This year marks the 70th anniversary of Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and will no doubt generate much congratulatory back slapping and warmth from the cognoscenti of the right-wing establishment. Elsewhere, at a forthcoming workshop on the utopian springs of market economy, to be held at the University of Sydney, there is a revisiting of both Hayek and his contemporary Karl Polanyi, whose classic The Great Transformation was also published in 1944. With the binaries of planning versus market competition, or fascism and socialism versus capitalism, the figure of Hayek and the text of The Road to Serfdom have both become lodestars for defending freedom based on nineteenth-century liberalism and the rights of the individual. So, seventy years on, what the heck’s going on with Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and how can we make sense of the text today?

Read more →