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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 465 of F.A. Hayek’s profound and important 1964 article “Kinds of Order in Society [2]” (available without charge on-line here [3]) as it appears in Liberty Fund’s 1981 single-volume collection of New Individualist Review [4]:

We have it in our power to assure that such an overall [social and economic] order will form itself and will possess certain desirable general characteristics, but only if we do not attempt to control the detail of that order. But we jettison that power and deprive ourselves of the possibility of achieving that abstract order of the whole, if we insist on placing particular pieces into the place we wish them to occupy. It is the condition of the formation of this abstract order that we leave the concrete and particular details to the separate individuals and bind them only by general and abstract rules. If we do not provide this condition but restrict the capacity of the individuals to adjust themselves to the particular circumstances known only to them, we destroy the forces making for a spontaneous overall order and are forced to replace them by deliberate arrangement which, though it gives us greater control over detail, restricts the range over which we can hope to achieve a coherent order.