The European Journal of Political Economy has just published a special collection of linked papers on Hayek's Road to Serfdom, 60 Years After. (Linked collections of history of economic thought papers seem to be appearing more frequently than they used to. I've enjoyed being part of several such collections and these days I always propose paper sessions rather than papers at conferences.)
Here's the abstract of the paper by David Levy at GMU, Andrew Farrant (now at Dickinson College) and myself.
This paper re-examines Hayek's Road to Serfdom in historical context. Of particular interest is Hayek's claim that “left” and “right” socialism of the 1930s had much in common. In making this argument, Hayek held that all socialism implied planning at the expense of consumer sovereignty. We first agree to plan, but if we are then unable to agree on its contents, someone imposes a specific course of action on us. Hayek was strenuously opposed at the time by Abba Lerner and E.F.M. Durbin, who held that we can conceptualize, and perhaps put into place, a sort of socialism which yields to the will of consumer preferences.
There are also wonderful pieces by Ali Khan and Ed McPhail. Both have presented at the GMU Summer Institute for the Preservation of the History of Economic Thought. But there's more: terrific comments by Pete Boettke, Bruce Caldwell and Dave Colander and a reply by David, myself and Andrew. All makes for very good reading. Our piece has some good pictures; I'll post them here before long.
We're not done. At the 2006 ASSAs, we're having a session on Buchanan, Hayek, and the Constitutional Order. Ali Khan, David and I, and Pete Boettke will present. Bruce Caldwell will comment. This promises to be a terrific session as long as David Levy and I get the paper written...!