It is page 523 of a wonderful post from FA Hayek – “Why I am not a conservative.” – Toward a Definition (Ronald Hamovy, ed., 2011) of Hayek’s 1960 vol. Freedom Constitution; (By “liberal”, Hayek here means liberal in the classical – that is, in the individual liberty-loving, limited-government – sense):
As a socialist [the conservative] It is less He is concerned with the problem of how government powers should be decided rather than by whom; And like a socialist, he considers himself entitled to impose his values on other people.
DBXThe conservative that Hayek rightly criticizes is not an American conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan or George Will. As Hayek himself notes at the beginning of his post, because America’s founders were founded in liberalism, Americans who call themselves “conservative” a la William Buckley and George Will are really liberal because they want to preserve America’s founding principles (in the classic, correct sense). ). The conservatism that Hayek rightly criticizes has historically been more common in Europe than in America.
Unfortunately, this European style of true conservatism is now invading America. The generals today include Sohrab Ahmari, Oren Cass, Patrick Dennen, Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio and Adrian Vermeul. While the details of each, and the programs of other, true-conservatives, differ from one another, each of these conservatives rejects the liberal willingness to allow individuals to pursue whatever peaceful goals they choose. These true conservatives unapologetically propose using the power of government to force people to follow their unique values.
As Stephanie Slade said in a recent interview with Juliet SelgrenIt is “terrifying” that this government power is being embraced by conservatives.
FA Hayek – one of history’s most articulate, intelligent and principled liberals – was born on this day in 1899.
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