Dalrymple Quotes Hayek

Speaking, as Jonathan does, of Dalrymple, this seemed an interesting remark:

“If we live entirely in the moment, as if the world were created exactly as we now find it, we are almost bound to propose solutions that bring even worse problems in their wake.”

Dalrymple’s words reverberate nicely (reminding us of our adolescent, self-centered plans that so often failed despite our energy and good intentions). From his current City Journal article, “The Roads to Serfdom”, his bitterness arises from the uncomfortable fact Britain continues to ignore the good advice Hayek gave in WWII. Perhaps, given the breadth of affection for socialism (which he contends was confused with a sense of community prompted by the common enemy of the war), such insights could not have been appreciated. He acknowledges that in England, the government has moved beyond the role of husband, with his conclusion “Our Father, Which art in Downing Street.”

3 thoughts on “Dalrymple Quotes Hayek”

  1. This puts me in mind of Edmund Burke:

    Society is, indeed, a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure; but the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.

    (emphasis added)

  2. Thanks, Lex. And, well, if we remember the past and think of our kids, we probably would make fewer real mistakes. As an idea, this is beautifully put. I expect the idea has more vitality in a country that is reproducing itself. I am afraid that disconnection with past and future leads to nihlism.

  3. C S Lewis said (and this is a very approximate quote): If you want to destroy an infantry unit, you cut it off from its neighboring units. If you want to destroy a generation, you cut it off from previous generations.

    Accomplishing this objective seems to be a goal (an unconscious one, we should charitably hope) of much of today’s education.

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