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… there is a new and radical and “unpopular” idea. By definition, an idea cannot be new and innovative if it is already known or held by the majority. That is why I find this kind of analysis ridiculous. I’d say it independent of whether I liked Hayek or not. The point I would make is that if we want to attribute “significance” to the number of times someone is cited, then why don’t we just go ahead and teach the word “the” as the most important economic concept. I bet JSTOR pulls up a lot of that word. Or why not google Keynes, or Marx or Brittney Spears. Who gets more hits? Marx gets 35.1 million. Keynes gets 13.3 million. And good ol’ Brittney gets … 51 million. Oh, and don’t give me the story about, “well the JSTOR index is quoting academics.”

It was a bunch of academics who thought Copernicus was an idiot too. The issue is not whether or not Hayek ought to be taught in the classroom (I believe he should – for parents that wish to see this, but I also think we should teach radical socialism if that is what parents wanted in their own private schools too — but that cannot happen with a government schooling monopoly). The issue is rather to understand that there is nothing particularly virtuous about the idea that “everyone thinks so,” “majority rules,” the “median voter,” and so on. Having faith in any of that nonsense is a recipe for sanctioning the worst kind of tyranny.

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