Not too long ago, I watched an interview of FA Hayek by Axel Leijonhufvud.  The interview was mostly historical and biographical, focusing on Hayek’s growing up in Vienna and the circles in which he traveled there.  Near the end, though, I heard Leijonhufvud try to steal a point intellectually.  This is in the third to final topic, “Interfering in spontaneous changes.”  The interviewer asks,

The process whereby the Western countries gave up first the gold standard, and then what you call a discipline–and I agree there is a discipline–of fixed exchange rates: Is that not an evolutionary process, and are you not, with these proposals, in effect rationally trying to reconstruct, rationally trying to controvert, as it were, a process of evolution?

Hayek’s response was sharp and correct:  it is not a rationalist intervention to reverse rationalist intervention.  Governments forcing us down one path does not make it “evolutionary,” even democratically elected governments.  Those are still politicians and planners trying to push their agendas and not the spontaneous interactions of free individuals pursuing their own ends.  Opposing interventions made in the past does not mean that you are imposing your own plan, but can also be removing the plans of others and letting everybody create their own plans for their own spheres, instead of one plan from up high, regardless of how the planners were brought into the fold.


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