【依然是陈年草稿。原书http://book.douban.com/subject/3327201/ 这是第八章； 请朋友们修改、指正、润色。】
8 Socialism: A Property or
In a series of recent articles in the Review of Austrian Economics, Joseph Salerno began to de-homogenize the often conflated economic and social theories of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich A. Hayek. In particular, he has shown that their views on socialism are distinctly different, and he has argued in effect that Mises’s original argument in the so-called socialist calculation debate was correct all along and was also the final word, whereas Hayek’s distinct contribution to the debate was fallacious from the outset and merely added confusion. The following note will provide additional support to Salerno’s thesis.
Joseph Salerno最近在奥地利经济学评论（Review of Austrian Economics）上发表了一系列文章，着手将通常被人们混为一谈的路德维希•冯•米塞斯与弗里德里希•A•哈耶克两人的经济学及社会学理论区分开来。尤其是他证明了他们两人对社会主义的看法有显著不同，并力陈在所谓的社会主义经经计算辩论中，米塞斯最初的论据在整个过程中一直正确，而且也是最终的结论；而哈耶克对辩论的独特贡献从一开始就错了，仅仅是为论辩增加了混乱而已。接下去的评论将为Salerno的论文提供更多的理论支持。
Mises’s well-known calculation argument states this: If there is no private property in land and other production factors, then there can also be no market prices for them. Hence, economic calculation, i.e., the comparison of anticipated revenue and expected cost expressed in terms of a common medium of exchange (which permits cardinal accounting operations), is literally impossible. Socialism’s fatal error is the absence of private property in land and production factors, and by implication, the absence of economic calculation.
[Reprinted from theReview of Austrian Economics9, no. 1 (1992).]
For Hayek, socialism’s problem is not a lack of property but a lack of knowledge. His distinctive thesis is altogether different from Mises’s.1For Hayek, the ultimate flaw of socialism is the fact that knowledge, in particular “the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place,” exists only in a widely dispersed form as the personal possession of various individuals; hence, it is practically impossible to assemble and process all the actually existing knowledge within the mind of a single socialist central planner. Hayek’s solution is not private property, but the decentralization of the use of knowledge.
Yet this is surely an absurd thesis. First, if the centralized use of knowledge is the problem, then it is difficult to explain why there are families, clubs, and firms, and why they do not face the very same problems as socialism. Families and firms also involve central planning. The family head and the owner of the firm also make plans which bind the use other people can make of their private knowledge, yet families and firms are not known to share the problems of socialism. For Mises, this observation poses no difficulty: under socialism private property is absent, whereas individual families and private firms are based on the very institutionof private property. However, for Hayek the smooth operation of families and firms is puzzling because his idea of a fully decentralized society is one in which each person makes his own decisions based on his own unique knowledge of the circumstances, unconstrained by any central plan or supraindividual (social) norm (such as the institution of private property). Second, if the desideratum is merely the decentralized use of knowledge in society, then it is difficult to explain why the problems of socialism are fundamentally different from those encountered by any other form of social organization. Every human organization, composed as it is of distinct individuals, constantly and unavoidably makes use of decentralized knowledge. In socialism, decentralized knowledge is utilized no less than in private firms or households. As in a firm, a central plan exists under socialism, and within the constraints of this plan, the socialist workers and the firm’s employees utilize their own decentralized knowledge of circumstances of time and place to implement and execute the plan. For Mises, all of this is completely beside the point. Within Hayek’s analytical framework, no difference between socialism and a private corporation exists. Hence, there can be no more wrong with socialism than with a private firm.
Clearly, Hayek’s thesis regarding the central problem of socialism is nonsensical. What categorically distinguishes socialism from firms and families is not the existence of centralized knowledge or the lack of the use of decentralized knowledge, but rather the absence of private property, and hence, of prices. In fact, in occasional references to Mises and his original calculation argument, Hayek at times appears to realize this, too. But his attempt to integrate his very own thesis with Mises’s and thereby provide a new and higher theoretical synthesis fails.
