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The Essence of Hayek 1st Edition Edition
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Having said all that, like the other volumes in the Essence series, this one provides as good a representation of Hayek's corpus as can probably be made in a single volume (it was published before the release date of The Fatal Conceit, but ch. 17 of Essence ["The Origins and Effects of our Morals: A Problem for Science"] is a 1983 lecture that summarizes the ideas in The Fatal Conceit pretty well). If you are new to Hayek and his political writings are your main interest, you may be better off first reading The Constitution of Liberty and/or The Road to Serfdom. But after those, this book makes for terrific sampling of Hayek's other writings.
All selections in Essence are eminently readable; e.g., there are no complex equations in the papers on economics. I am not sufficiently familiar with Hayek's writings to know whether this is characteristic of his works in general, or whether the editors deliberately made their selections this way, but either way the result is most enjoyable.
He says that the Keynsian theory (that unemployment is predominantly due to an insufficiency of aggregate demand), which "happens to be the only one which can be tested quantitatively, is nevertheless false." But he adds that his own explanation "cannot by its very nature be tested by statistics." (Pg. 7)
He says that "I wish I could share the confidence of my friend Milton Friedman who thinks that one could deprive the monetary authorities ... of all discretionary powers by prescribing the amount of money they may and should add to circulation in any one year." He rejects Friedman's sharp distinction between what is to be regarded as money and what is not. Hayek concludes, "This distinction does not exist in the real world." (Pg. 15)
In evaluating Keynes, he says that "I am fully aware that, in effect, I am claiming that perhaps the most impressive intellectual figure I have ever encountered and whose general intellectual superiority I have readily acknowledged, was wholly wrong in the scientific work for which he is chiefly known." (Pg. 48-49)
In discussing the theory of competition, he admits that the capacity to predict is necessarily limited to predicting the kind of pattern, or the abstract character of the order that will form itself, but that it "does not extend to the prediction of particular facts." (Pg. 256)
This collection will be an excellent introduction to ALL of Hayek's lines of thought.