The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Happy Birthday, F. A. Hayek | Cato Institute

Reagan and Thatcher admired Hayek, but he always insisted that he was a liberal in the classical sense, not a conservative. The last chapter of “The Constitution of Liberty” was titled “Why I Am Not a Conservative.” He pointed out that the conservative “has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike.” He wanted to be part of “the party of life, the party that favors free growth and spontaneous evolution.” I recall an interview in a French magazine in the 1980s in which he was asked if he was part of the “new right,” and he quipped, “Je suis agnostique et divorc&eacute.” (“I am agnostic and divorced.”)


| Permalink


Those Conservatives whose principal concern is to preserve a liberal political order is also a Liberal. No? Though not in the American sense of either conservative or liberal, of course, which seem to mean unconservative and illiberal.

Posted by: dearieme | May 10, 2018 8:24:13 AM