sometimes it's hard to persuade people with this free market stuff and spontaneous order, so it's good to have examples at hand, the more the better ("Yes, but we made X, Y and Z without any central planning at all!"). What are your examples?
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Borrowed from John Stossel: skating rinks
And snow paths!
“The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.”
- Richard Dawkins
In other words, spontaneous order is the only order. This is what is meant when it is sometimes said that capitalism is the only possible economics. The fact is every day, 6 billion people wake up and make a thousand, uncoordinated decisions throughout the course of their day, no matter where they live and no matter the label applied by the wagging tongues of academics to the political economy under which they happen to live. The idea that there is some alternative possible social order - such as the choreographed Walgreen's world envisioned by communism or socialism - requires one to close one's eyes and stop one's ears to the brute facts of the world in which we live.
Every object organized by human effort is an example of spontaneous order. The only thing that might come close to qualifying as a fully centrally planned object might be an object built by Tom Hanks alone on his desert island in the movie Castaway. Read the article I, Pencil by Leonard Read.
And in a similar vein, John Hasnas' The Obviousness of Anarchy points out the ways custom and private enterprise already govern and enrich much of our lives.
It's too bad Dawkins can't apply his own idea of spontaneous order to the political sphere. Instead, he is a run of the mill statist . Otherwise I am right there with him.
What you're looking at right now. The internet.
Robot fighting?? Not if it's an anime and they're destroying entire cities...
Movie theaters is an example.
<i>Robot fighting?? Not if it's an anime and they're destroying entire cities...</i>
I was thinking more along these people.
Also, you. And me. And everyone else.
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
Shared space is a good example.
I find it really problematic when living systems formed by inanimate atoms and societies of sapient persons are mentioned in the same context, as the next logical step is saying that looking at the living body obviously the whole is more than the sum of parts, and therefore the society is more than persons. How do you argue against that?
Molyneux points out how pretty much everything the government or coercion is not involved in, is an example of anarchy, which is pretty much what Hayek had in mind.
So this would include eBay, the use of the toaster in the household during breakfast time, and restaurant queues. In all these, an arrangement is made in which each one's actions take into account other people, and coercion is unnecessary to get things going.
Personally I believe that the whole is larger than the sum of it's parts. It's called 'emergence' in the field of complexity science. I believe Hayek actually had an interest in this area. Can't remember where I read that though.
Examples of emergent phenomena would be money, 'phantom' traffic jams, language, even racial segragation along neighbourhood lines can be explained to some extent by the unindended consequences of a group of interacting individual actions (do a google for cellular automata, and schelling's segregation model).
In terms of whether or not all this runs counter to praxeological theory, I don't think it does nessesarily. If anything, complexity theory seems to be a possible link between the micro and macro economic world. Do a search for agent-based modelling - it is essentially a way of modelling thought experiments in n-body situations, i.e, taking praxeology far beyond what could be deduced by thought experiments alone.