Economics, Politics and Freedom: An Interview with F. A. Hayek

“Economics, Politics & Freedom: An Interview with F. A. Hayek.” Interview conducted by Tibor Machan in Salzburg, Austria. Reason 6 (February 1975): 4–12.


“REASON is proud to present the highlights of this conversation, to give our readers a better appreciation of one of the intellectual giants of our time.

REASON: Dr. Hayek, your book, The Road to Serfdom predicted serious problems for England and America should these follow the policies of welfare statism–how do you see it now?

HAYEK: Well, now, I don’t think I have anything to retract. Perhaps I did see the danger nearer, but it is a common experience that these tendencies take a long time to work themselves out; on the whole, though, the world is following the path I was afraid it would. In a way the thing has become more serious just now because we are now being driven into a planned society by inflation.

REASON: Do you see any serious differences between movement toward what might be called a Marxist socialist society and toward a non-Marxist socialist society in the West?

HAYEK: The use of “Marxist” in this connection is rather misleading because Marx never really had a program for the future socialist society. Most people who follow his philosophy have committed themselves to a centrally planned system and have started out with a radical reorganization of society. But basically I don’t think there is much difference between the traditional continental socialism and what you call Marxist socialism. Except of course that in recent times the Western socialists have discovered that many of the aims of socialism can be achieved by distributing income via taxation and have therefore shelved a great deal of their programs of socialization or nationalization. To that extent there is a difference.”