Author: Tomáš Krištofóry
The documentary film and educational links: F. A. Hayek belonged to the so-called Austrian School of Economics. This school can be understood as a school of economic thoughts or a branch of libertarian ideology inspired by Austrian economists. Many people associate the Austrian school mainly with names such as Mises and Rothbard. Hayek’s Austrian critics even claim that there are two branches of the Austrian school – the true Misesian and the left-wing Hayekian.
Does Hayek differ significantly from these authors and what makes him inspiring? What does Hayek mean for the Austrian School of Economics and science in general? What are his main contributions? How should we characterize Hayek? How can Hayek’s theory of the self-organization of the human mind and the Hegelian concept of the spontaneous generation of man’s self-awareness be synthesized? Can there be an original synthesis of Hayek – one of the greatest anti-rationalists in the history of philosophy, with Hegel, the greatest rationalist ever?
Starring: doc. PhDr. Ján Pavlík, University of Economics Prague, Ing. Pavel Potužák, PhD., University of Economics Prague, PhDr. Ján Oravec, CSc., Entrepreneurs’ Association of Slovenska, Ing. Tomáš Krištofóry, doctoral student Erasmus University Rotterdam, Matúš Pošvanc, F. A. Hayek Foundation, Bratislava
Video language is Czech and Slovak. However English subtitles are available.
Tomáš Krištofóry has prepared useful links for all interested students, scholars and researchers to substantiate claims in the video and for educational purposes.
The links are divided into two parts: “Place and originality of Hayek within the Austrian school” and “The relationship of Czech and Slovak scholars to Hayek and the Austrian school”:
1. The place and originality of Hayek within the Austrian school:
- Concerning the relationship of science and Ideology in Hayek’s work: Ján Pavlík: Hayek for XXI. century (epilogue) http://www.petergonda.sk/upload/pdf/podadresar/Cudzie/doslov_hayek.pdf (in Slovak)
- Is relativism a sufficient philosophy for maintaining a free society? Ján Pavlík: On Hayekian “False Individualism” and Its New Sources https://nb.vse.cz/kfil/elogos/ethics/pavlik1-01.htm (in English)
- Comparison of apriorism present in the work of Ludwig von Mises and Karl Engliš, description of insufficiency of Mises’ apriorism for his unexplained cyclical arguments, including the Hoppe’s version of Mises´ apriorism, and the attempt to remedy apriorism in economics by the so-called evolutionary apriorism, inspired by Hegel and Hayek: Ján Pavlík, Austrian Economics and Problems of Apriorism https://nb.vse.cz/kfil/elogos/science/pavl106.pdf (in English)
- Hayek’s critique of Mises’ rationalism and his logic (1978): “Mises’s arguments were not always easy to grasp. Sometimes personal contact and discussion were necessary for their full understanding. Although he wrote in clear and simple prose, his approach still tacitly required an understanding of economic processes – an understanding that was not shared by all his readers.” https://libinst.cz/predmluva-k-americkemu-vydani-socialismu-z-roku-1981-f-a-hayek/ (in Czech)
- Hayek on Rothbard (1979), and his exaggerated tendency to logic, which led him to scientism in the study of complex phenomena: https://mises.org/library/skillful-professor-rothbard (in English)
- Hayek on Walter Block (1976) and on “shock therapy” by radical diction in the school of Ludwig von Mises, p. xii: https://mises-media.s3.amazonaws.com/Defending_the_Undefendable_2018.pdf (in English)
- Against the false and ahistorical division of the Austrian school into the so called “true” Menger-Bohm Bawerk-Mises branch and the “left-wing” Wieser-Hayek see: Stefan Kolev on the role of Wieser for the whole Austrian school: https://thinkmarkets.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/friedrich-von-wieser-or-against-sidelining-austrian-economists/ and here is his continuation of the debate with the Misesians Joseph Salerno and Peter G. Klein: https://thinkmarkets.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/sidelining-austrian-economists-a-reply-to-klein-and-salerno/ (both in English)
- Richard E. Wagner and his review of the book claiming that the Austrian school is all about economic, cultural and social evolution: Kiichiro Yagi, Austrian and German Economic Thought: From Subjectivism to Social Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1053837214000443
