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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fatal Conceit of Empire



Economist Friedrich A. Hayek was not considered a critic of empire yet his warning about the "fatal conceit" of economic central planning can be equally applied to foreign policy. David Henderson offers this Hayekian critique of U.S. empire:

Unfortunately, both of the major candidates running for president are what Adam Smith would call "men of system." McCain and Obama have shown that they believe they can plan affairs in Afghanistan (both), Pakistan (both), and Iraq (McCain). Both, but especially Obama, think they can move us Americans around on the domestic chessboard also. Both are wrong. Each of us has his or her own "principle of motion." Unfortunately, whoever gets elected, we will pay for what Hayek would have called their "fatal conceit."

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