Quotation of the Day: the Hayekian worldview

“If we are to understand how society works, we must attempt to define the general nature and range of our ignorance concerning it. … The misleading effect of the usual approach stands out clearly if we examine the significance of the assertion that man has created his civilization and that he therefore can also change its institutions as he pleases. … In a sense it is true, of course, that man has made his civilization. It is the product of his actions or, rather, of the action of a few hundred generations. This does not mean, however, that civilization is the product of human design, or even that man knows what its functioning or continued existence depends upon. … If we are to advance, we must leave room for a continuous revision of our present conceptions and ideals which will be necessitated by further experience. We are as little able to conceive what civilizations will be, or can be, five hundred or even fifty years hence as our medieval forefathers or even our grandparents were able to foresee our manner of life today.” (F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty [The Definitive Edition edited by Ronald Hamowy], Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press, 2011, p. 74)

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Author: rfmcelroyiii

Student and instructor of economics.

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