August 2nd, 2016, the reading salon is held at Unirule Beijing Office. During the morning session, Professor LI Weisen gave an opening address. He introduced his encounter with Hayek’s works, his masterpiece Road to Serfdom. Professor LI Weisen thought Hayek’s works, his economic thoughts, and his philosophy, are relevant in today’s academic world. Hayek is a leading figure of the Austrian School of Economics. This book, Law, Legislation and Liberty, resembles Hayek’s similar ideas with Rowls'. He encouraged the readers to dig deeper and explore Hayek’s thoughts to try and solve real life problems.
Ms. LI Schoolland joined the discussion and introduced Hayek’s promotion of liberty, free market economy, and the rule of law. She linked her own experience of advocating these ideas in her own life with the reading of Hayek’s works.
Professor Christopher Lingle introduced a key concept of Hayek’s works, the spontaneous order. Every community is seeking for order continuously. The rules to guide people’s life. Hayek’s began to promote the idea of spontaneous order that evolutionary and came about from human interaction, instead of constructive order that is imposed. Therefore, there’s a difference of rule of law and legislative law that is legislative rules imposed through a legislature or parliament. The rule of law brings peaceful cooperation through voluntary exchange and human interaction, whereas, legislative law inevitably involves impulsive coercion and a certain extent of violence.
Professor Ken Schoolland introduced how Hayek perceived the decentralised and individual source of information that consolidates the foundation for market system. As long as there’s regulations and government intervention, this network of freely communicated information is compromised, which could cause distortion of information, and then malfunction of the market economy.
Professor Barun Mitra focused on the the idea of knowledge that constitutes Hayek’s philosophy. Hayek and his ideas did not assure freedom or market economy, but provided a framework that people could strive to achieve the grand ambitions of freedom and market economy. Another core of Hayek’s philosophy is individualism. An emphasis on the personal needs and individual perceptions of success, happiness, and justice constitutes an important facet of the society.
Professor JIA Xijin incited Rober Nozik’s ideas and made a comparison with Hayek’s ideas. She thought what’s more important is what the government should not do, instead of should do, to improve the society. She emphasised the role of the government as the provider of the fundamental framework to protect property rights and the human liberty as a just cause.
Mr. JIANG Hao talked about whether ancient China achieved the spontaneous order and the net-confucian thoughts. He introduced “Li”(礼) as a set or rules that are similar to spontaneous order that evolved over time and had a major influence on people’s life and the social order. His second reflection of the book is how modern countries practice Hayek’s thoughts, the division of power and the practice of rule of law.
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