Friedrich August von HayekFriedrich August von Hayek, (1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974

Friedrich August von Hayek Quote

“The ultimate decision about what is accepted as right and wrong will be made not by individual human wisdom but by the disappearance of the groups that have adhered to the "wrong" beliefs.”

Friedrich August von HayekFriedrich August von Hayek
~ Friedrich August von Hayek

Ratings and Comments

Joel. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

Whoa! This is a "might makes right" item from a person I have long admired, and it is unexpected! As a philosophical debate it is priceless. What we might define as "good" will only triumph if it eliminates what is not "good" via any means. As we mostly believe in right and wrong as truths across the ages, this quote demolishes that idea without a fight. Not a good sign. Taken out of context? Please, provide context!

Mike, Norwalk

Joel, I think you miss read the quote. The quote in other words is saying, it doesn't matter what people say is right and wrong, in the end, law will prevail. That which is unlawful will eventually fade away. The eternal truth here is, the closer in description man makes his codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. to the law, the longer lasting the exercised rights of man, freedom, liberty, prosperity and all else as is truly right will be around.

Mary - MI
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Mary - MI    8/15/11

Our nation was founded on LAW not on Men! The RULE OF LAW must stand against the whims and agenda's of individuals and groups.

J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

It remains an akward and troubling quote to me. I do believe in the ultimate triumph of truth as a promise of Christianity. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." as I recall. History has given us an unending battle of good vs evil that goes on to this day. The USA has led that fight in many ways with some success. The idea that the wrong will simply go away has a long history of not happening. It hasn't gone away with our help either. The USA became target #1 on 9/11. I'm left in a quandry on this one. I link to the promise of salvation via my faith in God. That the "End Days" will resolve the battle of good vs evil is my general understanding of the Biblical message. I'm not wrapped up in how close we are or may be to it. I don't agree with some I know personally who label Obama as the anti-christ. I'm also never sure whether they are kidding or not. "It will come as a thief in the night." is all the caution I need on that aspect. Thanks for your thoughts!

Carol, Georgia

Read his book, "The Road to Serfdom."

Mike, Norwalk

J. B., I also agree that good will eventually triumph over evil. Here, I don't think it is talking about evil or the wrong going away but rather, the group or society that accepts that which is wrong (contrary to law) as its norm will destroy itself. That is historically accurate. If the group once again accepts wrong as the norm, again said group (government) will disappear.

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Publius    8/16/11

Joel and Mike...I agree with you both. We will be locked in this battle of Good vs. evil until the Almighty sets us free. During this battle we may hold the high ground or be trapped in the coldest darkest ditch of humanity. The personal goodness of the individual and the overall goodness of a society decides the firmness of the ground in which they stand. This country is now treading merkier waters than it has in the past because our faith and reverence in God as well as our knowledge of Good and evil has faded as time unfolds. Mike, you speak of the government as being the group that accepts wrong as its norm. While you are right, you must remember that it was We the People who selected our governors. We have allowed ourselves to be fooled by the empty promises and fictional illustrations of a few self-ambitious individuals. We have refused to educate ourselves and accept the responsibility of supporting ourselves. We have voted to relinquish a number of our rights to the government at the pretence of it taking care of us. We wished to make a government hand-out the norm. The People were the beginning of the problem and We are also the beginning of the solution. If the People would educate themselves with respect to Right and wrong and accept their duty as free citizens, We could correct any problems in government. If we consult the Lord on all these matters, the smiles of Heaven will once again rain down on this land and We will be empowered with all that is required to beat off our oppressors.

E Archer, NYC

Sounds about right. Look at what has disappeared from the classroom (kind of hard to do if you have never seen the thing that is now not there). Cultures are not fixed, they are movable. Some cultural changes are natural, some are contrived and must be propped up. The Truth does rule, whatever doesn't harmonize stands on shaky ground and cannot hold its own weight. Seekers of truth mostly find untruth, but at least it narrows down the search. ;-)

Anonymous, oxford

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