12.2.03

SPONTANEOUS ORDER. Susan Lee posts some thoughts on libertarianism. "To push my argument further, libertarian thought, with its fluid cultural matrix, offers a better response to some of the knottiest problems of society. It is, especially when contrasted with the conservative cultural matrix, a postmodern attitude. In fact, it is precisely this postmodernism that enrages conservatives who are uncomfortable with a radical acceptance that, in turn, promotes change and unfamiliarity. Yet no matter how scary (or irritating), libertarian tolerance provides a more efficient mechanism in dealing with those places where economics, politics and culture clash so intimately." Up to a point. As John McGee noted, "Open markets are institutions in which powerful and appraising evolutionary forces are at work." That implies separating the productive from the unproductive ideas. That also implies a certain conservatism, in that long-established practices well might be efficient practices. Transgressiveness for its own sake is likely to be inefficient.

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