Fredric van Hayek was one of the most important members of the Austrian School of Economics.  He was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary on May 8, 1899.  Coming from an academic family Fredric Hayek received a doctorate in Law and then in Political Science as well as studying psychology and economics.  Initially leaning towards a more socialist world view he soon changed to a more classical liberal view and later became a part of the Austrian School after hearing seminars by Ludwig von Mises and after studying under Friedrich von Wieser both prominent in the foundation of the Austrian School of Economics.   He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal "for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena." He also received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991.

                Hayek was known for his research and models which tended to conflict with the prominent Keynesian views of the time.  As a prominent part of the Austrian and Classical Liberal study of the day Hayek was a buttress against the Keynesian views and a part of the change back towards classical liberalism in the 80s through his shaping of the thoughts of world leaders like Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan who adopted many of his broader  ideas.  Probably his most popular work, The Road to Serfdom made 4th place on the list of 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century, produced by National Review Magazine and several other top lists.  In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek explains that communalism leads inevitably to tyranny of some form and uses several contemporary examples from German Nazism to Russian Communism.  The book was so well written and bore such authority that even the proponents of communalism had to admit that the arguments where well reasoned and valid with people like John Maynard Keynes expressing his agreement with the premises of the book and communalists like George Orwell even admitted that his Hayek’s points where true and needed to be more seriously and regularly consider. 

                Even today the debates of communalism versus capitalism rages on and the Austrian School and the Classical Liberals are still at odds with the Communalists and the Keynesians.  In the struggle Fredric Hayek is a voice of reason, expressing the dangers of the communalism that sounds so promising in theory, but proves so dangerous to liberty in their practice.  Fredric Hayek should be studied by every capitalist and in my opinion “The Road to Serfdom should replace Orwells 1984 on every school reading lists.  

 





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