The best thing I learned from libertarians to date...

May 04, 2020 · 3 mins read

Here’s a summary of the best thing I learned to date from those who call themselves “libertarians”, and those who oppose tyranny and big governments:

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” — Thomas Sowell

I found that while reading an article from mises.org.

I first heard of this idea a few months ago from “The Deadly Isms | Episode 4: Things Dictators Don’t Know” by Matt Kibbe.

Here are some interesting quotes from that video:

“The more men know, the smaller the percentage that any single man can know.” — Friedrich Hayek

“…this is a common mistake made by socialists and other advocates of central planning: They think that as society evolves and humans learn more it becomes easier to centralize that knowledge and use it to plan institutions. In fact, the opposite is true. While a central planner might have been able to grasp most of what was known a thousand years ago, no one today could ever hope to come close.”

“…the guy who invented Wikipedia, the pioneer, was Jimmy Wales. He got the idea from reading F.A. Hayek who saw and spent his life to this difficult, almost mysterious, sometimes even magical, observation that order comes about through liberty and not through imposition. That was his theme. And it’s a hard thing to learn: that the more you let go, the better things work.” — Jeffrey Tucker

“… top down control fails because those at the top can never have enough knowledge to coordinate the activities of millions of people, not even with all the supercomputers in the world. And even when they try, the results have been some of the worst cases of human suffering in history. The only other option is to let people plan their own lives as long as they don’t hurt people or take their stuff. Trust that these individual plans will come together into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and that none of us knows as much as all of us.


PS:

From a programmer’s perspective, the idea presented above seems to match what Kent Beck calls “The Implementor’s Rule” in his blog post titled “Software Design is Human Relationships: Part 3 of 3, Changers & Changers”.