The Hayekian synthesis consists of the following propositional conjunction: “Fundamentally, in a system in which the knowledge of the relevant facts is dispersed among many people, prices can act to coordinate the separate actions of different people” and “the price system” can serve as “a mechanism for communicating information.”2While the second part of this proposition strikes one as vaguely Misesian, it is anything but clear how it is logically related to the first, except through Hayek’s elusive association of “prices” with “information” and “knowledge.” However, this association is more of a semantic trick than rigorous argumentation. On one hand, it is harmless to speak of prices as conveying information. They inform about past exchange ratios, but it is a non-sequitur to conclude that socialism’s central problem is a lack of knowledge. This would only follow if prices actually were information. However, this is not the case. Prices convey knowledge, but they are the exchange ratios of various goods, which result from the voluntary interactions of distinct individuals based on the institution of private property. Without the institution of private property, the information conveyed by prices simply does not exist. Private property is the necessary condition—die Bedingung der Möglichkeit—of the knowledge communicated through prices. Yet then it is only correct to conclude, as Mises does, that it is the absence of the institution of private property which constitutes socialism’s problem. To claim that the problem is a lack of knowledge, as Hayek does, is to confuse cause and effect, or premise and consequence.
哈耶克的综合体包含如下的连结命题：“从根本上说，在一个关于相关事实的知识掌握在分散的许多人手中的体系中，价格能协调不同个人的单独行为”，和，“价格体系”可以作为“交流信息的机制”。 尽管第二个支命题含糊地表达了米塞斯的观点，如果不考虑哈耶克莫名其妙的对“价格”同“信息”与“知识”所作的关联，它和第一个支命题的逻辑联系毫不明晰。而且，哈耶克加诸两者的关联更多的是在耍语义上的花招，而非严格的论证。一方面，说价格传递信息是无关痛痒的。价格告诉人们过去的交换比率，但以此便推论出社会主义的核心弊病在于知识的匮乏是无效的。只有价格确确实实是信息，这个论断才能成立。但事实并非如此。价格传递知识，但它们是各种商品的交换比率，通过不同个人在私有财产建制的基础上开展的自愿合作而产生。私有财产是通过价格交流知识的必要条件——即是其可能的前提（die Bedingung der Möglichkeit）。那么，唯一正确的结论就是，由于私有财产建制的缺失才导致了社会主义的问题，这也就是米塞斯所作的结论。而像哈耶克那样宣称社会主义的问题是知识缺乏的问题则是混淆了前因后果，或者说，混淆了前提和结论。
On the other hand, Hayek’s identification of “prices” and “knowledge” involves a deceptive equivocation. Not only does Hayek fail to distinguish between what one might call institutional knowledge—information that requires for its existence an institution (such as the knowledge of prices requires private property)—and raw or extra institutional knowledge—such as this is an oak tree, I like peanuts, or birds can fly. Moreover, Hayek fails to notice that the knowledge of prices is not at all the same sort of knowledge whose existence he believes to be responsible for the “practical impossibility” of socialism and central planning. What makes central planning impossible, according to Hayek, is the fact that part of human knowledge exists only as essentially private information:
另一方面，哈耶克对“价格”和“知识”的界分有容易造成误解的含糊性。知识有建制性知识（institutional knowledge，必须有某种建制存在才能存在的知识，如价格的知识依赖于私有制的存在）以及自然或超建制知识（raw or extra institutional knowledge，诸如，这是一棵橡树，我喜欢花生和鸟会飞等）。哈耶克不仅没有认识到这一点，也没有注意到关于价格的知识与那种他认为实现社会主义和中央计划所必需的知识根本不属于同种类别。根据哈耶克，有部分人类的知识在本质上仅以私性信息的形式存在，致使中央计划不可能：
practically every individual has some advantage over all others because he possesses unique information of which beneficial use might be made, but of which use can be made only if the decisions depending on it are left to him or are made with his active cooperation.3
While it is certainly true that such knowledge exists, and while it is also true that uniquely private knowledge can never be centralized (without information losses), it is just as certainly not true that the knowledge of prices falls into this category of uniquely private information. To be sure, prices are “prices paid at specific times and places,” but this does not make them private information in the Hayekian sense. To the contrary, the information conveyed by prices is public information, because prices—qua objective exchange ratios—are real events. It may be difficult to know all of the prices paid at a specified date and location, just as it may be difficult to know every person’s physical location at any given time. Yet it is hardly impossible to know either one, and with current computer technology it is probably easy. In any case, while I may never know everything that you know, and vice versa, it is no more problematic to assume that both of us can simultaneously possess the same price information than that we can both simultaneously know the same baseball results. Hence, the knowledge conveyed by prices actually can be centralized. However, if price information is public information and thus can be centralized, then, according to Hayek’s thesis that socialism’s problem stems from the inefficiency of trying to centralize genuinely uncentralizable private knowledge, it would follow that the absence of prices, and hence of private property has nothing to do with the plight of socialism. Otherwise, if one insists with Mises that the absence of private property, and prices does have something to do with the plight of socialism, Hayek’s contribution to the socialism debate must be discarded as false, confusing, and irrelevant.
