Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cosmos and Taxis the Economics of Superheroes

For some reason Hayek's work on spontaneous order is reminiscent to the view that comic book characters have on the subject (I know I know....Hayek came before these guys and is like the ol' school Superman of Economic thought)but just follow along with me here. Feel free to go ahead and laugh at me in a patronizing way at our next meeting (I give you my permission)but if I were to summarize "Cosmos and Taxis" for my peers in an interesting yet accurate manner I would do so through the use of Superheroes. Here goes.....

Batman vs. X-Men

Order can be grown like it is in Batman's case or made like it is for the X-men

Batman who lives by day as a rich business proprietor Bruce Lee lives by night as a
winged Superhero who operates on a system of cosmos (grown order). Batman has an internal focus on self organization as puts his resources to use by making sure he develops the best armor, weapons, and vehicles to take on the daily responsibilities that a normal super undertakes. He responds to a simple set of rules which he generates from his environment.

The X-men however in Hayek's words could be considered as an "organization". As they mutants that are adopted in to Xavier school and are molded in to superheroes that follow the code that is devised by Xavier. However the rules in which Xavier forms are flawed in the sense that the rules are those that cannot be know solely by one individual. This in my opinion is the reasoning why the X-men had so much inter strife and have focused so much on taking each other out rather than doing things that superheroes are supposed to do (you know save babies and stop bank robberies and all that junk) if you ask me it's all Patrick Stewards fault because of his bossy do this do that attitude that really makes the X-men as a whole inefficient. If Storm, Cyclops, Rouge, and the gang were aloud to make spontaneous decisions like Batman society itself would enjoy the net benefit of more productive superhero action.

In the words of Hayek “…the only possibility of transcending the capacity of individual minds is to rely on those super-personal ‘self-organizing’ forces which create spontaneous orders”

*Note that I am not a Superhero expert so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here...just trying to think of a new application to define the point.


  1. I think your on to something with this example hayeks ideas. If one is to make the best possible decision at any given time spontaneously they must have a sound knowledge and the best tools at hand to make them. In that sense batman is a great example.

  2. I just want to point out that Bruce Lee is the Chinese Batman, and as such must be used to illustrate command style economies...

  3. lol I meant Bruce Wayne...awesome I crack myself up sometimes.