F.A. Hayek

Barney Frank: Even Hayek Agrees With Me! (That Only Increasing Federal Spending by 35 Percent Over A Decade Means the State Is "Just Doing Nothing")

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It has long been an inside-libertarian-baseball joke when contemplating the rhetorical uses of F.A. Hayek–firmly identified with the libertarian movement and libertarian thought yet accepting the necessity of many government activity that other libertarians don't–that his first name might as well be "Even."

That's as in, "Even Hayek agrees with [whatever government program]…." used as a rhetorical trope to quiet more radically antistate libe

rtarians.   

Barney Frank in a recent interview with New York provides an amazing example of this:

You were talking about the Republicans and not being able to work with them. But isn't your ultimate beef with the voters, since it's the voters who reward that behavior?

I'm glad you said that, you're very smart. These days, in developed countries, everybody says you need a private sector to create wealth, you need a public sector to create rules by which wealth is created. Sensible people understand that. The tension between left and right has been where you draw that line, but it's been a contest between people who see maybe a 20 percent overlap. Let me read this to you. [Picks up copy of Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom.] "In no system that could be rationally defended would the state just do nothing." ­[Closes book.]

Do you read Hayek a lot?

For these purposes. For the first time in American history, we have people in power now who reject that idea. If they knew it was Hayek, they might think, Well, maybe. But they reject the public sector. That's why we can't work together.

Frank reads Hayek–explicitly to use him to bash anyone he thinks is more anti-government than Hayek. It's Murray Rothbard's world now, we're just suffering under a staggeringly large government in it, apparently. (Frank also once used Hayek and Mises to shame Republicans for not being sufficiently anti-government–the proper use of the great Austrian economists!–when it comes to agricultural subsidies.)

Yes, F.A. Hayek is not an anarchist. To imply, however, that that anti-Hayekian anarchist position is so dominant in policy or political discourse that it's time to bring out the big gun of Hayek (really, Frank carries around a copy of Road to Serfdom to make this point? This sounds like an alt-world sketch comedy bit) to combat it is wildly delusional. Yes, Frank's Republican foes, who can't name a single function of modern government they'd actually end, who offer up a budget plan that will not reduce government spending, either in whole numbers or as percentage of GDP, and will not eliminate the debt or balance the budget–those dangerous loons are anarchists who believe the state should just "do nothing." Except for everything, and at continuously crippling expense.

It warms my heart, a bit, that anarcho-libertarianism idea is now so feared after being so long ignored. But to use fear of anarchy as a weapon against any attempt to keep this insanely overspending overreaching federal government from going over a cliff is delusional and just plain wrong. Apparently anything short of increasing government spending even more than Paul Ryan's GOP budget will over the coming decades is tantamount to the state doing nothing.

For a long essay on the distinctions and conflicts between Hayek's brand of libertarianism and the anarchistic strain represented by Murray Rothbard, see my essay "A Tale of Two Libertarianisms." Indeed, Rothbard feared hyping Hayek as the king of libertarianism would lead to exactly the result we see in Frank's comment: Hayek being used as the sine qua non of libertarian thought to bash any more highly refined or anti-state brand.

Google "Even Hayek admits…."!

Ayn Rand on Hayek, as quoted from my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, from handwritten margin notes in her copy of his books:

She thinks Hayek's definition of a person's "own sphere" in which his views are suprrme could be narrowed down to "mere breathing…; Hayek's rejection of "dogmatic laissez-faire attitude" gets him called "The God Damned abysmal fool."… When Hayek accepts that certain goods, like roads and pollution abatement, need to be supplied by government, he is "so saturated with the bromides of collectivism that it is terrifying."…When Hayek talks of the "very defined limits" in which individualism "allows" people to follow "their own values and preferences rather than somebody else's," Rand thunders, "Oh God damn the total, complete, vicious bastard! This means that man does exist for others, but since he doesn't know how to do it, the masters will give him some 'defined limits' for himself."

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  1. hen Hayek talks of the “very defined limits” in which individualism “allows” people to follow “their own values and preferences rather than somebody else’s,” Rand thunders, “Oh God damn the total, complete, vicious bastard! This means that man does exist for others, but since he doesn’t know how to do it, the masters will give him some ‘defined limits’ for himself.”

