WHY?

[From Introduction] In June 2010, Nobel Prize winner in Economics Friedrich August von Hayek’s book “The Road to Serfdom” became the bestselling book in Amazon.com thus making it the fastest selling book in the world at the time . In his famous book, first published in March 1944, Hayek warned the world about the economic policies being pursued and how they would inevitably lead to economic crises, political turmoil, and eventually “Serfdom” or a kind of slavery to gigantic government bureaucracies. Hayek predicted the global economic crisis we currently find ourselves in and the world is just beginning to catch up to his ideas; ideas which are currently fueling an intellectual revolution which is about to explode into the mainstream and transform society. Although Hayek might best be known for his classic book and being a famous economist, he was much more than that, perhaps no other human being has pieced together as coherent an understanding of the world as he has, thus making him one of the greatest intellectuals mankind has yet to produce. If mankind is to overcome its socioeconomic problems and reach its full potential in terms of peace and increasing prosperity it must stumble upon Hayek and like-minded thinkers just as surely as mankind had to stumble upon an understanding of bacteria in order to cure disease.
The central theme of this book can be summarized by the following words Hayek wrote:

“We understand now that all enduring structures above the level of the simplest atoms, and up to the brain and society, are the results of, and can be explained only in terms of, processes of selective evolution…” (Hayek F. , 1981, p. 158)

This book is about the single law of nature that creates everything around us, both the biological as well as the socioeconomic worlds, that law being Natural Selection.

Whether we know much about natural selection or not, most of us associate it with people like Charles Darwin and the biological world of animals and living things, but natural selection also evolved the socioeconomic order and things like religions, laws, customs, language, and especially for our purposes, the many socioeconomic institutions that make up our modern economies like money, the banking and lending industries, stock markets, interest rates and more. In other words, at a fundamental level natural selection creates both the biological as well as the socioeconomic orders.

At the most fundamental of levels, natural selection is a simple process that creates order. For example, if we could travel back in time about 4 billion years, there would have been no complex life forms like what we have today; there probably would have been what is commonly referred to as the “chemical soup”, which can be seen as a sort of chaotic sea of atoms/molecules. Out of this chemical soup, order and complexity arose and eventually those molecules became ordered in a way that led to the first living cells. Complexity and order continued to increase and eventually single cells were ordered in a way that led to the first multi-cellular life forms like plants, animals, and eventually us humans. Just like atoms are the building blocks of molecules, and molecules are the building blocks of cells, and cells are the building blocks of animals, human beings can be said to be the building blocks of the socioeconomic order, or also the cells of what can be called the “social organism”. This increase in order and complexity as time goes by, and looking at human beings as being cells in a larger social organism are not just interesting observations that I am sure many readers might have noticed themselves; they are the inevitable result of natural selection building higher and higher levels of order and complexity...

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