#5. Friedrich Hayek
Hayek is a hero to limited government libertarians everywhere. His work “Road to Serfdom” details the problems of a totalitarian state, and explains how democracy can easily lead to fascism. He won the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from George H.W. Bush, and the Nobel Prize for his work on economics and the business cycle.
Hayek was a minarchist, despite the protestations of well-meaning professors Edward Stringham and Todd Zywicki. His work “The Constitution of Liberty,” sketched out a new view of what principles should be enshrined in law. Hayek also agreed with Robert Nozick on the idea that governments should be judged on how they govern, not on how they attained governance.
For example, Hayek was a defender of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, saying that “As long term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. […] Personally I prefer a liberal dictatorship to democratic government devoid of liberalism. My personal impression – and this is valid for South America – is that in Chile, for example, we will witness a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government.”
Hayek argued that there was a difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism. He warned against confusing the two, stating that totalitarianism was the want to “organize the whole of society” to attain a “definite social goal,” which was stark in contrast to “liberalism and individualism.”