    *sploosh*

  2. “It warms my heart, a bit, that anarcho-libertarianism idea is now so feared after being so long ignored. But to use fear of anarchy as a weapon against any attempt to keep this insanely overspending overreaching federal government from going over a cliff is delusional and just plain wrong.”

    Well, i guess you just want to live in Somalia then, dont you?

  3. Hayek sounds like high explosives. Libertarians are therefore anti-government terrorists. QED

  4. I don’t know why anyone would fear anarcho-libertarianism.

    With no one to enforce the rules, a bunch of assholes with guns would get together and decide they would enforce the rules.
    Without organized resistance, they would establish themselves as government.
    If organized resistance popped up and won, it would establish itself as government.
    Either way, anarcho-libertarianism would only last until the fighting was over.
    Then it’s business as usual.
    Just hope the devil you don’t know is worse than the one you know.

    1. Step one after establishing your government: Ban firearms.

      Step two: Limit speech.

      We’ve been fightin’ on step one for decades. Step two is pretty much complete.

      1. No one is promoting gun bans or speech bans. WTF? Why shit on a good topic?

        1. No one? That’s a pretty broad generalization.

          1. When – not if – guns and speech are banned, you can bet everything you have left they’ll be banned by Team Blue.

            1. As for shitting on a good topic… shrike won that by posting in this thread.

    2. Fear of civil war seems rational to me, especially when most people are living decent lives and don’t feel the burden of government that heavily.

      1. Don’t you see though, the only reason people don’t regularly going on killing rampages is because there is a law against it.

    3. It seems a little strange to me to say that the human race is only still around because someone made a rule against killing other people.

      1. Would you prefer to live in a society with no such rule?

        1. Yes, next.

          1. Psychopathy, it’s argued, is a genetic strategy, which is why it persists. Law & order, of course, exist for the minority of people who abuse others. It’s what prevents psychopaths from taking over. Not that it always succeeds (psychopathy presents in higher proportions in the business and political spheres).

            What’s truly comical is the fact that libertarians are, on the whole, skinny white nerds who wouldn’t survive a day in anarchotopia. See, there’s always been law against murder. You murder, you get punished. There just haven’t always been jury trials.

            1. “Fact” pulled out of ass, ad hominem, another “fact” pulled out of ass. Yep, it’s the real Tony.

              1. He’s like that all the time.

                As for his fellow-traveler Frank… the only reason he’d read Hayek is for a good laugh. Frank sure as fuck wouldn’t take Hayek seriously… way too capitalistic stuff for Barney’s brain.

              2. Well, you get punished for murder unless you’re king. In libertopia, every man is a king. In the real world, one guy is.

                1. You’d like that, wouldn’t you… having a king… handing down divine edicts without all that parliamentary bullshit…

    4. whaddya mean they “would”? They already did.

    5. Look who showed up with his little play strawmen. Itchy the Stinky Anus at your own peril.

  5. I would just like all the lovers of state to let us know…explicitly…what they think government ‘can’t or shouldn’t’ do.

    1. 1. Restrict access to abortion.

      … I got nothin’ else.

      1. that is a start…and an end!

    2. No, wait, I’ve got another one:

      The government can’t or shouldn’t not pay for contraception.

      1. The government can’t or shouldn’t not forbid the restriction against the denying of the failure to stop the cessation of multiple negatives in a run-on sentence.

      2. The government can’t or shouldn’t not forbid the restriction against the denying of the failure to stop the cessation of multiple negatives in a run-on sentence.

        1. but it should kill squirrels

  6. Do you read Hayek a lot?

    For these purposes.

    In other words, to advance his political goals. At least he’s honest about it.

    1. “I spend a lot of time reading the Bible, looking for loopholes.”

      — W.C. Fields

  7. Great stuff, Doherty.

    To the Peanut Asshole Gallery here – this is why I am a Hayek liberal and not a Rothbard fill in the blank.

    Hayek hated conservatives and so do I.

    1. $

      If it’s good enough for Tony, it’s good enough for shrike.

    2. so you talked with Hayek and he told you this? or does he say that in some of his writing directly? or are you just hearing what you believe?

