Capitalism And The Historians By F A Hayek

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Political opinion and views about historical events ever have been and always must be closely connected.

Past experience is the foundation on which our beliefs about the desirability of different policies and institutions are mainly based, and our present political views inevitably affect and color our interpretation of the past.

Yet, if it is too pessimistic a view that man learns nothing from history, it may well be questioned whether he always learns the truth.

While the events of the past are the source of the experience of the human race, their opinions are determined not by the objective facts but by the records and interpretations to which they have access.

Few men will deny that our views about the goodness or badness of different institutions are largely determined by what we believe to have been their effects in the past.

There is scarcely a political ideal or concept which does not involve opinions about a whole series of past events, and there are few historical memories that do not serve as a symbol of some political aim.

Yet the historical beliefs which guide us in the present are not always in accord with the facts; sometimes they are even the effects rather than the cause of political beliefs.

Historical myths have perhaps played nearly as great a role in shaping opinion as historical facts.

Yet we can hardly hope to profit from past experience unless the facts from which we draw our conclusions are correct.

The influence which the writers of history thus exercise on public opinion is probably more immediate and extensive than that of the political theorists who launch new ideas.

It seems as though even such new ideas reach wider circles usually not in their abstract form but as the interpretations of particular events.

AuthorF A Hayek
PDF Size11.3 MB


Capitalism And The Historians Book PDF Free Download

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