… is from page 307 of my late Nobel laureate colleague James Buchanan’s October 1991 article, co-authored with Viktor Vanberg (and originally published in Economics and Philosophy), “The Market as a Creative Process” as this article is reprinted in James M. Buchanan, Federalism, Liberty, and Law (2001), which is volume 18 of the Collected Works of James M. Buchanan (original emphasis):
The market economy,as an aggregation, neither maximizes nor minimizes anything. It simply allows participants to pursue that which they value, subject to the preferences and endowments of others, and within the constraints of general “rules of the game” that allow, and provide incentives for, individuals to try out new ways of doing things. There is simply no “external,” independently defined objective against which the results of market processes can be evaluated.
DBx: Truly so.