… is from page 333 of F.A. Hayek’s October 1973 Wincott Memorial Lecture – titled “Economic Freedom and Representative Government” – as the text of this lecture appears as chapter 24 of Essays on Liberalism and the Economy (2022), which is volume 18 (expertly edited by Paul Lewis), of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek:
Indeed, in a market economy in which no single person or group determines who gets what, and the shares of individuals always depend on many circumstances which nobody could have foreseen, the whole conception of social or distributive justice is empty and meaningless; and there will therefore never exist agreement on what is just in this sense. I am not sure that the concept has a definite meaning even in a centrally-directed economy, or that in such a system people would ever agree on what distribution is just. I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.