Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 29, 2012

in Complexity & Emergence, Curious Task, Economics, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 124 of Gerald P. O’Driscoll’s 1977 essay “Spontaneous Order and the Coordination of Economic Activities,” reprinted in New Directions in Austrian Economics (Louis M. Spadaro, ed., 1978):

That nonpurposive social organizations will naturally evolve and that an undesigned order can be the product of self-regarding acts are radical ideas in Western thought.  These ideas run counter to the dominant approach to social questions and were in ascendency for only a brief period in Western intellectual history.  It is not, then, entirely surprising that in economics these ideas have not gained complete acceptance; and that among the general public, even the so-called educated public, they are scarcely understood at all.

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