Hayek and Anti-capitalist Intellectuals
By Arnold Kling
Reviewing a new edition of The Road to Serfdom, Roger Kimball writes,
In the end, though, the really galling thing about the spontaneous order that free markets produce is not its imperfection but its spontaneity: the fact that it is a creation not our own. It transcends the conscious direction of human will and is therefore an affront to human pride.
Kimball’s essay is called “Hayek and the intellectuals.” The longstanding war between (some) intellectuals and capitalism is a subject that fascinates me. It plays a big role in several recent books. For example, in reading Amity Shlaes’ forthcoming history of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man, one can see this war being played out during the New Deal.
Then the war gets renewed in the 1960’s, as Brink Lindsey points out in his new book, The Age of Abundance. Also, the war is one of the important themes in Deirdre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues. She traces the war back to 1848, while Kimball argues that Hayek traced it back as far as Descartes.