In Search of Humility

In Search of Humility

Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) and Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) were influential but controversial figures in American conservative political thought. The United States welcomed them as articulate, thoughtful, and uncompromising critics of its political rivals’ ideologies. Time magazine placed Voegelin front and center in an issue that examined how ideologies grounded in the Christian heresy of Gnosticism threatened the existential interests of the United States from outside as well as in. Reader’s Digest published a popular edition of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, wherein he warned how the warm embrace of central planning in the West threatened to eclipse its cherished liberty. From the 1950s until today, conservatives have found solace in their works.

Both kept a critical distance from conservatism. Voegelin responded to one inquiry by a conservative group with the rebuke, “Just because I am not stupid enough to be a liberal, does not…

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