Hayek’s misconception of the nature of socialism is symptomatic of a fundamental flaw in his thinking, pervading not only his economics but in particular also his political philosophy Hayek, as noted and quoted ad nauseam by his numerous followers, was convinced that “it is probably no exaggeration to say that every important advance in economic theory during the last hundred years was a further step in the consistent application of subjectivism.”4While this may well be true, it does not logically follow that every further advance toward subjectivism must also lead to an advance in economic theory. However, Hayek seems to have drawn this conclusion and has thus become a prime example illustrating its falsehood.
哈耶克对社会主义的本质的误解是其思考中的根本错误的典型体现，即他的超主观主义。这不仅表现在其经济学上，尤其还表现在其政治哲学之中：: his ultra-subjectivism.正如哈耶克为数众多的拥护者令人可笑地摘录和援引的，哈耶克深信，“大概可以毫不夸张地说，过去数百年中每一次经济学理论的进步都是对主观主义的进一步严格应用。” 尽管这话可能为真，但逻辑上它不能推出更进一步地向主观主义的推进必然带来经济学理论的又一个进步。但是，哈耶克似乎得出了这个结论，并因此成了展示此观点之谬误的首要例子。
Mises, and in his steps even more clearly Murray N. Rothbard, conceives of economics as the science of human action. Action has two inseparable aspects a subjective aspect (action is rational, intelligible action) and an objective aspect (acting is always acting with real things and physical stuff). Mises’s and Rothbard's economics and political philosophy is never anything but robust, and their categories and theories invariably possess real, operational meaning: private property, division of labor based on private property, production, direct and indirect exchange, and compulsory interference with private property and production and exchange such as taxation, counterfeiting, legislation, and regulation.
In distinct contrast, Hayek—and misled by him to different degrees also Israel Kirzner and Ludwig Lachmann—views economics as some sort of science of human knowledge. Accordingly, Hayek’s categories and theories refer to purely subjective phenomena and are invariably elusive or even illusory. He is not concerned about acting with things but about knowledge and ignorance, the division, dispersion, and diffusion of knowledge, alertness, discovery, learning, and the coordination and divergence of plans and expectations. The external (physical) world and real (material) events have almost completely disappeared from his view. Hayek’s categories refer to mental states of affairs and relationships, completely detached from and compatible with any real physical state of affairs and events.
