… is from page 117 of the 1981 Liberty Fund edition of Herbert Spencer’s 1884 tract, The Man Versus the State :
They have their root in the error that society is a manufacture; whereas it is a growth..
DBx: Nearly all intellectual errors about the alleged need for the state to prescribe this, to proscribe that, to superintend these other things, and generally to craft economic and social outcomes spring from the failure to understand that society, including the economy, is the result of human action but not of human design.
You show me people who demand state intervention, and at least 95 out of every 100 times I’ll show you people who are in the grip of the myth of secular creationism. They believe that society is the creation of the state – or, at least, that the good society is the creation of the state – and that any failure of the state to actively intervene in order to consciously bring about happy outcomes necessarily ensures that happy outcomes not consciously pursued by the state will never come to pass unless and until the state acts to consciously bring about these outcomes.