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Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order

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ISBN-13: 978-0226320861
ISBN-10: 0226320863
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Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order + Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2: The Mirage of Social Justice + Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 3: The Political Order of a Free People
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and a leading proponent of classical liberalism  in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
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Product Details

  • Series: Law, Legislation, and Liberty
  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (February 15, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226320863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226320861
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Friedrich August Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of libertarianism in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg. His influence on the economic policies in capitalist countries has been profound, especially during the Reagan administration in the U.S. and the Thatcher government in the U.K.

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jerry H. Tempelman on December 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
The thesis of volume 1 of Law, Legislation, and Liberty is that "a condition of liberty in which all are allowed to use their knowledge for their purposes, restrained only by rules of just conduct of universal application, is likely to produce for them the best conditions for achieving their aims", and that "such a system is likely to be achieved and maintained only if all authority, including that of the majority of the people, is limited in the exercise of coercive power by general principles to which the community has committed itself" (p. 55). "[W]hat the spontaneous order of society provides for us is more important for everyone, and therefore for the general welfare, than most of the particular services which the organization of government can provide, excepting only the security provided by the enforcement of the rules of just conduct" (pp. 132-133). Therefore, "law is...to consist of abstract rules which make possible the formation of a spontaneous order by the free action of individuals through limiting the range of their actions" (i.e., through preventing coercion), and it is not to be "the instrument of arrangement or organization by which the individual is made to serve concrete purposes" (p. 71).

Law, Legislation, and Liberty was intended as a sequel to The Constitution of Liberty, in that Hayek wrote it to "fill in the gaps" that he felt existed in his argument in that earlier work. He wrote and published Law, Legislation, and Liberty on and off over a time-span of approximately 15 years (early-mid 1960 to mid-late 1970s), which were in part interrupted by ill health. Hayek admits that the result is at times repetitive and lacking in organization.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hayek's classical book is against the totalitarians and their thought about legislation. He responses them saying that the legislation is not the tool to reconstruct the people and the economical relationships between them, but it is the method to explain the irrationally and naturally developping law more clearly. Additionally he argues the cartesian method of thinking because of its results which refuse the social evolution. Therefore Hayek finds the philosophical base of totalitarian thought in the belief that "we can create the welfare with law, if we arrange it logically". That's why he calls every kind of totalitarian thought as "constructive cartesian rationalism", because all of them want to reform the whole world, law and order from the beginning to realize their specific outcome like in DesCartes' method. (I think that it's the same as "the social engineer" description of Sir Karl Popper.)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle Iglesias on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hayek's book shows how order occurs naturally in society and in very large and complex organizations as a spontaneous response to numerous, disparate, even unanticipated purposes. We do not create social order deliberately; if you think about it, this is the reason why we find some laws contradict each other, and why people have different ideas about love of country and respect for others.
As a society, people tend to create general rules to govern as many examples of behavior as possible, to fit as many situations as possible, even those that haven't been imagined.
Hayek builds on two premises: (1) that humans have limited abilities to understand and predict all possible consequences of social choices and decisions, and (2) people abstract (verb; refers to how the mind works) reality to understand it.
The ideas in the book are not difficult to understand, but to read the book requires the reader to let go of the illusion that people can make rational decisions for society.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Hayek is best known as an economist, he earned doctorates in law and political science. In the Law Liberty and Legislation trilogy Hayek returns to his intellectual roots. Here we see a detailed and insightful analysis of different types of political and legal order. Hayek contrasts free and prosperous spontaneous orders with coercive states that aim allegedly at social justice.

In this first volume of Law, Liberty, and Legislation Hayek spells out the difference between general rules of conduct and policy that consciously aims at particular ends. Law, as a set of general rules of conduct, are essential to societal spontaneous order. Private law is, contrary to what it might seem, more important to securing a free and prosperous spontaneous order than is public law. Hayek became an economist by reading Carl Menger's "Principles". We can see Menger's influence all through this book. This is Austrian economics applied to law.

Law Liberty and Legislation was intended to complete the case that Hayek made for classical liberalism in The Constitution of Liberty. This trilogy combines with the Constitution of Liberty to make a powerful case for strictly limited government and free enterprise. You should read The Constitution of Liberty before starting this trilogy, but be sure to read both. Hayek's analysis of spontaneous order and government planning is highly relevant. The collapse of the USSR might have made it seem that proponents of free social order had won. But it is all too obvious that the drive for "social justice" is gaining ground. Read Hayek along with Nozick and Buchanan. These ideas are vitally important.
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Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order
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