Hayek vs. the Ants


A very interesting piece by the always very interesting Wirkman Virkkala, that asks the not very musical question: Can one reconcile with Hayek the fact that ants seem at the same time socialist and nomocratic, living indeed in "a Marxist utopia, with the bulk of the society switching roles over time and according to need"? Hayek of course believed that, in human terms, liberal social orders had to be nomocratic (that is, rule-based) rather than teleocratic (ends-based, as he saw socialist systems).

I think you already know enough from your reaction to that sentence whether you want to read the whole thing. (And I recommend you do. It's not very long, either.)

For reason's most recent piece on Hayek, see Steven Horwitz's review of Theodore Burczak's Socialism After Hayek from our July 2007 issue.

For much, much more on Hayek's life, time, and thoughts (though very little about ants), see my book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. And also check out the book's dedicated blog, somewhat freshly reorganized with all perma-links on the right hand side updated and conveniently categorized to guide you to all past reviews, interviews, excerpts, spinoff op-eds, and audio and video circulating about the book.