progress

Liberty Quotation: Hayek on Liberty and Technological Progress

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95d39/huch/1889/09“In much of the current discussion on the effects of technological progress this progress is presented to us as if it were something outside us which could compel us to use the new knowledge in a particular way.  While it is true, of course, that inventions have given us tremendous power, it is absurd to suggest that we must use this power to destroy our most precious inheritance:  liberty.  It does mean, however, that if we want to preserve it, we must guard it more jealously  than ever and that we must be prepared to make sacrifices for it.”

F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1945]

Liberty Quotation: Milton Friedman on the Great Advances of Civilization

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Milton Friedman“The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.  Columbus did not set out to seek a new route to China in response to a majority directive of a parliament, though he was partly financed by an absolute monarch.  Newton and Leibnitz; Einstein and Bohr; Shakespeare, Milton, and Pasternak; Whitney, McCormick, Edison, and Ford; Jane Addams, Florence Nightingale, and Albert Schweitzer; no one of these opened new frontiers in human knowledge and understanding, in literature, in technical possibilities, or in the relief of human misery in response to governmental directives.   Their achievements were the product of individual genius, of strongly held minority views, of a social climate permitting variety and diversity.  Government can never duplicate the variety and diversity of individual action.”

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom  [1962]