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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Exclusive Interview with F. A. Hayek

by James U. Blanchard III

SOURCECato Institute

Link above to the article detailing Blanchard's interview with F.A. Hayek in 1984. The following excerpt is from that interview:

Q: That leads me to another question. What do you think accounts for the fact that capitalism has had such a bad reputation among the intellectual elite? Is it a simple matter of envy, or is there a more fundamental reason?

Hayek: Yes, this is a very curious story. It was the enormous influence of Karl Marx's teaching that capitalism has created the proletariat. It's curious because the fact is true, but the capitalist hasn't created the proletariat by expropriating anybody. On the contrary, he has created a proletariat by enabling people to live who otherwise could not have lived. He has created a proletariat by keeping people alive! In that sense, the proletariat is a creation of capitalism, and all these people just wouldn't exist without capitalism.

Q: If capitalism wasn't here to provide the labor, the jobs, and the capital, millions of people would not exist.

Hayek: Only capitalism could have created what I call the extended society, which is based on the utilization of infinitely more resources than any other system could have used.

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