F. A. Hayek, a second cousin of Wittgenstein, is perhaps the most important social philosopher in the 20th century. Most of his writing and proofs were based on an anti-rationalist theme, rejecting the ‘positivist’ interpretation of materialist rationalism. His political views align with 19th century orthodox liberalism and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment theory. Hayek elevated law, private property and voluntary association. His chief opponents were Comte, Saint Simon and other socialists, who espoused communism in various disguises and a rejection of tradition.
Hayek was supported in his rationalist discontent by various Catholic philosophers including Charles Taylor and Alisdair MacIntyre, who rejected the idea that ‘science’ can model human behaviour and perceptions. All scientific observations are biased and value ridden and are not objective to start with. Instead, value in life is located in social, community and organic practices and activities. The rationalist world-view is thus a very odd one. It purports to anoint an ‘educated elite’ who have ‘insights’ into all matters, premised on a disenchanted normative material world which is uniform and standard and which states that all activity is random and deterministic.
The rationalist description of the world and its deterministic fatalism leads to the inevitable conclusion that humans have far less individuality, responsibility or vitality than we would expect if we kept the traditional view of man, God and nature. All actions, attitudes, characteristics and thinking are simply the by-products of genes, nurture and some arbitrary fates. Ineluctably humans are therefore not unique, not special, and not better than any other ‘species’. Moral relativism, anti-humanism, and the acceptance only of hard empiricism is what informs modern rationalism.
Hayek offered a way out of the rationalist mire. Following Hume, he recognised the non-rational (not irrational) origins of social institutions, learning by discovery and error, feedback loops, cultural mores, and tradition. ‘Scientism’ or modern rationalism had nothing to say about the origin of institutions, belief, or even science itself – a medieval endeavour with long historical antecedents which sought to explain God’s creation and the perfect symmetry and laws which make up the natural world. Science or indeed any endeavour, is for Hayek an expression of humans collectively and individually, adapting and creating, as embodied, important beings. We understand ‘concrete orders’ which are material and can scientifically be evaluated, but we also understand ‘abstract orders’ which are immaterial but just as important to our daily functioning and social creation.
Hayek’s most important book was ‘The Road to Serfdom’, written after World War II, which warned that the ‘West’ could easily slip into a form of Authoritarianism. Within a formal democracy, Hayek argued, it would be all too easy to set up an authoritarian state. We have seen this with the Corona totalitarianism, and the extensive and unbelievable vote fraud to elevate Joe Biden as President of the USA, a nation once cherished as a beacon for the home of the free and brave. Both implementations of totalitarian control were implemented within a supposed democratic framework, with apparently, majority support from the population.
Hayek noted the epistemic limitations of democracy, or its possible corruption, against other conservative voices who were justly fearful of wealth appropriation and private property confiscation. Epistemic limitations refer to the lack of real clarity or knowledge, which often impedes any government, or democratic process from acting in a rational, humane way. The only solution is to utilise a market process for both economic and even social interactions.
State run economies or societies within a ‘democratic’ framework, will quickly lead to a form of dictatorship, in which institutions and a small clique manage everything, with the objective to eliminate the ‘chaos’ of markets, or the ‘pain’ of choice, or to enact ‘safety and health’ for all. For Hayek, the rule of law, was the guardrail for equality and ‘justice’, social or otherwise. For the rationalist-communist, the rule of law is simply another tool for the state to use to forcibly create ‘social justice or equality’, and to enforce state dogma and canon. In the modern world, the rule of law is often just another tool to support the ruling elite’s world view.
Hayek is an important actor in the current post-modern world, and the debate about the interaction between the individual, the community and the state. Massive government both domestically and internationally has created so many layers between the individual and what goes on around them, that fraud, deceit, socialist ideals and radical deconstruction of tradition can be conducted and accelerated far from view or investigation. The socialisation of health, education, and the state funded corporatism of energy, pharma, the media and large industry have created a world in which state power is uber alles, making the medieval church’s role in social organisation appear weak and irrelevant by comparison.
What is the legacy of ignoring Hayek? Unlimited Government. Massive immigration, seemingly endless wars, the Corona medical Nazism, the eradication of tradition, statues, history, books, beliefs and Christianity, anti-White racism, the elevation of non-White ‘culture and attitudes’, a social construct of compliance and acceptance of governmental power, polygender dysphoria, climate fascism and corruption, the financing of fake science, fake studies and fake facts, and the deification of socialised-communist health and education systems and indeed all government programmes as ‘necessary’ and ‘just’.
In short ignoring Hayek is what will destroy Western civilisation.