“Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative British prime minister from 1979 to 1990, was an outspoken dévotée of Hayek’s writings. Shortly after Thatcher became Leader of the party, she “reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Friedrich von Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting [the speaker], she held the book up for all of us to see. ‘This’, she said sternly, ‘is what we believe’, and banged Hayek down on the table.”“Hayek, I believe makes the most comprehensive case against statism in all its forms, and the choice we have between liberty and tyranny. (I hear that Levin’s new book by that title, Liberty and Tyranny, is also a good read.) Hayek always favored institutions that had evolved over time, such as capitalism and common law, as opposed to institutions that were designed by a small, elite cabal. The latter he considered hubris, because more wisdom is contained in the trial and error of the ages than a small group of so-called “enlightened” individuals could ever possess. In Hayek’s view, this is why capitalism worked; because it was impossible for a small group of state planners in a command economy to possess enough information to effectively run an economy; it was always preferable to let individuals make their own economic decisions.
“He wrote the following:
“Those who believe that all useful institutions are deliberate contrivances and who cannot conceive of anything serving a human purpose that has not been consciously designed are almost of necessity enemies of human freedom. For them freedom means chaos.” The Constitution of Liberty, 1959, p. 61