By Francisco Gonzalez, JMI Development Director
In January I was offered a unique opportunity to attend a weekend seminar hosted by the Institute for Humane Studies and the Liberty Fund. The seminar revolved around the theme of “F.A. Hayek on Liberty.” Hayek produced some seminal works on liberty in the mid-twentieth century, including The Road to Serfdom and The Constitution of Liberty. For our seminar, we focused on the latter of the two books.Led by Professor Steven Horwitz of the University of St. Lawrence, myself and 15 other young professionals were guided through six 90-minute long sessions beginning on Friday evening and going through Sunday morning. It is hard for me to put into a blog all that I learned about the philosophy of liberty during that weekend. Perhaps the greatest impact on me was learning about the intricacies of Hayek’s thoughts on the spontaneous order that results from the free market.Markets, Hayek noted, are complex phenomena, like the brain. While they follow rules, the results are unpredictable. The greatest innovations in the history of mankind have been things that were not “planned.” In fact, if we planned things based on the knowledge we have of the world, as we know it, we will not learn what is possible, in the same way as we would not know what is possible if we lived by the particular knowledge we, as individuals have.