The Hayekian Wikipedia

This from the Wall Street Journal:

“Regarding Gordon Crovitz’s “Wikipedia’s Old-Fashioned Revolution” (Information Age, April 6): The genesis of Wikipedia was an economics class that Jimmy Wales took when he was a student at Auburn University. Taught by Mark Thornton, much of the discussion centered around the 1945 paper by Nobel-winner F.A. Hayek titled “The Use of Knowledge in Society.”

That paper argued that socialism with its central planning simply could not keep up with the real knowledge in society because the kind of knowledge needed to power an economy is dispersed in society and cannot be brought together with central planning, with its political arrogance. Instead, it is brought together via a price system and private property, the key ingredients of a market economy.

Mr. Wales brought that concept to Wikipedia, and that is why it has flourished. The founding truth of Wikipedia also is the truth behind the reason that President Barack Obama’s attempt at a “planned economy” will fail, as all socialist or quasi-socialist “experiments” always do.”

Now I thought this was very interesting and wished that it would go into more detail about Mr. Wales. What has made Wikipedia so successful is the spontaneous nature, which has made it more accurate than other formal encyclopedias. Hayek, in other works, show that he also believes that rules that society lives by is spontaneous. For, example think of a handshake. No “one” individual planned that this is how we should greet people, but it has evolved over time as the social norm.

We should try to model more businesses and economic policies after this!

The rest link is here.



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