… is from page 113 of the profound 1976 Vol. II (“The Mirage of Social Justice”) of F.A. Hayek’s trilogy, Law, Legislation, and Liberty:
There are, in the last resort, no economic ends. The economic efforts of the individuals as well as the services which the market order renders to them, consist in an allocation of means for the competing ultimate purposes which are always non-economic. The task of all economic activity is to reconcile the competing ends by deciding for which of them the limited means are to be used. The market order reconciles the claims of the different non-economic ends by the only know process that benefits all – without, however, assuring that the more important comes before the less important, for the simple reason that there can exist in such a system no single ordering of needs.