“We are concerned in this book with that condition of men in which coercion of some by others is reduced as much as possible in society. This state we shall describe throughout as a state of liberty or freedom…The task of a policy of freedom must therefore be to minimize coercion or its harmful effects, even if it cannot eliminate it completely…Whether he is free or not does not depend on the range of choice but on whether he can expect to shape his course of action in accordance with his present intentions, or whether somebody else has power so to manipulate the conditions as to make him act in accordance to that person’s will rather than his own. Freedom thus presupposes that the individual has some assured private sphere, that there is some set of circumstances in his environment with which others cannot interfere.”

in F.A. Hayek, Liberty, Writers

-F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Paperback edition, 1978, p.11-12.

Please note that complete and total freedom to do one’s will is not what Hayek means when he is talking about freedom. Also note that without competition (for example, in the choice of your employer), freedom becomes difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

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