Hayek on Free Enterprise

Course Outline

Hayek on Free Enterprise

This video covers Friedrich Hayek’s 1947 essay, “Free Enterprise and Competitive Order.” When Hayek first presented this essay, the world was winding down from a period where fascism, totalitarianism, and communism were dominant ideologies. Hayek advocates for a positive program for freedom, but acknowledges that more government is likely and that it’s not enough to simply limit the state, but to analyze how the state could do better.

Ideas matter, and it’s important that the right ideas be in place. In this essay, Hayek discusses ideas on monetary policy and land rights management as well as topics that were ahead of his time, such as monopoly power arising through patent and copyright law and intellectual property protection. Hayek challenges his classical liberal compatriots on topics such as limited liability for corporations, trade unions, and the inheritance tax. This essay calls for the market-oriented movement to reexamine its premises to better define which ideas were the most important to promote in the future.

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