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Unformatted text preview: ry ends and our enduring values? How is the evident order we experience in our daily affairs generated and maintained even though most persons are only tacitly aware of its existence and do not deliberately aim to produce it? Such questions lead one to the Hayekian notion of the common good. This consists in securing the abstract conditions that allow the activities of millions of persons who do not and cannot know one another's concrete circumstances and intentions to fit together rather than come into conflict. As previously mentioned, such conditions arise from the observance of certain rules--perceptual, behavioral, moral, and legal--that structure the operation of the ordering mechanism we call the "market." SLHS Value File Individualism promotes "spontaneous order," an arrangement that succeeds Linda C. Raeder, doctoral candidate political theory at Catholic University of America, THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, Spring 1998, p. 519-35
Because Hayek's political prescriptions are inseparable from his general theory of the nature and operation of complex social formations--the theory of spontaneous order--this must be our point of departure. According to Hayek, Western liberal society is the unintended outcome of the widespread observance of certain "nonrational" traditions--rules, practices, and values--that prevailed not because anyone foresaw the consequences of observing them but because groups that observed them proved more successful than other groups. Once this order had come into existence, however, one could retrospectively investigate its structure and principles of operation. The result of these investigations, first undertaken by the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment and significantly extended and developed by Carl Menger and his followers in the Austrian school, was the formulation of what Hayek terms the theory of spontaneous order. A spontaneous order is a self-generating and self-maintaining order, an abstract, purpose-independent pattern (system, struc...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13