- The term “hominem unius libri timeo“, by which Ján Pavlík refers to some extreme Misesians, is attributed to Thomas Aquinas and means “I fear the man of a single book“, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_unius_libri
- The argument that Hayek can be associated with Hegel through their common ancestor, Adam Smith, is spread in Slovakia and Czech Republic by Ján Pavlík and Tomáš Krištofóry. See the reference in Libor Melioris: The Influence and Reflection of Adam Smith’s Teaching in the Works of Czech Economists https://is.cuni.cz/webapps/zzp/download/130015631/?lang=en (in Czech)
- To show that Hegel was a supporter of Smith’s invisible hand in economics, see: Tomáš Krištofóry: The Invisible Hand of the Market: Adam Smith and G. W. F. Hegel https://vskp.vse.cz/id/1238983 (in Slovak)
- Criticism of how Karl Popper made Hegel a totalitarian through incomplete citations: Walter Kaufmann (1959), The Hegel Myth and Its Method https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/kaufmann.htm (in English)
- Article on the Economist about Vienna as a City of the 20th Century: How Vienna produced ideas that shaped the West https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2016/12/24/how-vienna-produced-ideas-that-shaped-the-west (in English)
- Erwin Dekker and his description of the Viennese intellectual circles. The Vienna Circles: Cultivating Economic Knowledge Outside Academy https://www.ejpe.org/journal/article/view/166 (in English)
2. The relationship of Czech and Slovak scholars to Hayek and the Austrian school is possible to see in:
- Ilona Bažantová reacts to Mises’ recollection that Karel Engliš was an Austrian economist: https://www.vse.cz/polek/download.php?jnl=pep&pdf=557.pdf (in English)
- Tomáš Nikodym: Karel Engliš about freedom https://www.mises.cz/clanky/karel-englis-o-svobode-1359.aspx (in Czech)
- Josef Šíma and Tomáš Nikodym on classical liberalism in the Czech Republic, including appreciation of Karel Engliš’s attitude to freedom: https://econjwatch.org/file_download/872/SimaNikodymMay2015.pdf (in English)
- Jaroslav Krameš about the fact that Czech economists František Čuhel, Vilibald Mildschuh and Karel Engliš hesitated at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries whether to become a part of the Austrian school or whether to establish their own Czech school of thought: Is the Czech national economy Bráf’s school going to follow the path of Austrian school of marginal utility? https://msed.vse.cz/msed_2016/article/70-Krames-Jaroslav-paper.pdf (in English)
- Tomáš Krištofóry: Engliš’s Teleology in the Context of the surrounding German-speaking Schools of Economic Thought, p. 77-97 https://www.law.muni.cz/dokumenty/39642 (in Czech)
- Jaroslav Krameš: Was the Development of the Czech Economy Thought in Czechoslovakia Unusual? also acknowledges the role of the Slovak Imrich Karvaš in spreading the views of Karel Engliš and the Austrian school. https://msed.vse.cz/msed_2017/article/39-Krames-Jaroslav-paper.pdf (in English)
- Antonín Basch, teacher of Imrich Karvaš (and student of Mises and Max Weber) www.nbs.sk/_img/Documents/_PUBLIK_NBS_FSR/Biatec/Rok2018/06-2018/07_biatec6_figura.pdf (in Slovak)
- Antonín Basch and Austrian economists acknowledged each other. Quotes from Hayek’s correspondence with Fritz Machlup, another Austrian economist, identify Basch as their mutual friend and they worried about his fate and job following his emigration to the US at the beginning of World War II: https://books.google.sk/books?id=3wJ2DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA307. Fritz Machlup considered Basch to be one of the originators of the term “economic integration” from the American Economic Association conference, where they were both present: https://books.google.sk/books?id=YuyvCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA9. Another Austrian economist Richard Schüller reviewed the Basch book on the Danube Plain and the German spheres of economic influence: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40982034 Here is Basch’s review of the Mises’ book Omnipotent Government https://www.jstor.org/stable/1807413, and here is his review of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2144257. In this review of Basch’s book Price for Peace, Basch is compared to the contemporary books of Hayek and Mises. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42879949 (all in English).
