Chaos, order and the danger of delusion feasibility
A free order never produced only positive results. The market economy is an ongoing search process with many twists and turns.
Of the dangers to which the liberal order is exposed to the pursuit of economic equality is probably the oldest. The socialist dream leads inevitably to totalitarianism. This has been shown thinkers like Karl Popper and Ralf Dahrendorf, but also the grand failed experiments in Eastern Europe, China or Cuba. Yet many liberals fail to recognize the threat to freedom posed by the quest for equality, because they confuse equality with fairness. Not less dangerous is the conservative commitment to safety. In a free society, there can be no absolute security, nor a complete social security, namely a completely safe society is necessarily a police state. Nevertheless, liberals accept crises, most recently after 9 / 11, because of "security" all possible interference with the freedom. But freedom is not only threatened by such obvious dangers, but also on ways of thinking, which at first glance less clearly recognizable as inimical to freedom. To them, faith is increasingly on the feasibility of all things.
On silent feet
Against this delusion must be careful not least because he attacked the liberal order on silent feet. The apostles of feasibility are namely not as anti-liberal, and they know just do not want diversity, non-centralism and a high degree of freedom of all - something like 'chaos' works - a prerequisite for this is that complex systems such as economies remain stable and that they can simultaneously develop sufficient flexibility to come up with the unpredictable nature of the world to the edge. How the market economy. You can expect them therefore neither accurate nor predict, and if you engage in it, under limits wage top and some with unrealistic conversion rates, or with, you never know exactly what you inflicts - except that it reduced degrees of freedom, decentralization degrades and adaptability at risk .
Feasibility is also the dangerous belief because it is widespread and on the civil side. While the liberal concept focuses on the design of processes and regulations and accepts that stagnate in the interplay of supply and demand, wages, rising fuel prices and shrinking industries - or otherwise - wants to achieve more concrete traditional policy goals. That it shakes the foundations of a free society is not aware of most politicians. They are supported by managers and entrepreneurs, the feasibility is downright program. That may be at the level of the company with a clear hierarchy and goal orientation have his permission.However, one could also just be there in recent years, less arrogant belief that you want to understand everything and could have a grip. And if the feasibility faith at the micro level, in the financial industry, has been refuted painful, this would certainly apply at the macro level.
Grotesque way he has but by the financial and economic crisis intensified rather. This can this crisis without intellectual bending largely understood as a consequence of increased feasibility faith: bankers, who felt as "Master of the Universe" and all - for business or private - for sale held; politicians who believed they could be in any economic reality the home ownership for all induced force, even for those who lack work, income and assets; monetary authorities that are in a position mentioned, recessions to prevent permanent or at least to even largely, regulators, who hoped, when compared with sufficient strict supervision competencies endows made to eliminate abuse and criminal misconduct, and economists, who emulated a scientific ideal and thought they could understand and explain their model-based knowledge and the world. All this has not materialized.
Courage to be humble
Instead of responding with "more of the same," it would need to recognize that in the complex system of "economy" little centrally feasible, manageable and controllable. Can cause such chaos according to the theory of the "butterfly effect" natural disasters, even the smallest action can the economy to lift off its hinges, the decision of an individual entrepreneur, as well as any state intervention deliberately set. This must not lead to agnosticism or fatalism. It warns, however, to the utmost restraint in the economic, social and environmental policy, and it provides besides the two arguments of securing freedom and of increasing the prosperity of an additional epistemological foundation for liberal policy: Because the system is so complex because it in its parts and even more so in its entirety is transparent so little, because its future development can best describe as coarse model predictions are, however well intentioned selective interventions in their effects and side effects too unpredictable, as that they could represent a clear conscience. The "chaos" bears hardly targeted interventions.
Other hand, are "chaos" and order do not conflict. The complexity of the economy fits in very well with a policy framework, as long as this leaves room for self-organization, for contingencies and unforeseen. If however we want to meet the "chaos" with individual measures, if we overcome it and instead use only dominate, we enter a vicious circle of interventionism and of the making. We harm the functioning of the market economy, without getting their inevitable volatility, the cyclical and structural dips and breaks, unemployment, price volatility, speculation and a lot more to even come close to the handle. When we stop, however, to overestimate our ability to design economic policy, we are indeed all these "chaotic developments' experience too, but they are less likely to be dammed and therefore less concentrated and discharged. If we develop more courage for economic policy humility, we will recognize that the "chaos" does - even in the economy - and that we are afraid of its open-endedness less need than before to what the conscious and unconscious interventionists this world in its constructivist hubris design.
This article was published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung as a farewell article by the author. The Liberal Institute thanks you for allowing us to continue publishing.