Dr. Benny Peiser10.05.2012 18:25
Steven Horwitz: Hayek’s Tolerant and Pluralistic Liberal Vision - Here’s the important thing: Once we agree on the rules, we need not agree on the ends to live peacefully with one another. The liberal society is “means-connected” and not “ends-connected.” Markets enable us to disagree peacefully while each pursues his or her own way… Compare this to socialism or fascism. These systems require a single hierarchy of ends; according to the theory, the collective decides which ends will be pursued and which not. When resources are allocated centrally, pursuing our own individual ends is impossible. Our particular ends must be subordinated to the priorities of the State or collective. The result is not the peaceful disagreement and tolerance of the liberal order, but constant fighting over the reins of power in order to achieve one’s ends at the expense of others. We turn the positive-sum game of the market into the zero or negative-sum game of State power…. For Hayek, the liberal society is a pluralist one, where the pursuit of anything that’s peaceful is limited only by our imagination and our tolerance of the similar pursuits by others. His vision is not narrowly economistic, but broadly humanistic.
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