Position Paper: Friedrich von Hayek

Allison Sherrer
May 19, 2011
Position Paper: Friedrich von Hayek
Friedrich von Hayek was a conservative, classical liberal. He believed in a free market
economy that was mainly influenced by self interest and economic freedom and that if these
things were put in place, people would be able to be treated equally therefore creating peace
and happiness. He strongly opposed communism and socialism because they affected the
viability of liberalism, causing the treatment of people to be unequal.
One of Friedrich von Hayek main beliefs was economic freedom. Although people have
been debating whether or not it is a good idea, he tried to enforce it as much as possible. I think
that economic freedom has its positives as well as negatives. In Canada we have economic
freedom and the people can save, buy and sell as they please. But in the 1920's when the stock
market crashed in the United States, economic freedom turned out to be a bad idea. People
had been spending as if nothing bad could happen, or that the economy could go under. I agree
with Friedrich von Hayek when he said, "equality by means of a directed economy can result
only in an officially enforced inequality." This is saying that you cannot have a completely free
economy where people just do what they see fit. There needs to be some government
intervention so that the economy is and remains as stable as possible.
Self interest was another strong point of Friedrich von Hayek's. He thought that the
government and people have to look out for the interest of themselves, but to a certain extent.
If the government focuses too much on themselves and not enough on the people, everyone is
going to suffer. He stated, "an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual.."
This meaning that the government needs to have a role in the peoples interest. Even though
people can do what they want, there needs to be someone to put things in order and to make
sure things don't become hectic.
Friedrich von Hayek mainly supported the ideas of a free market economy and self
interest. These should both be embraced to the extent where there is equal influence and
cooperation from both the people and the government. Free market, when in place properly
and effectively can be good and equal for both. As well, self interest can be beneficial as long as
neither parties become too selfish and self absorbed. Friedrich von Hayek was right in trying to
embrace economic freedom ad self interest, with the assistance of authoritarian control.
Allison Sherrer
May 19, 2011