From the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry to president Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package to the highly controversial passage of federal health-care reform, conservatives and concerned citizens alike have grown increasingly fearful of big government. Enter Nobel Prize–winning economist and political theorist F. A. Hayek, whose passionate warning against empowering states with greater economic control, The Road to Serfdom, became an overnight sensation last summer when it was endorsed by Glenn Beck. The book has since sold over 150,000 copies.
The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press’s series of newly edited editions of Hayek’s works, The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek’s classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided and must continue to guide the growth of Western civilization. Here Hayek defends the principles of a free society, casting a skeptical eye on the growth of the welfare state and examining the challenges to freedom posed by an ever expanding government as well as its corrosive effect on the creation, preservation, and utilization of knowledge.
In opposition to those who call for the state to play a greater role in society, Hayek puts forward a nuanced argument for prudence. Guided by this quality, he elegantly demonstrates that a free market system in a democratic polity under the rule of law and with strong constitutional protections of individual rights represents the best chance for the continuing existence of liberty.
Striking a balance between skepticism and hope, Hayek’s profound insights are timelier and more welcome than ever before. This definitive edition of The Constitution of Liberty will give a new generation the opportunity to learn from his enduring wisdom.
About the Author
F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and a leading proponent of classical liberalism in the twentieth century.
Ronald Hamowy is professor of history emeritus at the University of Alberta. He is the editor of The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, among other books.
"In an age when many on the right are worried that the Obama administration's reform of health care is leading us toward socialism, Hayek's warnings from the mid-twentieth century about society's slide toward despotism, and his principled defense of a minimal state, have found strong political resonance. . . . The notes [to this edition] make clear the extraordinary breadth and depth of Hayek's erudition and his ability to wander far beyond economics into history, philosophy, biology, and other fields."
--Francis Fukuyama "New York Times Book Review "
Editorial Foreword xi
Introductory Essay 1
The Constitution of Liberty:Editions and Translations 23
A Note on the Notes 26
Editor's Acknowledgments 28
Liberty Fund Editions Cited 30
THE CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTY
Bibliographical Abbreviations 44
PART I: The Value of Freedom
One. Liberty and Liberties 57
Two. The Creative Powers of a Free Civilization 73
Three. The Common Sense of Progress 91
Four. Freedom, Reason, and Tradition 107
Five. Responsibility and Freedom 133
Six. Equality, Value, and Merit 148
Seven. Majority Rule 166
Eight. Employment and Independence 184
PART II: Freedom and the Law
Nine. Coercion and the State 199
Ten. Law, Commands, and Order 215
Eleven. The Origins of the Rule of Law 232
Twelve. The American Contribution: Constitutionalism 261
Thirteen. Liberalism and Administration: The Reichsstaat 287
Fourteen. The Safeguards of Individual Liberty 308
Fifteen. Economic Policy and the Rule of Law 329
Sixteen. The Decline of the Law 342
PART III: Freedom in the Welfare State
Seventeen. The Decline of Socialism and the Rise of the Welfare State 369
Eighteen. Labor Unions and Employment 384
Nineteen. Social Security 405
Twenty. Taxation and Redistribution 430
Twenty-one. The Monetary Framework 451
Twenty-two. Housing and Town Planning 466
Twenty-three. Agriculture and Natural Resources 482
Twenty-four. Education and Research 498
Postscript: Why I Am Not a Conservative 519
Analytical Table of Contents 535
Index of Authors Cited 543
Index of Subjects 557
Series: Collected Works of F.A. Hayek (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 583
Published: 1st April 2011
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.7
Weight (kg): 0.78