“Conflicts and Contradictions in Invisible Hand Phenomena”
Studies in Emergent Order, Vol. 3 (2010)
This paper makes three interconnected arguments.
- Building off my other writings, in a world where there are many non-teleological complex adaptive systems exist, no automatic harmony exists between their different coordinating processes. This paper will focus on four of these systems: the ecological system at the landscape level, and three cultural systems, the market, science, and democracy.
- Organizations originating within one such system but operating within more than one, will ultimately be dependent on one set of feedback signals over the others. When conflict between sets of signals arises, such organizations will disrupt, undermine, or destroy the other ordering processes.
- Therefore a system of Hayekian spontaneous orders such as the market, democracy, and science, is not and cannot be sustainable based solely on their own internal characteristics because conflict between them is an intrinsic feature of social life. The same hold for any of these systems and an ecosystem. They need to be viewed within a larger context.