Spontaneous Order

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 26 Sep 2002 12:00:00 GMT
From Quotes of the Day:
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -- Plato
"Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself." -- A. H. Weiler

I installed AmphetaDesk, an RSS channel download and display program. The program itself runs in the background as a web server using your web browser as its user interface. It downloads RSS feeds and serves them up in the browser. Very nice. I've been looking at it in my referer log for quite a while now, so I decided to try it. Recommended.

The Federal Register via Cryptome - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect To Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, Or Support Terrorism - GW extended for another year the national emergency that he declared on September 23, 2001. [cryptome]

Mitch Albom at The Capital Times (WI) - Federal Agents' Actions Reveal the Real Dope - the drug nazis have been reading medical marijauana clinics. This is your war on drugs. A despicable tragedy run by dopes. [cures-not-wars]

Her mornings are never that good anyhow because she wakes up with a leg that is withered from polio. Still, this morning was truly bad. She opened her eyes and saw five federal agents pointing rifles at her head.

"Get your hands up!" one of them yelled. "Get out of bed!" yelled another. She told them she was sorry, but she couldn't because she was crippled. They put her in handcuffs and again told her to get up.

Again, she said she couldn't because she used leg braces and crutches and she needed her hands for those.

"Eventually," Suzanne Pfeil says, "they went after the others. They left me lying there, handcuffed in the bed, for an hour."


Yet there is a notion among critics that these patients are locking the doors and throwing a Cheech and Chong party, mocking the government's naivete.

Nothing could be dumber -- or further from the truth. I have spent a lot of time with sick people whose only relief is what marijuana gives them. Believe me, they would gladly trade their disease for your sobriety. Any day. Any minute.

"I have post-polio syndrome," Pfiel says. "It involves an incredible amount of muscle and nerve pain. I'm allergic to most pharmaceutical drugs. The marijuana relieves my pain and helps me cope.


"It's strange to me that our government does not want to see people who are suffering take care of themselves and do better," Pfiel says.

Right. Mornings, when you're sick and dying, are tough enough. You don't need guns pointed at your head.

Mark Fiore at Mother Jones - The Real Threat - a Flash animation. [cures-not-wars]

They keep a low profile, living among us like any other citizen.

The operate silently in our cities and towns.

Their camps may be in the woods at the edge of town,

And though resources are stretched thin in this time of extreme danger,

John Ashcroft and federal law enforcement agents are on the job,

protecting America from...

the sick & dying.

Bill Walker at Laissez Faire Electronic Times - The Best Defense Against Terrorism - more liberty, of course. Take the controls off of the market and terrorism will cause less damage.

Of course the idea of central control and an obedient, domesticated populace is what made the 9-11 attacks possible. Government disarmed the aircrews. According to the government's own account of 9-11, it was this policy of central control that allowed terrorists armed with sharp objects to make airliners into missiles. A rational response to the 9-11 attacks would have been to immediately restore the Second Amendment rights of airliner crews. Of course the opposite policy was followed, more central control was imposed, and now airliners are more vulnerable than ever.

Russell Madden at Laissez Faire Electronic Times - The Politics of Hate - a long list of things Mr. Madden hates about politics and one thing he loves. Bravo!

Jim Peron at Laissez Faire Electronic Times - The Rise of Spontaneous Order: The Contradictions of Left and Right - the difference between a libartarian and an authoritarian is that the libertarian believes in spontaneous order, but the authoritarian believes somebody must be in control. Spontaneous order is how nature works. Get used to it.

n fact the Soviet defector Arkady Shevchenko said this concept, that somebody must secretly be in charge of capitalism, was ever present in the minds of Soviet officials. He said the Russian officials were baffled by American capitalism. "It puzzles them how a complex and little- regulated society can maintain such a high level of production, efficiency and technological innovation." The only conclusion they could come to was that "there must be a secret control center somewhere in the United States."

Of course that theory is still popular on the Left. With a complete ignorance of theories of spontaneous order the Left assumes that secret cabals must be directing the world's market economies. Some will point to the oil companies in cahoots with the Bush family while others rant on about the secret powers of multinational corporations or big business. The mere fact that an economy can be unregulated and unplanned is beyond the capacity of their little minds. So they continue to rant about the evils of capitalism. But Rothschild makes the point that opposing capitalism makes about as much sense as opposing photosynthesis.

Just as photosynthesis is a natural process that evolved so too is the market system a natural process. Capitalism is what you get when you don't interfer with the economic "biosystem". It has all the features of natural systems. It has feedback loops that help prevent unproductive activities and other feedback loops that reward productivity. What works and what does not work is determined, not by legislative fiat, but by natural law. Much the same way natural law determines the actions of various species.


Politics is filled with many paradoxes. In political economy governments which strive "for the good of the people" usually end up serving the ends of the government. While in markets businessmen who are seeking their own profits must serve the ends of their customers. Paradoxical but true.

John Gartner at Wired - GM's Hy-Wire Brakes Driving Mold - I think he misspelled "breaks". Anyway... General Motors is presenting their Hywire (Autonomy) as a concept car at Mondial De L'Automobile in Paris. They expect it to ship by 2010. [wired]

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