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The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism + The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469298163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469298160
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`... as passionate and disputatious as anything he has written. As well as adding up to a powerful manifesto against socialism, it is a fully accessible account of many of the main strands of Mr Hayek's thinking. Politicians ... no longer have any excuse for ignoring what he has actually said ... One of the outstanding political philosophers of this century has written a concise summation of his work: Hayek for everyman. It deserves to be read.' - The Economist

`His arguments are well structured, clearly expressed and, at all times, provocative. His followers will admire the trenchant critique of socialism; his enemies will find his work challenging ... It should not be ignored by anyone concerned with contemporary political discourse and economic developments in the modern world.' - Political Studies

`This is a book from which we can all learn, and have our understanding of society widened and enriched by extensive analysis embodied in trenchant analysis.' - Policy

`...this rich and provocative book' - Ethics

About the Author

F. A. Hayek (1899–1992), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and cowinner 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. Among his other works published by the University of Chicago Press are The Constitution of Liberty and The Road to Serfdom.

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.

Customer Reviews

Hey I enjoyed it as a good evening read.
Mark Dana Floden
His brilliance OUTSIDE of economics, as well as in, is made clear in both works, and if the title does not tell you his feelings, well, get reading.
S. Luftschein
Hayek makes a very good argument for the necessity of our recognizing how impersonal, self-organizing principles led to our lush economy.
R. Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

299 of 316 people found the following review helpful By Chuck DeVore on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I first read The Fatal Conceit back in 1991, after reading Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. I reread the book in 2007 while commuting back and forth to California's state capital in my capacity as a state assemblyman. Needless to say, the book's profound critique of socialism means much more to me now as a 45-year-old lawmaker and front row eyewitness to daily attempts to incrementally enact socialism in the Golden State.

The Fatal Conceit's title captures the essence of the socialist/progressive/liberal impulse, born of a feeling of moral and intellectual superiority, to bring order to the free market, and in so ordering, destroy the very thing (capitalism), that allows modern civilization. Hayek writes of socialism in the introduction entitled "Was Socialism a Mistake?":

"...The dispute between the market order and socialism is no less than a matter of survival. To follow socialist morality would destroy much of present humankind and impoverish much of the rest.

"All of this raises an important point about which I wish to be explicit from the outset. Although I attack the presumption of reason on the part of socialists, my argument is in no way directed against reason properly used. By `reason properly used' I mean reason that recognizes its own limitations and, itself taught by reason, faces the implications of the astonishing fact, revealed by economics and biology, that order generated without design can far outstrip plans men consciously contrive..."

What a simple observation of the truth, "...order generated without design can far outstrip plans men consciously contrive..." Capitalism, spontaneously generated through centuries of human interaction, has proven the best way to conduct the economics of mankind.
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103 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) was one of the twentieth century's seminal thinkers. He was an economist in the Austrian tradition and studied under Ludwig von Mises. (Although he is often grouped with von Mises, he was not the consistent libertarian that von Mises was.) THE FATAL CONCEIT was Hayek's final work, and was put together from a manuscript by the late W. W. Bartley, III (who is named as "editor" of the work.) This book is timely in that it was written at the tail end of the communist age and provided Hayek with an opportunity to reflect on the failure the socialist revolution.
As Hayek shows, the central problem with socialism is that it based on the false idea of "constructive rationalism," the belief that man can order society based purely on reason (and therefore planning). However, social progress is based in large part on tradition, or -- as Hayek describes it -- "between instinct and reason." This progress is inherently evolutionary and proceeds by slow steps. As such it integrates all the knowledge that is dispersed in society.
The theory presented in this book is a mix of liberalism and conservatism. In many ways it is the application of evolutionary theory to social though. As he daringly says: "morals, including, especially, our institutions of property, freedom and justice, are not a creation of man's reason but a distinct endowment conferred upon him by cultural evolution." This certainly won't endear him to either religious thinkers or Randian libertarians.
Hayek proceeds to discuss the benefits of private property, free enterprise and trade from this evolutionary perspective and shows socialized planning is inevitable destructive of social progress.
Hayek provides an excellent refutation of the central errors of socialism. The reader might want to compare his approach with that of von Mises in THE ANTI-CAPITALISTIC MENTALITY and PLANNED CHAOS, which covers similar territory from a somewhat different approach.
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134 of 151 people found the following review helpful By ProfWombat on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Most of the reviews come from those who, I'd guess, were on the right of the political spectrum well before they encountered Hayek. I read Hayek in college, and then again 40 years later, after a lifetime on the left, and have another point of view.

The term 'socialism' as used in political discourse generally begs definition, and is used carelessly rather than precisely by both sides of the debate. Consider, for instance the conflation of the manifestly wildly disparate New Deal and Soviet Communism. Those supporting the New Deal, which preserved democracy and capitalism during economic catastrophe with government intervention, too often had a wistful, credulous view of the Soviet Union. The right extended a realistic view of Soviet tyranny to define even the mildly US left as not merely mistaken, but advocates of tyranny and treason. Hayek is more precise. He views socialism as any government interference in the free market, and argues that, at whatever level it is conducted and imposed, the results are for the worse. He states that the plight of those in need, while acknowledging its reality, is poorly, if at all, mitigated by dirigiste government action, if not worsened and perpetuated. His arguments are logical, historically informed and presented in clear prose that's a delight to read.

My differences with him begin with his acceptance of the necessity of government protection of private property and of citizens against violence. I'd argue that unregulated capitalism, much as unrestricted government, can result in appropriation of property by the strong at the expense of the weak, and that there are many forms of violence, many of which are characteristic of unrestricted business activity.
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