Of all the insights that Friedrich August von Hayek bequeathed to us, one in particular shines out today. It is that running through the ideological and political divisions of human history are two distinct and different ways of looking at the world. One Hayek called constructivist rationalism; the other evolutionary rationalism.
Hayek spent a lifetime arguing that constructivist rationalism is economically and philosophically flawed because it assumes that ‘all social institutions are, or ought to be, the product of deliberate design’.
British politics froze for about 12 years after 16 September 1992, otherwise known as Black Wednesday. Real movement between the two main parties was imperceptible. The Conservative party, dominant for most of the 20th century, embarked on a long period of semi-collapse, commanding the support of no more than one third of voters, perhaps rather less. New Labour, in sharp contrast, could rely on the goodwill of over 40 per cent of the electorate.