This Commentary, based on remarks by AIMS founding President Brian Lee Crowley at the Atlas Experience, looks at spontaneous order; explaining it, defining it, and promoting it.

Hs says believers in spontaneous order are stuck with the unenviable task of explaining to people that in fact the most powerful institutions we possess are ones that no human being created as a matter of intended intelligent design – things like language, the great legal codes, including the common law, money, markets and so forth.

“[Friedrich] Hayek’s lesson to us was that individual human beings are not smart enough, we do not know enough, to be able to design successfully complex social systems. Planners always fail to produce results that are more suited to human nature and human complexity than spontaneous order does, because spontaneous order makes use of all the knowledge possessed by all human beings, and therefore makes people more successful in achieving their purposes, than the outcomes imagined by planners, who can only make use of the knowledge they themselves possess. No invented language, such as Esperanto or Basic English, has ever demonstrated the depth, complexity and richness of a language fashioned by centuries of intelligent usage by those who speak that language. And yet that language is just what Adam Ferguson said – it is the product of human action but not of human design.”

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