Hayek on Freedom and Coercion

Viner, Jacob. “Hayek on Freedom and Coercion.” Southern Economic Journal 27 (January 1961): 230–236.


“This important and challenging book presents a learned and powerfully argued brief on behalf of the propositions, that, in general, maximum possible amounts of “liberty” or of “freedom” from “coercion” is both practicable and urgently to be desired, and that the encroachments on freedom which prevail even in the Western world are a major evil, In their actual and prospective consequences, if not in themselves. Hayek is, of course, an economist of the first rank. But he also commands a variety of skills belonging to other disciplines and this work is primarily a treatise on a major problem of political or social philosophy, namely, the desirable pattern of relations between the state and the individual. If there is a special emphasis on economic matters, it is because it is in this arena that Hayek sees the gravest dangers from undue exercise by governments of its power to coerce individuals.”