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Freedom can be preserved only if it is treated as a supreme principle which must not be sacrificed for particular advantages.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Law, Legislation and Liberty

The importance of our being free to do a particular thing has nothing to do with the question of whether we or the majority are ever likely to make use of that particular possibility. To grant no more freedom than all can exercise would be to misconceive its function completely. The freedom that will be used by only one man in a million may be more important to society and more beneficial to the majority than any freedom that we all use.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, The Constitution of Liberty

Conservatives are inclined to use the powers of government to prevent change or to limit its rate to whatever appeals to the more timid mind. In looking forward, they lack the faith in the spontaneous forces of adjustment which makes the liberal accept changes without apprehension, even though he does not know how the necessary adaptations will be brought about.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Why I Am Not a Conservative

Our submission to general principles is necessary because we cannot be guided in our practical action by full knowledge and evaulation of the consequences. So long as men are not omniscient, the only way in which freedom can be given to the individual is by such general rules to delimit the sphere in which the decision is his. There can be no freedom if the government is not limited to particular kinds of action but can use its powers in any ways which serve particular ends.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Individualism and Economic Order

It is because freedom means the renunciation of direct control of individual efforts that a free society can make use of so much more knowledge than the mind of the wisest ruler could comprehend.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, The Constitution of Liberty

It would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that the greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regards as the public good.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, The Constitution of Liberty

Man is as much a rule-following animal as a purpose-seeking one. And he is successful not because he knows why he ought to observe the rules which he does observe, or is even capable of stating all these rules in words, but because his thinking and acting are governed by rules which have by a process of selection been evolved in the society in which he lives, and which are thus the product of the experience of generations.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Law, Legislation, and Liberty

Individual freedom, wherever it has existed, has been largely the product of a prevailing respect for such principles which, however, have never been fully articulated in constitutional documents. Freedom has been preserved for prolonged periods because such principles, vaguely and dimly perceived, have governed public opinion. The institutions by which countries of the Western world have attempted to protect individual freedom against progressive encroachment by government have always proved inadequate when transferred to countries where such traditions did not prevail. And they have not provided sufficient protection against the effects of new desires which even among the peoples of the West now often loom larger than the older conceptions--conceptions that made possible the periods of freedom when these peoples gained their present position.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Law, Lesislation and Liberty


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