The invisible hand of the state

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Will Tippens

“As Adam Smith observed in 1776, when people seek to benefit themselves through voluntary trade, they unwittingly benefit society at large. This phenomenon is often referred to by the metaphor of the ‘invisible hand,’ as if a there were a mystical force guiding ordinary, self-interested persons towards order and productive behavior in the marketplace. Indeed, the explosion of trade occurring on a global scale over the past three centuries has ushered in an age of previously unimaginable interconnectedness, innovation, and standard of living for the whole of humanity. Persons acting through the modern nation-state — whether well-intentioned or not — have a similarly predictable track record. No single person can be said to have directed every action of government over the same span. And yet, as if guided by a similarly supernatural force, those who act through the means of state power tend towards predictable outcomes of their own.” (10/12/17)