Friedrich Hayek was an Austrian economist noted for his defense of free-market capitalism against a rising tide of socialist thought in the mid-20th century. In The Road to Serfdom (1944) and subsequent works, Hayek said that socialism necessarily led to fascism as central planning overrode individual preferences in economic and social life. Though an academic outcast for much of his career, Hayek's work gained new attention in the 1980s and 1990s with the triumph of right-leaning governments in the United States and Great Britain (Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister from 1979 to 1990, was an outspoken devotee of Hayek's writings) and the fall of communism. Hayek shared Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974.
Hayek is often refered to as F.A. Hayek, and sometimes as Friedrich Augustus von Hayek.
- see Austrian School of Economics