Thursday, May 10, 2007

The True Fuel of True Individualism

Paraphrasing Hayek in Individualism: True and False, "The individual pursing true order should expect objective results and payment for the results of his efforts rather than their subjective merits. The individual should bear the risk attached to that choice as well as the reward."

The fuel of spontaneous social order is that the individual efforts result in measurable rewards comensurate with the effort. Every individual is pursing the order for themselves. In a spontaneous social order these incentives are aligned such that the pursuit of one's self interest benefits the self-interest of another.

Hayek quotes Adam Smith as being a true individualist. Smith says, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest" (Wealth of Nations, p. 119). The order of markets is from the aligning of individual self-interests so that all players benefit from entering the game.

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