What we are dealing with is a documentary formula, into which Hayek’s life and work has been stuffed. The particular formula is the one they use for pioneering scientists who discover bacteria or something like that, and the need is to stress just how isolated and way-out the fellow was considered by everybody else. That might be fine for doing the mathematician who cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem, and may lend itself to atmospheric long-shots of the presenter walking through empty courtyards and along echoing corridors, but Friedrich Hayek was not a man working alone, and his ideas built on the ideas of other earlier and contemporary economists. I kept waiting for the name Ludwig von Mises to crop up, and it never did. It’s kind of hard to discuss Hayek’s early years in Vienna without once mentioning Mises. The final straw came when the presenter described his work at the Institute of Business Cycle Research which was founded with Mises at the Chamber of Commerce where Mises worked, and where he held his legendary seminars, which Hayek attended, and even then she could not bear to utter Mises’ name. The following is far from a perfect analogy, but it’s like watching a documentary about Mark Antony with no mention of Caesar.
- Richard Carey is unimpressed by part two of the BBC series ‘Masters of Money’, featuring the work of F. A. Hayek. Part one was about Keynes. Part three will be about Marx. I know. What the hell kind of “master of money” was Karl Marx? Carey’s sentiments exactly.
I considered recycling Carey’s entire posting, which is not a whole lot longer than the above excerpt, to include in particular what he says about Marx, and also about the BBC. But it is no part of my intention to have anyone here ignoring Libertarian Home, where this posting appears. Do please go there, and read the whole thing. Or just go there anyway.