      1. Hayek famously hated conservatives and their restricted minds.

        I shouldn’t have to point you to his popular essay here.

        1. There weren’t even American conservatives back then, conservative here means something different than European conservatism.

          1. Just ignore the sockpuppet. Just walk away.

          2. Bullshit! I am going retro on your dumb ass now! As long as the GOP consists of anti-science Creationist retards I will fucking HATE their Cro-Magnon slimy asses!

            That includes every one of your fucking shitty Senators except for Scott Brown.

            You understand? You fucking moron?

            Stay out of my fucking beaks range.

            1. $

            2. I love how Shrike is now shilling for Scott Brown who is pretty much a Bush style republican, except without the faux Texan accent.

              1. Bullshit. Scott Brown is no SoCon or warmonger or Big Spender.

                Yes, if the GOP were all like Scott Brown I would shill.

                1. Scott Brown is no SoCon or warmonger or Big Spender.

                  He’s a big spender.

                  And we don’t know if he’s a warmonger, because there haven’t been any votes on warmongering since he get to the Senate. He was refreshingly blase on the Libyan war, so there’s that.

                  Probably not a SoCon. I’ll give you that.

                2. Scott Brown is no SoCon or warmonger or Big Spender.

                  BWA HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

                  Scott Brown has partnered with Lieberman in proposing anti-terror legislation that amongst other things strips suspect of their citizenship without due process. He is an enthusiastic supporter Bush’s Global War on Terror.

                  So what if he isn’t a So-con: what makes you think the Bush family are? Not everyone who speaks with a texas accent is a socon. BTW In the case of Bush II who grew up in Connecticut going to exclusive prep schools, it was an affectation.

                  As far as him not being a big spender – come back to me when you find a weapons program the Scott Brown thinks the U.S. govt doesn’t need.

                  1. shrike cheerleads for Obama, therefore we should call bullshit on everything the man posts.

                    Just another socialist who loves money.

            3. are there no Christians/Muslims/Jews (ie., anti-science Creationist retards)in the Demo Party?

    3. We don’t much like conservatives either. Funny that.

      1. No, if you don’t loves you some sweet, sweet TEAM BLUE/MSDNC knob splatter, you’re automagically conservative. It works that way, I swear.

        1. Team Blue sucks. Team Red just sucks more.

          Thanks for the spoof!

          1. Hyperion sucked.

            1. Hey now. The only thing I’ll argue here is that it wasn’t as good as Fall of Hyperion.

            2. I got my name from Miss Lonelyhearts by West – the better novel.

            3. Hey now. I liked Hyperion.

              1. Obama is Team Blue.

                Cheerleading for Obama =/= capitalist.

      2. Don’t bother to tell shrike that, it gets in the way of his narrative that we are all mouth breathing, redneck, bushpig loving, GOPers and he is the One True Libertarian.

  8. Republicans really do want to do away with the social safety net and have since the New Deal. They want less government than Hayek. That they are completely inept at balancing the books is a product of a) their stupidity and b) their inability to treat revenues with a shred of rationality, preferring instead Grover Norquist’s approach of policymaking-by-deliberate-budget-busting.

    What the Republicans would do is most important to keep in mind, but their rhetoric is dangerous all by itself, as it is simplified into antigovernment slogans.

    The upshot is Republicans can do whatever they want with the power they gain by convincing voters that the federal government (and poor minorities) are the problem. That may never result in less government/GDP, but it will result in a population made stupid enough to vote against their own interests.

    1. $

    2. Whatever you claim Republicans supposedly want, the actual facts show large rises in government spending under the GOP. Your argument is just the TEAM BLUE version of the conservatives who think that Obama is a crypto-Marxist Indonesian Muslim Kenyan America-hater who’s just itching to reveal his “real” agenda.

      The simple fact is, the parties are very similar. Only the rhetoric changes. You = sucker

      1. Then how do you explain the Ryan budget? It’s certainly not a political document.

        1. The Ryan budget? The one that modestly slows the rate of growth in spending, assuming its overly rosy economic projections are accurate? Gets three and a half yawns from me.

          1. Tell us how the Buffett Rule* would do a damned thing other than slake a bit of wealth-envy bloodlust, Tony.

            * Why the fuck is a private citizen setting tax rates, anyway?

