Were he still alive, Hayek would today celebrate his 108th birthday. To mark this occasion, I offer this quotation from the book that I believe to be Hayek’s most profound: Law, Legislation, and Liberty: Rules and Order (Vol. 1, 1973), p. 72:
Legislation, the deliberate making of law, has justly been described as among all inventions of man the one fraught with the gravest consequences, more far-reaching in its effects even than fire and gun-powder. Unlike law itself, which has never been ‘invented’ in the same sense, the invention of legislation came relatively late in the history of mankind. It gave into the hands of men an instrument of great power which they needed to achieve some good, but which they have not yet learned so to control that it may not produce great evil.