Degree Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Politics

Advisor(s)

Jade Schiff
Harlan Wilson

Keywords

Hayek, Friedrich Hayek, Utopia, Utopianism, Utopian thought, Neoliberalism

Abstract

Against the conventional wisdom, I will argue in this paper that Hayek's political philosophy contains a utopian vision of the good society. By adopting and building on Isaiah Berlin's conception of utopia as a state of static perfection, I will argue that such a vision is implied, if not overtly stated, in Hayek's work. First, Hayek's view that there ought to be a relentless application of an unfettered market mechanism brings about, as he would have it, a static and perfect outcome by whittling away inefficient alternatives to yield a perfectly efficient outcome. In applying an unfettered market mechanism to (a) the evolution of the rules of just conduct and (b) the allocation of public goods, Hayek implies a developmental inevitability characterized by static perfection. Second, I will argue that his sketches of the proper contours of government demonstrate a conventionally utopian vision for the good society and manifest his conception of utopia.

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