            1. Oh, and… $.

            2. It would raise a little money, but not a lot. It is a political idea. One that will do what it intends to do: reveal Republicans as wealthy-coddling anti-tax dogmatists.

              1. There’s no point in raising taxes unless they actually make more than a thimble-sized dent.

                Raising taxes just to get even… that’s just wealth-envy bullshit. A college-educated man, most times, would see right through that.

              2. It won’t raise much money because…. anyone , anyone? The rich already pay most of the tax revenue? Good job Tony, you finally discovered the truth accidentally.

          2. Notice that Tony hasn’t said a damn thing since.

    3. “social safety net”

      Unless they plan to eliminate charity, no. Non-governmental charity is part of the social safety net, just not part of the state social safety net.

  9. The upshot is DEMOCRATS can do whatever they want with the power they gain by convincing voters that the federal government (and poor minorities) are the SOLUTION. That may never result in less government/GDP, but it will result in a population made stupid enough to vote against their own interests.

    There, it works in any direction.

  10. They want less government than Hayek.

    citation needed.

    That they are completely inept at balancing the books is a product of a) their stupidity and b) their inability to treat revenues with a shred of rationality, preferring instead Grover Norquist’s approach of policymaking-by-deliberate-budget-busting.

    Starve the beast!

    What the Republicans would do is most important to keep in mind, but their rhetoric is dangerous all by itself, as it is simplified into antigovernment slogans.

    First amendment restrictions will solve this.

    That may never result in less government/GDP, but it will result in a population made stupid enough to vote against their own interests.

    You just pitched a perfect game.

  11. Google “Even Hayek admits….”!

    Great. I can never undo that.

  12. This is an admission that, as with Dante and Hell, there are different levels of Libertarianism.

    I admit that like Hayek, I FAIL the LP purity test. I have long admitted such.

    I just want a small and vital government and the GOP is not the answer. The Dems are marginally closer.

    1. The Dems are marginally closer.

      How? I’m pretty sure government-run healthcare, education, and funding for shit like green energy and hipster art is antithetical to libertarian values.

      1. So you’re all just a bunch of tragically unhip bumpkins who are fine spending trillions for a war machine but just don’t like money being spent on Piss Christ, but aren’t so unhip as to just call yourselves Republicans?

        1. $

        2. Tiny – turning strawman construction into a fine art.

          1. Don’t Itch the Stinky Anus. It just gets Stinkier in here if you do.

            1. I smell cunt. It’s coming from a few posts above. The odor is kinda spaced-out.

        3. “who are fine spending trillions for a war machine”

          Other than Tulpa, who the fuck here is advocating this?

      2. The Dems are marginally closer than, perhaps, the Socialist Worker’s Party to a “small and vital government.”

        As far as Dems and Repubs go, its all TEAM BE RULED.

    2. I just want a small and vital government and the GOP is not the answer. The Dems are marginally closer.

      We agree with 50% of the above.

      1. Just ignore it, Paul. Just ignore. Don’t respond. Why would you respond to a sockpuppet? It’s not real.

      2. Fine. They both suck. I’m OK with that.

        I was shaving a fucking point or two. The final outcome is the same.

        1. In keeping with your metaphor, sometimes reflex gets the better of me before I realize what I am doing. ugh.

          1. I’ve heard shrike can swallow without gagging. Max’s Mom taught him that trick.

    3. You pulled this exact same shit once before shreek. I think you copied and pasted the same post.
      See, people who decide that they are better judges of their interests than someone else are people who dont buy propaganda just because they hear it over and over again. Turning truth on its head and presenting it over and over to us does not make us eventually scratch our heads and think ‘hey, maybe shreek is onto something here….’, it just makes us laugh at you.
      What an insignificant speck of shit you are.

      1. You bite the empty air.

        1. Why? He’s got you pegged! Unless, of course, you are totally without substance.

          1. “pegged”

            Careful, there… that’s kinky territory.

    4. I agree that the GOP is not the answer, but I disagree that the Democrats are marginally closer. To me they are the opposite sides of the same coin at this point.

