2013년 1월 26일 토요일

[some text from] An interview with Hayek


자료 1: Nobel prize-winning economist oral history transcript: F.A. Hayek (The Regents of the University of California, 1983); pdf-link

Interviewed by Earlene Graver, Axel Lei jonhufvud, Leo Rosten, Jack High, James Buchanan, Robert Bork, Thomas Hazlett, Armen A. Alchian, Robert Chitester

pp. 443-446:

Chitester: If I recall, in your foreword or introduction to ^The Road to Serfdom^, you specifically made that comment: that you were venturing into this area with a good deal of trepidation and hesitation, but the you felt compelled to do it because you saw threats to liberty. Yet despite that, it was not accepted in that spirit.

Hayek: No, it wasn't accepted in the United States; but in England the general opinion was ready for this sort of criticism. I don't think I had in England a single unkind criticism from an intellectual. I'm not speaking about the politicians; both [Clement] Atlee and [Hugh] Dalton attacked the book as one written by a foreigner. They had no better argument. But intellectuals in England received it in the spirit in which it was written; while here I had, on the other hand, unmeasured praise from people who probably never read it, and a most abusive criticism from some of the intellectuals.

Chitester: It's currently more popular, is it not? Isn't it coming back?
Hayek: It's being rediscovered, yes.

Chitester: It's the kind of book the lay reader, the lay public, it would seem to me, can deal with as opposed to a more technical economics book. The use of the word ^foreigner^ in the exchange you mentioned in Britain is an interesting one. It relates to some other things that we were talking about. I wanted to ask this question earlier, and I think may be this would be an appropriate time. To what extent doesㅡand I know you've done some recent thinking about thisㅡculture, in some definition, play a role in the ordering of world activities. You mentioned the intervention, in this respect, of the United States, and it would seem to me that some element of that, of the wrongness of that, is based on an inability, it would seem to meㅡthat doesn't mean we're ineptㅡof one culture to fully understand and deal with another. Do you have any thought on that?

Hayek: There's something in that, but it is not necessarily the culture into which you were born that most appeals to you. Culturally, I feel my nationality now is British and not Austrian. It may be due to the fact that I have spent the decisive, most active parts of my life between the early thirties and the early fifties in Britain, and I  brought up a family in Britain. But it was really from the first moment arriving there that I found myself for the first time in a moral atmosphere which was completely congenial to me and which I could absorb overnight.

I admit I had not the same experience when I first came to the States ten years earlier. I found it most interesting and fascinating, but I did not become an American in the sense in which I became British. But I think this is an emotional affair. My temperament was more like that of the British than that of the American, or even of my native fellow Austrians. That, I think, is to some extent a question of your adaptability to a particular culture. At one time I used to speak fairly fluent Italian; I could never have become an Italian. But that was an emotional matter. I didn't have the kind of feelings which could make me an Italian; while at once I became in a sense British, because that was a natural attitude for me, which I discovered later. It was like stepping into a warm bath where the atmosphere is the same as your body. 

Chitester: It suggests a very fascinating way of classifying personality types.

Hayek: It probably is.

Chitester: You could classify them by the culture within which they would feel most comfortbale. It suggests that ethnic association, ethnic relationships, are a matter of personality, not one's birthright or even one's place of habitation.

Hayek; yes; oh, yes.

Chistester: What was it that about British? Can you identify, in any way, why you felt comfortable with it? What is it about you that makes you feel comfortable with the British?

Hayek: The strength of certain social conventions which make people understand what your needs are at the moment without mentioning them.

Chitester: Can you give us an example?

Hayek: The way you break off a conversation. You don't say, "Oh, I'm sorry; I'm in a hurry." You become slightly inattentive and evidently concerned with something else; you don't need a word. Your partner will break off the conversation because he realizes without saying so that you really want to do something else. No word need to be said about it. That's in respect for the indirect indication that I don't want to continue at the moment.

Chitester: How would that differ in the United States? More direct?

Hayek: Either he might force himself to listen too attentively, as if he were attentive, or he might just break off saying, "Oh, I beg your pardon, but I am in a hurry." That would never happenㅡI can't say never happenㅡbut that is not the British way of doing it.

(...)


자료 2: [구글도서] Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue, Routledge, 1994

Part 3. A Parting in the Road

pp.87-88:

The light burden of teaching (there were very few students) and the short distance at Cambridge gave me more time for my own work than I ever had before. Though my main interest was still in pure economic theory, it was at Cambridge that I wrote ^The Road to Serfdom^, developing certain ideas which I had already sketched in an article in 1938 and which had grown further as a result of those studies on the abuse and decline of reason to which I had devoted the first two year of the war and which I have mentioned earlier.

Q1: ^The Road to Serfdom^ is the kind of book that the lay reader, it would seem to me, can deal with as opposed to a more technical economics book. The use of the word "foreigner"... in Britain is an interesting one. To what extent doesㅡand I know you've done somewhat recent thinking about thisㅡculture, in some definition, play a role in the ordering of world activities?

Hayek: There's something in that, but it is not necessarily the culture into which you are born that most appeals to you. Culturally, I feel my nationality now is British and not Austrian. It may be due to the fact that I have spent the decisive, most active parts of my life between the early 1930s and the early 1950s in Britian. But it was really from the first moment arriving there that I found myself for the first time in a moral atmosphere which was completely congenial to me and which I could absorb overnight.

  I admit I had not the same experience when I first came to the United States ten years earlier. I found it most interesting and fascinating, but I did not become an American in the sense in which I became British. But I think this is an emotional affair. My temperament was more like that of the British than that of the Americans, or even of my native fellow Austrians. That, I think, is to some extent a question of your adaptability to a particular culture. At one time I used to speak fairly fluent Italian; I could never have become an Italian. But that was an emotional matter. I didn't have the kind of feelings which could make me an Italian; while at once I became in a sense British, because that was a natural attitude for me, which I discovered later. It was like stepping into a warm bath where the atmosphere is the same temperature as your body.

Q1: What is it about you that makes you feel comfortable with the British?

Hayek: The strength of centrain social conventions which make people understand what your needs are at the moment without mentioning them.

Q1: Can you give us an example?

Hayek: The way you break off a conversation. You don't say, "Oh, I'm sorry; I'm in a hurry." You become slightly inattentive and evidently concerned with something else; you don't need a word. Your partner will break off the conversation because he realizes without your saying so that you really want to do something else. No word need to be said about it. That's in respect for the indirect indication that I don't want to continue at the moment.

Q1: How would that differ in the United States? More direct?

Hayek: Either he might force himself to listen too attentively, as if he were attentive, or he might just break off saying, "Oh, I beg your pardon, but I am in a hurry." That would never happenㅡI can't say never happenㅡbut that it not the British way of doing it. 

(...)

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