To the socialists of all parties (to whom F. A. Hayek dedicated The Road to Serfdom ), The Constitution of Liberty, is anathema. Hayek, they believe, stands for an atomised society full of selfish individuals all looking after their own interests. But nobody who has read the original texts could possibly represent him this way.
One person who understood this was Margaret Thatcher. Once during a party policy meeting a speaker started to argue that the Conservative Party should adopt a pragmatic middle way. According to John Ranelagh in Thatcher’s People, “Before he had finished speaking...the new Party Leader reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Friedrich von Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting, she held the book up for all of us to see. ‘This,’ she said sternly, ‘is what we believe,’ and banged Hayek down on the table.”
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