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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 160-161 of volume III (“The Political Order of a Free People,” 1979) of Hayek’s Law, Legislation, and Liberty (footnote deleted):

What is still only imperfectly appreciated is that the cultural selection of new learnt rules became necessary chiefly in order to repress some of the innate rules which were adapted to the hunting and gathering life of the small bands of fifteen to forty persons, led by a headsman and defending a territory against all outsiders. From that stage practically all advance had to be achieved by infringing or repressing some of the innate rules and replacing them by new ones which made the co-ordination of activities of larger groups possible. Most of these steps in the evolution of culture were made possible by some individuals breaking some traditional rules and practising new forms of conduct – not because they understood them to be better, but because groups which acted on them prospered more than others and grew.

DBx: Of course, the benefits to each individual rule-breaker had also to be real and with consequences that generally promoted the survival of that individual’s genes.

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