Livebogging World War II: May 15, 1942
Mark Thoma: Has the Fed Learned Its Lesson?

Daniel Davies Watches the Hayekian Yahoos Attack the Late Tony Judt

And he snarks:

Judt and Hayek: I would certainly be happy if I was generally regarded as being as dishonest and as ignorant as Tony Judt. After achieving that, I think I’d try to become as poor as Donald Trump and as ugly as Jude Law.


Judt and Hayek: [R]eally, the only sensible thing for Hayekians to do with “Road to Serfdom” is to treat it like Marx and “the tendency of the rate of profit to fall”, or Einstein and “god doesn’t play dice”, or Keynes and eugenics or Heidegger and “more or less everything” and just say that it was a clear error but obviously doesn’t invalidate the whole rest of his work.

But they really don't want to do that.

The basic problem is that there are three Hayeks:

  1. the--absolutely brilliant--price-system-as-information-aggregator Hayek.
  2. the--absolutely bonkers--business-cycle "liquidationist" Hayek.
  3. the--absolutely wrong--social-democracy-is-evil Hayek.

The first was a genius. The second was a moron--his could never make his arguments cohere either conceptually or empirically, but he kept doubling down on them and wound up in infinite reputational bankruptcy. The third was wrong--I would say blinded ex ante by ideology, others would say proved wrong ex post by events.

The problem is that the modern-day Hayekians are by-and-large uninterested in the good Hayek (1), and interested only in the bad Hayeks (2) and (3)...