F.A. Hayek on Liberty and Tradition

Gray, John N. “F.A. Hayek on Liberty and Tradition.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies 4 (Spring 1980): 119–137.


“One of the most salutary results of the recent revival of scholarly interest in the intellectual traditions of classical liberalism is that Hayek’s social and political writings have begun to be taken as seriously as they deserve. Reasons for this development are not hard to find. By any standards, Hayek must be regarded as among the foremost contemporary exponents of the liberal tradition. Thus it has been justly observed that “Hayek constructs a coherent and powerful case for  liberty,  the equal of which in our present century is difficult to find.” Again, there is much in Hayek’s defense of a regime of liberty which answers to the spirit of our age. His skepticism about the ability of governments to promote the public good, his sense of the dangers inherent in unlimited democracy, his critique of current conceptions of distributive or social justice and his demonstration of the vanity of large-scale social engineering—these are themes in his writings which elicit a ready response and a wide constituency of readers.”

Journal of Libertarian Studies [pdf]