Hayek, Friedman, and Buchanan: On Public Life, Chile, and the Relationship between Liberty and Democracy

John Meadowcroft*, William Ruger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
1125 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article places recent evidence of Hayek's public defense of the Pinochet regime in the context of the work of the other great twentieth-century classical liberal economists, Milton Friedman and James M. Buchanan. Hayek's view that liberty was only instrumentally valuable is contrasted with Buchanan's account of liberty situated in the notion of the inviolable individual. It is argued that Hayek's theory left him with no basis on which to demarcate the legitimate actions of the state, so that conceivably any government action could be justified on consequentialist grounds. Furthermore, Friedman's account of freedom and discretionary power undermines Hayek's proposal that a transitional dictatorship could pave the way for a genuinely free society. It is contended that Hayek's defense of Pinochet follows from pathologies of his theories of liberty and democracy. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-367
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Political Economy
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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