure his message is crystal clear so readers must be patient. For me, he has really opened to my eyes to the side of mankind that could destroy the species, but that said, I believe, that while the future will be up and down, humans will survive after they have learnt the lessons which current times demonstrate they must.
I read this in about two days. Well written; however, you will need to be very focused and committed to learning and understanding something that is typically oversimplified. Read this and get an intellectual approach to understanding the dark side of Socialism.
An excellent telling of how trade developed from the primitive tribal societies up to the highly complex and "unmanageable" system that today is able to supply the needs of billions of consumers. It explains why a managed economy is doomed to failure and how it is impossible to anticipate what billions of people want.