- Zuzana Tomová: Prof. Imrich Karvaš – One of the most important personalities of Slovak national-economic history, p. 35-52. (including Karel Engliš’s appreciation of Karvaš) https://www.flaw.uniba.sk/fileadmin/praf/Veda/Konferencie_a_podujatia/bpf_2018_new/Zbornik_BPF2018_sekcia_3.pdf (in Slovak)
- Ludwig von Mises approvingly quoted our other economist Milan Hodža on the economic federation in Central and Eastern Europe in the following review (in the Economica magazine then edited by Hayek): Ludwig von Mises: Reviewed Work: Victory is not enough! The Strategy for a Lasting Peace by Egon Ranshofen-Wertheimer, Economica, Vol. 10, No. 40 (Nov., 1943), pp. 318-319, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2549837 (in English)
- “I cannot spare a remark about Dr. Hayek, which the Austrians might perceive as snarky: Professor Friedrich Hayek is the second Austrian we understand better in Prague than he is understood in Vienna; the first one was Mozart”, Tomáš Ježek’s final quote about Hayek: Tomáš Ježek, Speech on the occasion of Professor Gary S. Becker’s visit to the Liberal Institute in Prague, in Ján Pavlik (ed.): Gary Becker in Prague, 1996, ISBN 80-85341-55-7, p. 20.
The links explicitly show that there are deep roots and connections with Hayek and the Austrian school. Thus, we have a high potential to further creatively develop his legacy.
Ján Pavlík recommends reading:
- Hayek: Individualism and Economic Order, 1948 (basic contributions by Hayek on division of knowledge in the economy, on the role of prices as information carriers and on the impossibility of central planning; some chapters of the book have been translated into Czech, e. g. in the collection of translations by Tomáš Ježek: The Foundations of the Liberal Order, 2001: this book is used in foreign study programs as the basis of Hayek’s economics).
- Hayek: Counter-Revolution of Science, 1995 (volume 2, historically focused, gives the reader a cure against Comtian positivism and against the idea of the laws of social development – there is no inevitable destiny for a society; volume 1 is theoretically more demanding and presents a deeper view of man after the volume 2).
- Hayek: Road to Serfdom, 1944 / Road to Serfdom, 2001, 2012, 2016 / Road to Serfdom, 1988, 1991, 2004 (Hayek’s bestseller against totalitarianism and central planning; helps appreciate the worth of freedom and other values that are lost under totalitarianism)
Pavel Potužák recommends reading (in the following order):
- Hayek: The Road to Serfdom, 1991 (and skip the Counter-Revolution of Science),
- Hayek: Law, Legislation and Liberty (3 parts, 1974, 1976, 1979) (Hayek’s Great Work on Freedom, economic forces and political institutions),
- Rothbard: Man, Economy and State, 1962 (a decent introduction to Austrian economics, but read only after Hayek, since Rothbard closes a person intellectually)
- Mises: Human Action, 1948 (the book laid the foundation of an Austrian school in the US, is a summary of Mises’ teachings) and then anything, for example:
- Hayek: Prices and Production, 1931 (on prices, production and business cycle; after arriving in London Hayek made a breakthrough in the world of economics with this book, as well as with his criticism of Keynes) and the hardest book you’ll read over the holidays:
- Hayek: Pure Theory of Capital, 1941. (Hayek’s last book on the purely economic theme and he expanded in it in terms of theory and the book is, therefore, very abstract and complex; when it became clear that Keynes had prevailed in economics, Hayek moved on to a wider political economy and to study the non-economic assumptions of the economics following the publishing of this book).
Ján Oravec recommends reading:
- Read about Hayek’s life, since in his youth, it was just as fashionable to be totalitarian rather than advocating freedom as it is today. A historically oriented reader reads easily digestible books: Hayek on Hayek 1994 and
- Eamonn Butler: Hayek: His Contribution to Political and Economic Thinking of Our Time, 1983. The book is available at the F. A. Hayek Foundation in Bratislava (in Slovak).