"It is indeed probable that more harm and misery
have been caused by men determined to use coercion
to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), p. 146.
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Reader comments about this quote:
Excellent! As shown by our current situation.
 -- Robert, Sarasota     
  • 2
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    More harm and misery (in billions of dollars) have been caused by Congress to millions of U.S. citizens than the terrorists caused on 9-11-2001.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
     -- Anonymous, Raleigh, NC      
    ;-) probably
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Some think Hitler had some twisted moral righteous enter core. Narrow minded moral righteousness without a doubt but if he had slept around more and been more normally "immoral" some say he would have been more normal. I guess he was an extreme obsessive-compulsive.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    This why Economists need to stick to fuzzilating about The Dismal Science and let others commit and make the ultimate sacrifice keeping people free.
     -- dougmcr8, Springfield, VA     
    Pretty fuzzy and very debateable. This sounds like the emotional appeal that begins the descent into moral relativism and the "whatever makes you happy is ok" mentality. I agree with dougmcr8 on this one.
     -- Greg, Chichester     
    Absolutely! The response to 9-11 is a perfect example. In order to 'protect' us, we are now subject to constant surveillance, we have no right to trial, almost anyone can now be classified as a terrorist, no habeas corpus, 'free speech' zones, 'papers please,' no-fly lists, the militarization of domestic police (standing armies), Homeland Security, TSA, FEMA -- all have been implemented for our own security. What hypocrisy it is to take away our rights in order to make us safe -- safe from what?! Our rights are the very thing that need protecting! It is a greater evil to implement a police state because someone blew up a building than the actual blowing up of the building -- what, are we stupid? Slaves can be made more secure with stronger chains -- that doesn't make them free. What a blatant evil con -- and this is a party platform! I would rather my home of NYC was blown back to the stone-age than for every American to lose their rights. There is a war, and it is being waged by the central banks against the common man. Will we ever face it, and run these rascals out on a rail?!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    It’s not a probability; it is the fact - simple as that. We have caused more evil than the evil perpetrated by the Iraqi people.
     -- RobertSRQ     
  • 1
    It should read; ...to stamp out a perceived moral evil..., because the most vicious attacks are only on the moral evils in the mind of the stamper, not the stampee's mind, as in the Salem witch hunts, the Spanish Inquisition, and the brutal public punishments meted out in some Muslim countries.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
    Adolph Hitler was intent on stamping out evil. Probably every tyrant believes he is stamping out evil. I fail however to remember the Iraqi people ever being accused by any one of perpetuating evil before. That one has me scratching my head.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 1
    Socialist claim, economic inequality is a "moral evil" upon society. They seek to level the playing field through slavery. That is counter productive to opportunity and prosperity of the individual At Liberty. 
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 1
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