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Spontaneous Order Versus Organized Order

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Abstract

The article shows Frederic Bastiat as one of the main advocates of individual freedom and an ardent opponent of the enforced action of a centralized State. He lived in the epoch of liberal ideas put into practice. As the free market and the laissez-faire principle had brought about difficult social conditions, it gave rise to utopian socialism. Then, steadily, the human being was shown to be a helpless creature who, only under a considerable State control, can progress. In his critique, Bastiat points to the natural order of things: to man’s natural endowments, by which he can develop both in his technical mastery of the world and moral attainment. By following the natural order of things (the spontaneous order), man can bring about the expected transformations. His innate principle of responsibility (a potential faculty that can further be developed) makes him a conscientious and responsible agent, and his natural inclination to solidarity brings him closer to his fellowmen. By treating man as a whole, intellect and the will being part and parcel of that being, man can eventually arrive safely at his destination.

Jan Klos, "Spontaneous Order Versus Organized Order," Journal of Markets & Morality 6, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 161-176


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