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Crítica à leitura hayekiana da História: a perspectiva da ação política de Hannah Arendt [Criticism of the Hayekian reading of history: Hannah Arendt’s perspective of political action]


  • Angela Ganem

    (Instituto de Economia da UFRJ)


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the limitations of a Hayekian reading of history, comparing it with the theoretical perspective of Hannah Arendts political action. The article constitutes of three parts: in the first part we present the Hayekian theory of spontaneous order as a rational order and laws as inexorable as the ones he criticizes in Marx; in other words, the idea of the markets self-development seen as the only possible way to organize contemporary societies. In the second part we show that concepts precious to liberalism are present in critical authors such as Hannah Arendt, for whom the individual in political action binds himself to the historical construction of a fair world, reconciling individual liberties with collective interests. Finally, in the third part of the article, we compare the two authors, showing that the antidote to totalitarianism, and the space for freedom is not to be found in liberalism or the markets logic, as Hayek advocates, but in democracy, as Arendt pleads, as the central concept of its theoretical building and privileged space for political action, freedom and justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Ganem, 2009. "Crítica à leitura hayekiana da História: a perspectiva da ação política de Hannah Arendt [Criticism of the Hayekian reading of history: Hannah Arendt’s perspective of political action]," Nova Economia, Economics Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), vol. 19(2), pages 267-284, May-Septe.
  • Handle: RePEc:nov:artigo:v:19:y:2009:i:2:p:267-284

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    4. Gabriel Palma, 2000. "The Magical Realism of Brazilian Economics: How to Create a Financial Crisis by Trying to Avoid One," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2000-16, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    5. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    6. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
    7. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Friedrich August von Hayek; spontaneous order; political action; Hannah Arendt; market and democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals


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