Is Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Justified?

In a word, (well, more than a few words, according to Hayek!): YES!!!

“The preservation of a free system is so difficult precisely because it requires a constant rejection of measures which appear to be required to secure particular results, on no stronger grounds than that they conflict with a general rule [of non-government intervention], and frequently without our knowing what will be the costs of not observing the rule in the particular instance. A successful defense of freedom must therefore be dogmatic & make no concessions to expediency, even where it is not possible to show that, besides the known beneficial effects, some particular harmful result would also follow from its infringement. Freedom will prevail only if it is accepted as a general principle whose application to particular instances requires no justification. It is thus a misunderstanding to blame classical liberalism for having been too doctrinaire. Its defect was not that it adhered too stubbornly to principles, but rather that it lacked principles sufficiently definite to provide clear guidance . . . .”

“People will not refrain from those restrictions on individual liberty that appear to them the simplest & most direct remedy of a recognized evil, if there does not prevail a strong belief in definite principles. The loss of such belief & the preference for expediency is no part the result of the fact that we no longer have any principles that can be rationally defended.”

~F. A. Hayek~
“Law, Legislation, and Liberty,” vol. 1: ‘Rules and Order’ (1973)

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About christopher

Content of "Natural Order" attempts to reflect the commitment of Universidad Francisco Marroquin to support the development of a society of free & responsible individuals. The principal commentator for this blog is Christopher Lingle.

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