The Free Market Monument Foundation

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

-- Lord Acton (1834 - 1902) English historian

Spontaneous Order

"Every individual... by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. "
-- Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) Scottish philosopher

"Many of the greatest things man has achieved are not the result of consciously directed thought, and still less the product of a deliberately coordinated effort of many individuals, but of a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully understand."
-- Friedrich von Hayek (1899 - 1992) Austrian-British Nobel Laureate Economist

"Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone. "
-- Zhuangzi (369 B.C. - 286 B.C.) Chinese Philosopher

"Necessity is the mother of invention."
-- Plato (428 B.C. - 347 B.C.) Greek Philosopher

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. "
-- Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 - 2004) American President

"When individual rights are respected, unregulated competition will maximize economic benefit for society by providing the most goods and services possible at the lowest cost."
-- The Principles of the Free Market

Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize winning economist, wrote the afterward for a short story, I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read. This short story illustrates the principle of spontaneous order in the diversity of independent efforts brought together in the manufacture of a pencil. The underlying message of the story may be that governments could not effectively "plan" the manufacture even of a simple pencil because no one person has all the knowledge necessary to complete the process. Each agent in the process is only providing the materials and know-how for his own element. Each agent is providing various products and services that are in demand by some other agent in the process and only the end consumer is demanding pencils. The pencil is just a single example among all the tens of thousands of products our economy produces continuously. The belief that such processes could be effectively (or honestly) managed or regulated by a single authority is not reasonable.