与他们截然相反的是，哈耶克——以及在不同程度上受其影响的伊斯雷尔•科兹纳（Israel Kirzner）和路德维希•拉赫曼（Ludwig Lachmann）——将经济学是为某种关于人类知识的科学。正因为如此，哈耶克的范畴和理论适用于纯粹主观的现象，且都是难于捉摸甚至是虚假的。他不关心通过物件进行的行动，他关心的是知识和无知，知识的分配、分布和扩散，机敏，发现，学习以及计划与预期的协调及偏离。外部（物理）世界和真实（物质）事件几乎完全在他的观点中消失了。哈耶克的各范畴指涉事务和关系的精神境况，任意事务和事件的实际的、物理的境况都与这些范畴无关，也无一与之相契合。
Most notable and disturbing is the ultra-subjectivist turn in Hayek’s political philosophy. According to a long-standing tradition of political philosophy shared by Mises and Rothbard, freedom is defined as the freedom to privately own and control real property, and coercion is the initiation of physical damage upon the private property of others. In distinct contrast, Hayek defines freedom as “a state in which each can use his own knowledge and for his own purposes,”5and coercion means “such control of the environment or circumstances of a person by another that, in order to avoid greater evil, he is forced to act not according to a coherent plan of his own but to serve the ends of another,”6or alternatively, “coercion occurs when one man’s actions are made to serve another man’s will, not for his own but for the other’s purpose”7(all emphases mine). Clearly, Hayek’s definition contains no reference to scarce goods and real tangible property, and provides no physical criterion or indicator whatsoever for the existence or nonexistence of either state of affairs. Rather coercion and freedom refer to specific configurations of subjective wills, plans, thoughts, or expectations. As mental predicates, Hayek’s definitions of freedom and coercion are compatible with every real, physical state of affairs.8
最值得注意也最令人不安的是哈耶克在其政治哲学中的超主观主义视角。根据一个为米塞斯和罗斯巴德所共享的悠久的政治哲学思想渊源，自由被定义为私人拥有和控制实在财产的自由；强制即对他人的私有财产造成物理损害。与之成鲜明对比的，哈耶克定义自由为“一种人人皆可为自己的目的利用自己的知识的境况” ，强制则指的是“一人的环境或情境为他人所控制，以致于为了避免所谓的更大的危害，他被迫不能按自己的一贯的计划行事，而只能服务于强制者的目的” ，或者，“强制发生于一人的行动被用于服务他人的意志、他人的目的，而非他自己的。” （着重号由作者添加）很明显，哈耶克的定义没有指涉稀缺财货和真实的有形财产，也没有提出任何物理标准或指示说明这两种事态是否存在。强制和自由指的倒是主观意愿、计划、思想或预期的特定配置。作为道德上的断言，哈耶克对自由和强制的定义同任何实在的、物理的事态相容。
It is beyond the scope of this note to offer a detailed critique and refutation of Hayek’s ultra-subjectivism. However, in addition to the fundamental question whether a science of knowledge as envisioned by Hayek is even possible (i.e., whether there can be any other science of knowledge apart from logic and epistemology on the one hand and the history of ideas on the other),9two conclusions are painfully clear. Even if Hayek’s science of knowledge is possible, it appears at best irrelevant because it is praxeologically meaningless. At worst it is intellectually pernicious in promoting relativism.
As for the real world of acting with physical property, of production and exchange, of money and markets, of profits and losses, of capital accumulation and of bankruptcies, there can be no lasting doubt about the existence of laws and the ceaseless operation of a tendency toward general equilibrium (action-coordination). Likewise, there can be no doubt about the existence of laws and the constant operation of dis-equilibrating tendencies within the world of actual taxation, counterfeiting, legislation, and regulation. Indeed, it would be extremely costly, even prohibitive, to not recognize such laws and tendencies and to adopt relativistic views. In contrast, in surreptitiously shifting attention from the tangible world of action and property to the ethereal world of knowledge, ideas, plans and expectations, relativistic views become attractive and cheap. There are no apparent regularities and tendencies in Hayek’s knowledge world. In fact, it is difficult to even imagine what “law” and “equilibrium” could possibly mean in the context of purely subjective phenomena. Instead there appears to exist nothing but constant kaleidoscopic change.
It is hardly surprising then that Hayek and his followers could proclaim such relativistic slogans as that we cannot do anything to improve our condition except rely on spontaneous evolution, that our future is completely unknowable, or that we cannot but participate in an endless and open-ended stream of conversation. As far as the realm of purely subjective phenomena is concerned and as addressed to a purely spiritual disembodied being, this may well be good advice. However, why would anyone with a bodily existence even care? As applied to the world of bodily action and property, such advice is self-destructive nonsense.