A Free-Market Monetary System and The Pretense of Knowledge
Here are two of Hayek’s greatest essays in one volume.
The book begins with Hayek’s most excellent essay on money. It is also his most radical. He plainly says that central banks cannot be reformed. There can never be sound money so long as they are in charge. He calls for their complete abolition, no compromises accepted. He wants the market in charge of money from top to bottom.
His words predicting crisis followed by wild swings in valuation are up to the minute. He also relates the quality of money with the recurrence of crisis, showing an excellent application of Austrian theory.
Hayek was deeply influenced by Mises, and this shows here in the area of money.
The second essay is “The Pretense of Knowledge,” his shocking Nobel speech that explained why the very idea of government in our times is unintellectual, presumptuous, and untenable. He is as critical of socialism as he is of interventionism. He shows that the state is not capable of doing all that it is charged with doing, and why conceding it any role in social and economic management is dangerous to liberty.
It was not the speech everyone expected. But it lived up to Hayek’s lifelong commitment to telling truth to power.
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