Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Fatal Conceit & The Errors of Socialism

by F.A. Hayek

On Differentiation

Freedom involves freedom to be different - to have one's own ends in one's domain; yet order everywhere, and not only in human affairs, also presupposes differentiation of its elements. Such differentiation might be confined merely to the local or temporal position of its elements, but an order would hardly be of any interest unless the differences were greater than this. Order is desirable not for keeping everything in place, but for generating new powers that would otherwise not exist. The degree of orderliness - the new powers that order creates and confers - depends more on the variety of the elements than on their temporal or local position.

The advantage of individual differentiation is all the greater in that it makes large groups more efficient. Thus, differences among individuals increase the power of the collaborating group beyond the sum of individual efforts. Synergetic collaboration brings into play distinctive talents that would have been left unused had their possessors been forced to strive alone for sustenance.

Thus individuals had to become different, before they could be free to combine into complex structures of cooperation. Moreover, they had to combine into entities of a distinct character: not merely a sum but a structure in some manner analogous to, and in some important respects differing from, an organism.

No comments:

Post a Comment