October 19, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

friedrich hayek on liberty

Friedrich Hayek on Liberty

The Quote by Friedrich Hayek on Liberty:

“Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions and will receive praise or blame for them. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.” -Friedrich Hayek on Liberty

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My Take

I think that this quote Friedrich Hayek on liberty is an excellent one for Americans to hear right now. In fact, it might be even more important than his book, The Road to Serfdom. The entire nation is struggling right now because of a lack of responsibility; they don’t understand the other side of freedom.

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As you can read in Patrick J. Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed and this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty, liberty isn’t a one-sided affair. You don’t just do whatever you want without any consequences. Instead, as life confirms, there are consequences for actions; the natural other side of liberty.

That’s what makes freedom work. If people use their freedom responsibly and make something of their lives like the titans of industry in The Republic for which It Stands, then the natural result is praise; others respect their actions and respect that they used their freedom wisely.

If, however, the opposite is the case and people don’t use their freedom and fritter away their lives on the pursuit of pleasure or sloth, then society is right to condemn them; sloth and gluttony are two of the seven deadly sins after all. In short, a free society can’t function if its citizens don’t treat freedom responsibly. That’s the point of this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty and it’s what Americans should keep in mind, especially now that it is increasingly obvious that Americans are willing to fritter their lives away in pursuit of pleasure.

Unfortunately, it seems to be the case in modern America that no one really cares if people use their freedom responsibly. Drug use, hedonist chasing of pleasure, and welfare queens that leech of the resources of their betters are all praised, or at least tolerated, while hard-working and economy-driving innovators and financiers are condemned as the root of all evil. The people who call them that obviously never read Francisco D’Anconia’s money speech in Atlas Shrugged. That’s the case because too few Americans understand the ideology behind the above quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty. The root of all evil isn’t money, it’s a love of money and the chasing of Earthly pleasures that that love of money implies.

Leftists don’t get that condemnation is the natural response of society towards those that fritter away their lives. Instead of demanding that people use their freedom responsibly and create the “city on a hill” that the Founders knew America needed to be, many citizens of America today lambast those that try to reign in the excesses of their fellow citizens! Just look at one leftist magazine and the many articles on “fat-shaming” and why we need more welfare that it invariably contains. We don’t need more welfare or for people to be constantly reaffirmed in their bad decisions. Instead, we need more responsible citizens that understand this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty.

No one is perfect. But we should all strive to be better and use our freedom well, as those who read this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty know they should. Those that love liberty need to use it wisely.

Even worse than those that overindulge, however, are those that don’t understand that they can’t use their liberty to engage in criminal behavior. The rioters that are supposedly burning our cities down in the name of George Floyd certainly don’t understand that; if they did, then they wouldn’t be rioting in support of a career criminal.

But no, the members of the radical left think that actions shouldn’t have consequences because they don’t understand the thoughts behind this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty. So, they are rioting and breaking more laws in defense of a man who broke many laws in his short life. That’s not using liberty wisely, nor is it even justified. A proper understanding of this quote by Friedrich Hayek on liberty would show people that it’s not wise or justified to go along with supporting the wrong side of this struggle. A free people do not riot in support of criminals.

A free people instead either a) only support those that actually deserve support or b) protest peacefully, if they feel they must protest. Liberty can only be kept alive if we use it responsibly. That means stopping those that would use it irresponsibly, including the absurd and evil rioters that are rampaging across America.

To those that understand the responsibility side of liberty because they read this quote or other philosophies like it, such as stoicism, that refusal to take responsibility or even understand that others should be condemned for their wrong actions makes no sense. To the common American, however, not taking responsibility for one’s actions seems right as rain. We young conservatives need to be the generation that changes that.

By: Gen Z Conservative


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