Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Planned Chaos

From To Create Order, Remove The Planner

The central planner cannot plan. Order is restored by removing the planner. In this sense, economics can have normative implications, for it can establish what destroys the market's orderliness and what makes it possible. But since it is the market's order that enables us as individuals to realize our goals, there is no need to demonstrate its desirability. It goes without saying: Let the burden be on he who would object to people realizing their goals.

Sheldon Richman
HT: To Herd or not to Herd

From The Law:
The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.

They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.

Frederic Bastiat, 1850