The Enter Stage Right Link of the Month

The Friedrich Hayek Scholars' Page

The sad state of many university economics departments across the world is fully revealed when you ask their graduates to name some of the economists they were exposed to. Inevitably the usual suspects are trotted out: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Kenneth Galbraith and John Maynard Keynes. With the exception of Smith, capitalism is often being presented by its ideological enemies.

That means the voices of a number of superb economists are not being heard. As an example, a few weeks ago a friend of mine working on his MBA admitted that he had never heard of Ludwig von Mises or the Austrian School of Economics. Sad indeed.

Besides Mises', another who isn't getting his due is the incomparable Friedrich Hayek who sadly passed away in 1992 without much press coverage, surprising considering he won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1974 with Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal. Perhaps the best work that Hayek is known for is his 1944 clarion call "The Road to Serfdom," in which he argued forcefully that government had no business in interfering in the economy and questioned "the compatibility of democracy and statism" as Alan Brinkley once wrote.

Hayek is credited by many with no less than shifting American conservatism back to its Jeffersonian anti-government roots, high praise when you consider who some of the giants of pro-capitalist economic theory he was a peer with.

If you aren't familiar with Hayek, this month's Site of the Month will be a fine start before you delve into the man's work. The Friedrich Hayek Scholars' Page is a simply designed but very effective resource which has left few stones unturned in its quest to provide information on the Austrian economist. On the web site you will find quotes on and by Hayek, some of his papers, a time line, audio files, bibliography, photos, journal articles by and about Hayek's theories, and interviews just to mention a few.

The web site does have a few problems. Considering the amount of information available, a search engine would certainly be useful. Another helpful change would be shortening up some pages. A good example would be the Quotes on Hayek page which could be split up into several pages. The change in background colors can be disorienting considering that light-coloured pages link to dark-coloured pages and I'd suggest a more graphical design, but that's strictly a matter of personal taste.

Aside from those minor problems, The Friedrich Hayek Scholars' Page is a marvelous resource for those who only have a passing familiarity with the man and his work. If you were one of those who didn't ever hear his name in class or only received an abbreviated lesson on of this century's more important influences, I strongly suggest visiting this web site. If the government education camps aren't going to do the job, then The Friedrich Hayek Scholars' Page will capably pick up the slack.

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Archive Main | 1999

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