In the case of a monopoly, a company can hike its' prices all it wants so long as it does not force people to buy. So lets have a concrete example; A company that supplies a medicine one needs to survive suddenly increases prices %1200. Is the company killing the customer that is unable to pay? Or is the customer killing themself with their own 'inability'? This is a fuzzy point that I'm sure many of us cannot define quite easily, but I am able to make a guess at something Hayek's ideas are depending on here: The company is not holding a gun to the persons head and forcing them to buy the medicine, but due to the situation, that gun is implied. I think Hayek believes "passive aggressive" coercion doesn't count.
The thing is that this passive aggressive coercion (as I'm calling it) is what makes the world go round. Where do we draw the line? is exercising actual force coercion? Pure force is an inefficient and stupid way to exercise power. Countering my own counter point; action implies an immediate reaction. When the passive aggressive coercer acts they have to wait for a response. That response may be, going back to the pharmaceutical, a competing business. The best way for the coercer to counter this is with pure force. Muscling out the competition if you will. They are no longer being passive. Hayek talks about the state as a coercive tool that is used to limit coercion. This is just a prelude to 'the Rules of the Game'. Or as mentioned in the chapter, "known rules".
Hayek says that the precise definition will be formed in the second half of the book but I'm having trouble forming my own version now. Perhaps it has to do with the time but maybe the concept is just a little foggy.
I look forward to your opinions on Thursday,