Friedrich Hayek and the Future of Liberty
Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Held at The Independent Institute Conference Center
Friedrich A. Hayek
(18991992) left such a profound mark on economic and political thought that The New Yorker has called the 20th century, The Hayek Century. After converting to free-market capitalism and classical liberalism in the 1920s, Hayek became one of socialisms and statisms staunchest critics. His 1944 bestseller, The Road to Serfdom
, warned of central government plannings authoritarian, and even totalitarian, tendenciesand helped reignite worldwide interest in the philosophy and practice of freedom. Although Hayeks 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Science brought renewed interest in his ideas, it wasnt until the collapse of the Soviet Bloc (which Hayek predicted) that his vast writings on economics, political philosophy, law, history, culture, and other fields became broadly recognized as essential to achieve a prosperous, humane and free society. Biographer Alan Ebenstein and economist Charles Baird shed light on Hayeks seminal legacy and the rebirth of freedom.