Monday, December 03, 2012

The Fatal Conceit

Today I was digging around on audible looking for this month's downloads and I saw that the have "The Fatal Conceit by Frederich Hayek" available.  I hadn't seen this particular book before but I have read some Hayek (much to the chagrin of a number of people who continually tell me I am too stupid to understand Hayek) so I looked it up and this is the description:

The book attempts to conclusively refute all forms of Socialism by demonstrating that socialist theories are not only logically incorrect but that the premises they use to form their arguments are incorrect as well. To Hayek the birth of civilization is due to the start of societal traditions placing importance on private property leading to expansion, trade, and eventually the modern capitalist system, also known as the extended order[1]. Socialists are wrong because they disregard the fact that modern civilization naturally evolved and was not planned. Additionally, since modern civilization and all of its customs and traditions naturally led to the current order and are needed for its continuance, any fundamental change to the system that tries to control it is doomed to fail since it would be impossible or unsustainable in modern civilization. Price signals are the only means of enabling each economic decision maker to communicate tacit knowledge or dispersed knowledge to each other, in order to solve the economic calculation problem.

I was intrigued because this is the same argument I tend to make when discussing social issues.  That attempting to inflict or impose a solution tends to lead to moire issues than allowing the solution to develop incrementally and naturally.  It's the argument I made in regards to Gay Marriage in CA.  That having it imposed by the courts would lead to a backlash (Prop 8), it's been evident for years in regards to Roe v. Wade, where I believe that if the courts had stayed out of it the states would have resolve the issue and we wouldn't have this ongoing cultural battle, and it's the argument I amke to my conservative friends regarding their inability to understand why people keep voting for bigger more intrusive governemnt.  That the change occured naturally and over time and that rolling those changes back has to happen in the same way.

Needless to say I ordered the book.
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