Hayek and Freud, *The Viennese Students of Civilization*

Erwin Dekker’s The Viennese Students of Civilization: The Meaning and Context of Austrian Economics Reconsidered is an original and interesting look at the foundations of the Austrian School of Economics, properly situating it in the context of its time.  Here is one bit:

In the “Civilization and its Discontents” — as Rosten attempts to point out to Hayek — Freud argues that civilization means constraining ourselves. Freud argues that morality works through a sense of guilt, and that restraint and hence civilization is created and upheld by this sense of guilt.  As civilization progresses, this sense of guilt has to be intensified or heightened.  This is in line with Hayek’s ideas, as we will see later, but Hayek refuses to acknowledge this.

Dekker also discusses the relevance of Nietzsche, Hermann Broch, and Peter Drucker for the Austrian school, and goes beyond the usual hagiography.


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