The Puzzler

“The market is the best garden.”

—George Herbert

Lord Keynes’ biographer Robert Ski-delsky described Keynes’ principal rival in the 1930’s, Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), as “the dominant intellectual influence of the last quarter of the twentieth century.”  Hayek’s writings during the 1930’s on business cycles would eventually bring him a Nobel Prize in economics, but he is best known for The Road to Serfdom (1944) and his contributions to social, political, and legal theory.  Hayek is the most famous modern representative of the “Austrian” school of economics, the tradition founded in the 1870’s by Carl Menger in Vienna and associated with Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard.  

Like Mises and Rothbard, Hayek is a major figure in the classical liberal, or libertarian revival, of the last three decades.  Hayek’s influence was particularly strong in Britain, where he spent much of his academic career and where his admirers included George Orwell, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.  (He was not, contrary to Clement Attlee’s public claim, Churchill’s chief economic advisor.)  Shortly after becoming leader of the opposition in 1975, Mrs. Thatcher interrupted a Conservative Party gathering where a pragmatic,...

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