Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some disjunct thoughts

I thought it to be an insightful point that a lost job is not coercion, even if it is terribly unfortunate for the worker. Very often we dwell on these situations as a failure of society. We can easily see the feelings of the worker. They have lost a position they valued more highly than any other option available, and the businesses interest in revenue over their livelihood is difficult for the worker to fathom. What is lost here is the plight of the business owner. His livelihood is also compromised. A failed business would put the owner into precisely the same position as the worker now finds himself. There is no malice, ill will or evil in pursuing one's optimal condition. In fact such a pursuit is the only rational thing to ask of a person.

I suppose if there is something in this chapter I do not like, it would be the apparently arbitrary line between coercion which must be prevented and coercion that is not noteworthy. Hayek writes "We cannot prevent all harm that a person may inflict upon another, or even all the milder forms of coercion to which life in close contact with other men exposes us; but this does not mean that we ought not to try to prevent all the more severs forms of coercion...". I disagree with this division of acceptable an unacceptable coercion. Hayek goes on to claim that a protected sphere exists within which the coercion is not acceptable, but I do not believe the distinctions are comprehensive. To this point there have been no uncertainties, but now it appears our author is willing to accept a blurry line. How unpraxeological...

Of the second chapter this week I have only this to say: the free market and spontaneous order of economic law are not a perfect replacement to the informed organization of a centralized authority. Of course the problems of a central power are greater than the problems of the given alternative, but I maintain a belief that some preferred middle ground will always exist.

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