11 May 2011


The "End of History" intellectual carpet-bagger has a piece in the NYT in which he pontificates about Hayek, having apparently only just read The Constitution of Liberty. His conclusion: 
In the end, there is a deep contradiction in Hayek’s thought. His great insight is that individual human beings muddle along, making progress by planning, experimenting, trying, failing and trying again. They never have as much clarity about the future as they think they do. But Hayek somehow knows with great certainty that when governments, as opposed to individuals, engage in a similar process of innovation and discovery, they will fail. He insists that the dividing line between state and society must be drawn according to a strict abstract principle rather than through empirical adaptation. In so doing, he proves himself to be far more of a hubristic Cartesian than a true Hayekian. 
Angels fear to tread wherein this trivial American headline-grabber political "scientist" blithely blunders. Hayek wrote that statist planners are certain to fail because their self interest makes their understanding of the needs of the people they seek to govern even more imperfect than the collective (but also imperfect) knowledge that the people have themselves.

Furthermore, Hayek argued, governments do not proceed by trial and error the way that individuals do because of institutional arrogance and the ability to use force to enforce conformity. It is precisely because governments are so resistant to "empirical adaptation" that the growth in their power leads to serfdom - as, indeed, it clearly has in Britain.

Having trimmed his sails to the Neo-Con breeze back in 1992, in recent years Fukuyama has smartly tacked to go with what he perceives to be a new statist tide. He has the intellectual integrity of a tape-worm.

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