      1. I don’t know, I’m not sure they’re even opposite sides.

        1. This is why I hope that when the entire edifice collapses whatever party controls Congress the other party controls the Presidency – and both are removed from power.

  13. Even Engels died a millionaire.

    1. But Marx died a pauper.

      1. It’s not so bad being a pauper when your partner in the fairness racket has millions of bucks hoarded and it’s the 1800s when that was a pile. and Marx’s daughters inherited the loot.

  14. Since govt spending as part of GDP was, at what, 50% back when Hayek wrote his book, clearly there is not enough government spending right now.

  15. “For the first time in American history, we have people in power now who reject that idea.”

    Name one, Congressman. And by the way, Mitt Romney is the republican party nominee. So what the hell do you want, Sir Lispsalot?

    1. You son of a…

    2. Mr. Johnston, who was born female but who identifies as male, was adjudged as fully disabled by the Social Security Administration in May “for a variety of emotional liabilities that included gender identity disorder,”

      Fully disabled at 22? What the fuckity fuck fuck?

    3. Soooooooo is that a straight couple then? I don’t think I’ve heard of a double transgendered relationship before. NTTAWWT

      1. Does his wife count as a cougar?

        1. There is no way that hideous…thing…counts as a cougar.

        2. ok that one has me laughing to tears

    4. Really db, I could have gone all day without seeing that.

      1. Just all day? Sicko. I could go the rest of my life without seeing that – and now I can’t unsee it.

    5. So “he” is a 22 year old who was born a female. And “she” is a 56 year old who was born a man. Why didn’t they just keep their Allah granted equipment and play for their own team? C’est l’amour!

      The story of this couple would be a good chapter for the sequel to Declaration of Independents.

      1. This is definitely a long tail kind of thing.

  16. Barney Fucking Frank is still around? I figured in retirement he would have killed himself by overdosing on semen or something. *Puke*

    Ever notice that these socialist motherfuckers dont quote marx, carter, lbj, etc….when they need credibility they always pull out Reagan, Hayek, etc., and then always out of context.
    Intellectual dishonesty is the foundation of the left.
    *See tiny and shreek.

    1. The context is: Reagan raised taxes numerous times. Current Republicans are oath-bound to never, ever raise taxes. Thus, Reagan would not be allowed in today’s GOP, despite being its hero.

      1. ” It is high treason to pay taxes. Refusal to pay taxes is the primary duty of the citizen!” – Karl Marx

      2. ‘Even Reagan….’ huh tiny?

        1. Wake me when you guys stop unilaterally dismissing inconvenient facts as inadmissible and start making positive arguments in favor of your worldview.

          1. Wake me up when you start making honest posts.

            1. Never gonna happen, Bob. That cunt you’re talking to above, is fully incapable of honesty.

      3. That’s probably because they saw how Reagan never got the spending reductions he was promised to go along with the tax increases.

        Fool me once, shame on you.
        Fool me twice, shame on you again.

        1. And neither are current Republicans unless they take control of congress and the white house. Until then, their main concern is professed to be the budget. Knowing no Democrat or sane person will accept no tax cuts at all, that would seem to require compromise. Something Reagan and his generation of Republicans were capable of, despite still being crazy with bad ideas. All that’s happened is the crazy has gotten worse.

          1. *tax hikes

            1. Instead of raising taxes by, what, less than five cents on the dollar [pre-Bush levels]… just cut spending by that same amount. Or even a few pennies more.

              Make those fuckers live on a budget, just like WE do.

              Oh, and burn everything Keynes ever wrote. Just for good measure.

    2. If they let the mask slip they know they’d be run out on a rail. They do get a lot of help from the press.

    3. You smarmy fag – don’t you dare mention Reagan and Hayek together.

      Even Ayn Rand hated Reagan.

      1. ‘Even Ayn…..’

        Really shreek? How about ‘Even Hayek…’
        Did you read the article?

        1. If Reagan sucked, then so does Obama.

  17. When Barney Frank says “Hayek agrees with me” I’m assuming Barney actually ate Hayek and didn’t get the shits.

    1. Frank is a disingenuous prick.

      Most Democrats are.

  18. Man that dude jsut looks corrupt as the day is long.

    http://www.Gettin-Privacy.tk

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