Friedrich August Hayek Faced with World War II and the Fascist dictatorships of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler raging the world was faced with quite a predicament. But according to F.A. Hayek the world was challenged with another: the “progression” away from liberalism.24 Hayek saw the Western World was progressing away from their basic fundamental principles.25 Hayek explains the abandonment and previous warnings of said occurrence:
We have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past. Although we had been warned by some of the greatest political thinkers of the nineteenth century, by Tocqueville and Lord Acton, that Socialism means Slavery, we have steadily moved in the direction of socialism. And now that we have seen a new form of slavery arise before our eyes, we have so completely forgotten the warning that is scarcely occurs to us that the two things may be connected.26 Now to full understand this statement one must understand the history of freedom and democracy of America which I will do in short. The United States founded on the ideas of what one may class classical liberalism, the right to private property and the consent of the governed via the Constitution. But throughout the U.S’s history these notions are left behind, somewhat for gotten and replaced with ideas of taming and restricting the ideas of the individual and limiting democracy. Which Hayek calls this specter out by name: Socialism.
Which this in mind Hayek feared that the Western world would soon collapse to said notion and all the fundamental ideas of the Western World with it. Hayek states that we must stop this progression in the wrong direction and return to the direction of true progress, the direction of true freedom of the individual.27 A system of no restrains allowing the individual to strive with no government intervention a system known as laissez faire Capitalism.28
Thus stating Hayek’s stance on freedom, his stance on democracy is not so much on the same page. With the practice laissez faire comes essentially a small government one perhaps so small the notion of democracy might be limited via individuals taking part in impractical practices. Or in the case of a large government restricting the right of the individual Hayek explains “Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government taking liberalism”.29Hayek continues his views on democracy A limited democracy might indeed be the best protector of individual liberty and be better than any other form of limited government, but an unlimited democracy is probably worse than any other form of unlimited government, because its government loses the power even to do what it thinks right if any group on which its majority depends thinks otherwise.30 Hayek would condone the practice of a laissez faire economy ultimately freeing the individual to his upmost max while condemning the idea of democracy, if the said democracy would limit freedom.