Friday, 8 May 2009

Happy Birthday, Hayek!

As reported on the Volokh Conspiracy (where it was announced a little prematurely), today marks the 110th birthday of the seminal Austrian economist and - in his own words - political philosopher in the 'Old Whig' tradition. The photo to the right shows Hayek meeting the society's founders in the mid-1980s, shortly after they established the Hayek Society, which is now the Libertarian Society.

There's a fascinating article celebrating the anniversary by David Gordon at, in which he discusses Hayek's teaching style whilst a visiting professor at UCLA:
"Hayek delivered his lectures seated at a desk. He never used notes, but his lectures could easily be printed verbatim. When a student asked a question, Hayek would pause and then deliver an answer in language as equally exact as his lectures. He would sometimes twist his head in order to hear the question better. He said that he found it an interesting historical coincidence that he was deaf in the left ear, and Karl Marx had been deaf in the right ear."
Also, via Cafe Hayek, see this excellent interview from 1985. Well into his 80s, Hayek still comes across as a careful and lucid expositor of the ideas of freedom and free markets:

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