Mannkal Economic Education Foundation


Why does your Australian Prime Minister Rudd fear the late F.A. Hayek?

Ron Manners

30 April 2009

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This was possibly the most often asked question of me when I travelled (March 2009) to the Mont Pelerin Society Global Financial Crisis Conference in New York.

There are at least two answers to this question.

The first is flippant and quick.

Prof. Hayek wrote a book dedicated to P.M. Rudd and others of similar bureaucratic mentality.

The book was called The Fatal Conceit.

Hayek dedicated this book to those who perpetuated “the errors of socialism”. He described, “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.”

This is enough to make P.M. Rudd feel somewhat insecure.

So; by attacking Hayek, Rudd and his ideologically driven staffer who actually constructed these outbursts, made feeble attempts to discredit the case so eloquently put by Hayek.

Only history will tell who has the superior wisdom.

It was my good fortune and honour to know F.A.Hayek personally and I am certain that neither he nor his writings are acurately portrayed by P.M. Rudd’s extensive recent writings.

I’m moved to write this piece, not because I query the right of our P.M. (as an Australian) to write whatever he likes, but simply because I object strongly to paying, as a taxpayer, for such nonsense to be translated into many languages and widely distributed through our Australian Embassy networks and to the hordes of attendees at this year’s G20 meeting in London.

Well that’s the “quickie” answer to why our Prime Minister Rudd fears the late F.A. Hayek.

The second, more detailed answer, or many answers to this question, can be accessed through the several expert witnesses who have already commented so capably on the P.M.’s outburst.

I commend the following linked articles for your thoughtful reading:

• An Australian Lesson (Hal Colebatch)  

• Reflections of a Neo-Liberal (Steven Kates)  

• Rudd on a dangerous, ill-informed crusade (Michael Costa),25197,25013850-7583,00.html

• A Reply to Robert Manne (Dr. Steve Kates)

2 Responses to “Why does your Australian Prime Minister Rudd fear the late F.A. Hayek?”

  1. Hi Ron,
    I reckon you are at the nerve centre of a current dilemma with this question. The affluent Left have turned their considerable and quite destructive media on Hayek - Rudd is small change in this context.
    May I suggest we get together a group of those keen enough to participate and thrash out a vigorous rejoinder ASAP - we owe him that.

  2. Ales Chmelar says:

    In this quotation, Hayek was referring to Soviet socialism (see Altvater 1993), concretely to its incapacity to outperform Western market economies. Linking it with Mr Rudd is therefore inconsistent.