Nice distillation of Hayek's ideas of how markets spontaneously form to solve problems from an interview with Bruce Caldwell, author of a 2003 biography of Hayek, in Reason magazine dated Jan 2005. Paris gets fed
No one intentionally plans on feeding Paris, but millions upon millions of people get up every morning and get what they want for breakfast. How does that happen? Hayek's answer is that a market system ends up coordinating individual activity. Millions of people are out there pursuing their own interest, but the net result is a coordination of economic activities. And prices are the things that contain people's knowledge.While talking about socialism and fascism's tendency to attempt to conduct things from the top pretending to have "perfect knowledge" (which, of course, can't exist in a single place)
...or paving over Iraq. I think Iraq actually is a perfect example of this. You don't just come in and say, "Here are all the institutions that have worked well in the West," and expect overnight changes. That seems to me to be a contemporary example of the sort of hubris [Hayek] argued against.Much of this parallel's Jane Jacob's ideas of small incremental changes made by individuals and not plopping down giant chunks of new reality from above.