May 8, 2015—On this day in 1899, Friedrich August von Hayek was born in Vienna, Austria. The first son to parents Felicitas née von Juraschek and August von Hayek, a physician and botanist, would grow to be one of the most influential economists of his time.
His father spent some time as a university professor, an activity that had great influence on the career of his first-born. But his grandfathers and cousins were also very influential.
Hayek’s maternal grandfather, Franz von Juraschek served as a leading economist in Austria-Hungary. His close friendship with another prominent economist, Eugen Böhm von Bawerk may have also exerted some influence on young Friedrich. His second cousin was the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and his paternal grandfather, Gustav Edler von Hayek, was a natural sciences professor at the Imperial Realobergymnasium secondary school. Some of his systematic works in biology are well known to this day.
But it was in March of 1944 that Hayek’s most well-known work, The Road to Serfdom, was published. At the time, the most eminent of the modern Austrian economists was committed to explaining to Britain’s academia that fascism was not a natural capitalist reaction to the growth of socialism. The book was penned in the period between 1940 and 1943 and was widely popular in both Britain and the United States.
Here are excerpts from the cartoon version of The Road to Serfdom:
Has the work of F.A. Hayek influenced you somehow? Share your story in the comments below.
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