How does a movement win a war of ideas? What are the mechanisms by which politics and culture change over time? These were the questions behind Frederich Hayek’s 1949 essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism.” Hayek was a believer in free markets and libertarian politics. When he wrote this essay just after the Great Depression and World War II, free marketers like Hayek were an extreme minority. Forty years later the situation had flipped: the ideas of Hayek and his fellow free marketers were setting policy across the Western world. “The Intellectuals and Socialism” presents the strategy they followed to bring about this terrific change in the climate of ideas.
Joining me (Tanner Greer) to discuss Hayek’s seminal essay is Trevor Burrus. Burrus is a research fellow at the Cato Institute whose research focuses on constitutional law. He is the senior editor of the Cato Supreme Court Review and the co-host of the popular libertarian podcast Free Thoughts.
The full show notes for this episode are available at www.scholars-stage.org. Patreon supporters who would rather read than listen to this content can find a transcript of this episode here. An RSS feed for the podcast can be found here. You can also find this podcast on Apple, Player FM. Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
Other things mentioned:
Tanner Greer, “Culture Wars are Long Wars” (3 July 2021)
“The Problem of the New Right” (24 April 2021)
F.A. Hayek, Road to Serfdom (1944)
“The Uses of Knowledge in Society” (1945)
Constitution of Liberty (1960)
Nobel Prize lecture (1975)
Gunnar Myrdal Nobel Prize lecture (1975)
John Blundell, Waging the War of Ideas (2015)
Daniel S. Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neo-liberal Politics (2014)
Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (1959)
Brink Lindsey, Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed American Politics and Society (2007)
Stephen Vaisey and Omar Lizardo, “Cultural Fragmentation or Acquired Dispositions? A New Approach to Accounting for Patterns of Cultural Change,” (2016).
New Deal farm legislation: Agricultural Adjustment Act
Institute for Humane Studies
Institute for Economic Affairs