AMONG the "manifestly silly and occasionally harmful positions" espoused by libertarians, "the idea of spontaneous order might be the silliest and most harmful of all", says Damon Linker in a much-read post at the Week.
This took me by surprise. It's true that Friedrich Hayek, whom Mr Linker shamelessly abuses, is the most prominent 20th-century intellectual behind the concept of spontaneous order—the theory that systems, such as markets, naturally correct, and function best without human meddling. It's true that Hayek is commonly lumped in with libertarians. It's true that spontaneous order is an idea libertarians tend to promote. Yet spontaneous order is not a libertarian idea. Crystals, the organisation of neurons in...Continue reading