extended order


  • “[1]: 14  Hayek says that the evolutionary process of the extended order can be stimulated by increases in individual freedom and has even realized some of its greatest advances
    during times of anarchy, however it can (and quite often has throughout history) been hindered by government constraint.

  • “[1]: 6  Development of the extended order in society Hayek argues that the extended order “is a framework of institutions – economic, legal, and moral – into which we fit
    ourselves by obeying certain rules of conduct that we never made, and which we have never understood in the sense of which we understand how the things that we manufacture function.

  • “[1]: 14  This “order resulted not from human design or intention but spontaneously: it arose from unintentionally conforming to certain traditional & largely moral practices,
    many of which men tend to dislike, whose significance they usually fail to understand, whose validity they cannot prove, and which have nonetheless fairly rapidly spread by means of an evolutionary selection – the comparative increase in population
    & wealth – of those groups that happened to follow them.

  • Hayek describes an extended order as the outcome of a system that embraces specialization and trade, and he claims that it “constitutes an information gathering process, able
    to call up, and put to use, widely dispersed information that no central planning agency, let alone any individual, could know as a whole, possess or control.

  • “[1]: 6  Hayek argues that the extended order’s formation “required individuals to change their ‘natural’ or instinctual’ responses to others, something strongly resisted”,
    whereas any and all “constraints on the practices of the small group, it must be emphasized & repeated, are hated.

  • The extended order is at the heart of Hayek’s thesis, in The Fatal Conceit, where he argues that “our civilization depends, not only for its origin but also for its preservation,
    on what can be precisely described only as the extended order of human cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleading, known as capitalism.

  • “[1]: 52  Hayek posits that, since it is not genetically transferred, the continuing cultural evolution of the extended order requires teaching and passing on to each new
    generation the prevailing traditions, customs, morality and rules.

  • This is possible and efficient, in Hayek’s view, because a proper legal framework replaces trust, which is only practical in small circles of people who know each other socially.

  • “[1]: 13  This is because man “knows so many objects that seem desirable but for which he is not permitted to grasp, and he cannot see how other beneficial features of his
    environment depend on the discipline to which he is forced to submit – a discipline forbidding him to reach out for these same appealing objects.


Works Cited

[‘1. Hayek, F.A. “The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism”. The University of Chicago Press. 1991.
2. ^ Will Durant and Ariel Durant, “The Lessons of History”. Simon & Schuster. 1968; p. 101.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjunstorm/1645761726/’]