Creationism Lives

by Don Boudreaux on October 21, 2013

in Adam Smith, Complexity & Emergence, Curious Task, Economics, Myths and Fallacies

We’re experiencing some temporary difficulty with the comments section.  We beg your patience.  But Erik Lidstrom sent the following to me by e-mail as a comment on this earlier post.  I want to share with you (through Mr. Lidstrom’s kind permission) part of his short e-mail.

I agree with Mr. Lidstrom that too much economics – indeed, too much social science – remains creationist (a stance that is, of course, eagerly exploited by politicians who fancy themselves to be rather god-like).  Proponents of these versions of economics and social science insufficiently appreciate the deep and revolutionary wisdom of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Another way to put it is to say that non-Austrian economists are creationists. ( I think that “Constructivist” is a) much to complicated a word, and b) hides the near-identity of the concepts).

To a degree it matters that our actions are purposeful, but it wouldn’t really matter if they weren’t. “Human Fumblings” is a title on something I might use some day.

What is it? 9 out of 10 product launches fail. We try purposefully, to ourselves, but it is what others, “the market”, though to others our efforts might (almost) as well be random. Because society progresses anyway, which is what evolution in nature demonstrates.

I add only that social progress isn’t inevitable.  One of its necessary conditions is that society be decentralized and based largely on private-property markets, freedom of contract, and the rule of law.

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