Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hayek on the Values That Sustain Freedom

In The Road to Serfdom Friedrick Hayek makes an insightful observation about the fate of Britain, circa 1944.
“It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel.

The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.” [emphasis added]
Clearly, a great many Americans have also lost interest in these values the past two generations. With the recent growth of the pro-liberty movement, perhaps they'll once again come to the foreground.

No comments: